Sep 102011

Welcome to Fashioning Circuits, a public Humanities project.

Photo "electronic led light dress at the museum of science and industry in chicago" by Flickr user David Hilowitz

Photo “electronic led light dress at the museum of science and industry in chicago” by Flickr user David Hilowitz

Fashioning Circuits was launched in September 2011 as part of a series of independent studies in the graduate program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (formerly Emerging Media and Communication, or EMAC) at the University of Texas, Dallas.

The project began as an investigation into wearable media and technology. Wearables, and the shifts that arise from joining computing to the body, remain an important part of the work in the project. But our scope has expanded as we have done the work of exploring these questions and tracing these entanglements over the years. Fashioning Circuits is now a place where we also engage with the rich histories and practices of computational craft, domestic technologies, soft activism, and so forth. These practices, often hyper-feminized and located within homes or community collectives, are an important and often unacknowledged pre-history of what is today referred to as “maker culture.” We both study and engage in these practices in our scholarship, creative practice, and community partnerships

We are inspired by the possibilities of:

  • Learning new techniques
  • Decolonizing and recovering histories
  • Working in collaboration in an inclusive space
  • Developing strategies of expression that engage with broader cultural contexts

In Fashioning Circuits “fashion” functions not just as a noun to describe cultural trends, but also as a verb, “to fashion,” to indicate the experiential and problem based learning strategies of the project as well as the potential for a diverse range of students to fashion new histories and to fashion themselves as members of the publics and counterpublics of the future.

If you are interested in these possibilities and the connection between media or technology and embroidery, sewing, knitting, crocheting, felting, haberdashery, quilting, scrapbooking, cooking, and other craft or domestic technologies, contact us. If you would like to work with us on planning a community event, please email  If you would like to volunteer your time at one of our community events, please join our Facebook planning group at

Aside from the blog archive, the editorial team is also active on Twitter and Instagram. Follow our accounts @fashioncircuits (Twitter) and @fashioningcircuits (Instagram). And search both sites for the hashtag #fashioningcircuits to see all of the interesting resources we are finding and sharing.

Aug 122021

Words Matter 2019 is a collaborative installation comprised of several component projects that each foregrounds a specific word or set of words in order to explore the many ways that words themselves matter in our social worlds. Words Matter 2019 was exhibited at the HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) conference hosted by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada in May 2019.

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Apr 292020

By: Atanur Andic, 10 May 2019

This paper aims to describe and analyze the making of the project called “Our Technology is a Little Shy” in the practices of critical making. This project was completed as part of the course Critical Making in the program of Arts Technology and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas. The paper briefly explains: how did the critical aspect and the physical shaping of the project emerged, what are the various technologies and methods used, what were some of the major troubleshooting faced in the making, how does the final object addresses and reflects some of socio-cultural issues that were aimed in the beginning, and finally, how it can be positioned as a product of the critical making.

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Apr 292020

By: David Adelman, May 8, 2019

From my current vantage point, the end of the Fall 2018 semester at ATEC feels inexorably distant. This is the point at which I first encountered ATCM 6388: Critical Making as a course offering, the point at which I first began to contend with what it would mean to be a “maker.” at least, in the context of the course. And, to be clear, not just any maker, but a maker with a disability. After all, I use a wheelchair to get around, I have significant issues with fine and gross motor control. And, there is the ever-present specter of spasticity.

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Apr 212020

By: Cameron Irby, 10 May 2018

A phrase that I’ve only recently encountered yet hear quite often around Fashioning Circuits is that sometimes we must fall back into the theory. I’m still new to the practices of critical making, so the phrase has mostly struck me as a backup plan. If one’s project doesn’t work as intended, find a way to make it work. Find some theory that says that failure is okay and that we learn more from mistakes than perfection. The idea that one should retroactively apply theory struck me as one of necessity rather than ingenuity. As I worked on my own project, I quickly found that phrase to have a new and much more expansive meaning.

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Apr 142020

By: Carlin Flores, Spring 2019

In the Spring semester of 2019, my Critical Making course with Dr. Kim Knight drove me to tackle the project I’d avoided for years: a full-size quilt. Marriam Webster defines a quilt as: “a bed coverlet of two layers of cloth filled with padding (such as down or batting) held in place by ties or stitched designs.” A brief definition for an impossibly lengthy process. Dubbed 10,003 Stitches, this quilt pushed me in ways I had never experienced and opened my eyes to a new world of making.

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Apr 122020


The Fashioning Circuits lab team is still meeting virtually during our plague semester. We have decided to engage in one word weekly prompts inspired by Cecilia Vicuña’s Journal of Objects. Participants quick create an object from materials they source from their homes. Given the glitchy distancing, we are all experiencing some members of the group heard “communicate” some members heard “create” for the prompt.

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Apr 072020

By: Mohammed Mizanur Rashid, 10 May 2019

Critical Making as an academic discourse, and the second maker project as an individual (and collaborative?) endeavor have both been empowering and emancipatory. I say this not only from a personal feeling of achievement, but also because I feel that now I am equipped with an analytic lens that enables me to see how both ‘critically making things’ and ‘making critical things’ work in tandem towards achieving a set of goals. On a personal level, the projects which I have completed as the requirements for this course have inspired me to reassess my position and rethink my identity as a scholar alone – I have now begun to reimagine my future endeavors as a scholar-maker. While the first maker project was guided and instructional, the second project challenged imaginative diversity, and demanded more individual imprint. It is here that the experiences were particularly productive because, Critical Making, then for me, became a way to reflect on the shifting of perspectives (Boggs et. al., 324). I was not only engaging in discussions and dialogues on critical issues that interest me, but was actively making an object that would invite critical engagement and demand attention from a wide variety of publics and counter-publics. The affordances of the latter, at least for me in this particular temporal conjuncture, outweigh the affordances of the former.

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