On February 23 Marianne Fairbanks of the School of Human Ecology returns to Wednesday Nite @ The Lab to share her sagas of ingenuity, innovation and entrepreneurship as she describes how she invented, patented and brought to market her hand-held “Hello Loom!” Fibers are my mostest favoritest tactile technology. I learned to weave on a potholder loom my Grandma Deutsch gave me, and my Grandma Zinnen taught me how to knit. Weavers are the original textualists to me, although the spiders prolly beat us to it with both spinning and webbing.
Here’s how Prof. Fairbanks describes her talk entitled “Design, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: the Case Study of ‘Hello Loom!’”
Description: Weaving is the interlacement of threads at a 90 degree angle used to construct cloth that has been used for shelter and protection for over 12,000 years. While there are many ways to hold threads in tension on a loom or frame, Hello Loom, a hand-held laser-cut loom, designed by Associate Professor, Marianne Fairbanks offers portability and access to weaving in hopes of finding new ways to connect modern makers to this ancient technique. The small laser cut loom design, the size of a cell phone, was first developed as part of her social weaving project called Weaving Lab, hosted at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery in the summer of 2017 and 2018. Later, when traveling to Scandinavia for her Weaving Lab project, Fairbanks invited 40 Danish weavers to make small woven works on Hello Looms to see the range of current weaving practices. These weavings are now on exhibit as part of a show currently on exhibit at the Center for Design and Material Culture. Fairbanks will discuss the evolution of Hello Loom and how she has patented the design with the help of WARF. The idea grew into a business when Fairbanks realized how many people were eager to have their own experience with weaving. The mission of Hello Loom is to get as many people excited about the limitless possibilities of weaving that are found in combining colors, texture and patterns. Beyond the aesthetic and tactile pleasures of weaving, Fairbanks works with engineering and horticulture faculty to innovate textile-based solutions for a sustainable future.
Bio: Marianne Fairbanks is a visual artist, designer, and associate Professor of Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work spans the fields of art, design, and social practice, seeking to chart new material and conceptual territories, to innovate solution-based design, and to foster fresh modes of cultural production. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the University of Michigan. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally in venues including The Museum of Art and Design, NY, USA, Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen Denmark, RAM Gallery, Oslo, Norway and The Röhsska Museum of Design and Craft, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Remember, we’ve now shifted to Hybrid so we can both Zoom and gather in one Room—Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison WI.
Hope to see you soon at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab!
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H
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