About

Since 2008 I’ve been devoting my time to the invention, design and construction of responsive and emotive wearable technology, electronic interactive artworks and e-textiles. In the pursuit of my PhD (2011-present) I am investigating the possibility that wearable technology can be used to create new forms of non-verbal communication, particularly in the areas of body language and emotion, using physiological data. In particular how physiological data can be drawn from the body and amplified and broadcast to those around and interacting with the wearer in social and formal situations, meditation and stress relief, and also for monitoring productivity. Previously I have studied Fine Art, Multimedia, and Electronics Engineering, which has led to my work developing as a convergence of art, programming and electronics. I present and exhibit my work in the UK and internationally, in Amsterdam, Ghent, Geneva (CERN), Zurich, New York, Seattle, Redmond and Osaka. In 2014, I was selected for a Convocation Trust Student Entrepreneur Award and in October 2015, I was a finalist in EPSRC’s UK ICT Pioneers Competition. I’m contactable as rainycatz at gmail or @Rainycat on Twitter.

Wearable technology / e-textiles work:

2016 exhibitions, presentations & workshops:

  • ‘AnemoneStarHeart EEG Pendant/Device’, at the Design Exhibition of the 20th International Symposium on Wearable Computers, Heidelberg Germany, September 2016
  • ‘Emotive Wearables: methods and materials’, Design Roast, University of Greenwich, London. February 2016
  • ‘Emotive Wearables’ Art & Computational Technology seminar, Goldsmiths, University of London. February 2016

2015 exhibitions, presentations & workshops:

  • ‘Emotive Wearables’, dorkbotLondon’s dorkmas, Limehouse Town Hall, London, December 2015
  • ‘Emotive Wearables (PhD research & practice)’ at BBC Research & Development, London, December 2015
  • EPSRC UK ICT Pioneers competition finalist, QEII Centre, London, October 2015
  • ‘Emotive Wearables’, at Bartle Bogle Hegarty Expo, Soho, London, October 2015
  • ‘ThinkerBelle EEG Amplifying Dress’, at the Design Exhibition of the 19th International Symposium on Wearable Computers, Osaka, Japan, September 2015
  • Organiser: ‘Critical Wearables Research Lab’, London College of Fashion, London, UK, June 2015
  • Poster: ‘Responsive and Emotive Wearables’ at the Broadening Participation Workshop at Ubicomp / ISWC, Osaka, Japan, September 2015
  • ‘EEG Visualising Pendant’ and ‘AnemoneStarHeart’ ambient EEG / EKG broadcasting device, Transmission Symposium: Brainwave Interpretation In The Arts, Bournemouth University, UK, April 2015
  • ‘Axion’ (EEG controlled science storytelling iOS app) CineGlobe Science Film Festival workshops, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, March 2015

2014 exhibitions, presentations & workshops:

  • ‘Visualising Data Via Wearable Technology’, Electronics Stage, World Maker Faire, New York Hall of Science, New York, USA, September 2014
  • ‘Baroesque Barometric Skirt’, at Microsoft Research Gallery Exhibition, Redmond, USA, September-October 2014
  • ‘Responsive and Emotive Wearables: Devices Bodies, Data and Communication’, poster and demo of EEG Visualising Pendant at 18th International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC), Seattle, USA, September 2014
  • EEG Visualising Pendant demo, Seattle Quantified Self + ISWC/Ubicomp, Seattle, USA
  • ‘Responsive and Emotive Wearables: Devices Bodies, Data and Communication’, at the Doctoral School Colloquium of the 18th International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC), Seattle, USA, September 2014
  • ‘Baroesque Barometric Skirt’, at the 18th International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC) Design Exhibition, Experience Music Project Museum (EMP), Seattle, USA, September 2014
  • ‘Sensing Wearable Technology’ at Young Rewired State Festival of Code, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK, August 2014
  • e-textiles workshop at ‘Make. Hack. Do.’ at the Science Museum, London.
  • ‘Teaching with the LilyPad Arduino’, OSHUG, British Computer Society (BCS) London, UK, 2014
  • ‘Baroesque Barometric Skirt’, Textile Innovation Workshop 1 – From Invention to Consumption: electronic textiles, C4CC, London, May 2014
  • ‘Emotive Wearables – EEG Visualising Pendant’ – Quantified Self Europe Conference, Amsterdam, May 2014
  • ‘Axion’ (EEG controlled dark matter storytelling game, Team³ collaborative work created at CERN)– Tribeca International Interactive Festival, New York, USA, April 2014
  • ‘Axion (e-textiles sensor controlled dark matter storytelling game, Team³ collaborative work created at CERN)’ – CineGlobe Science Film Festival, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, March 2014

2013 exhibitions, presentations & workshops:

  • ‘Visualising Data’, Wearable Futures, Ravensbourne, London, UK
  • ‘Introduction to Wearable Technology’ workshop, Women in Computing Network, Goldsmiths College, London
  • ‘Women Pioneers in Computer Science’ Women in Computing Network, Goldsmiths College, London
  • ‘EEG Visualising Pendant for use in social situations’, ISWC, International Symposium on Wearable Computers, Zurich, Switzerland
  • ‘On Wearable Technology, Makers & Making’, Makers’ Guild, C4CC, London
  • ‘Baroesque Barometric Skirt’ at Smart Textiles Salon, Ghent, Belgium
  • ‘Visualising Physiological Data’ Quantified Self Europe 2013, Amsterdam
  • ‘EEG Visualising Pendant’ Maker Faire UK, Newcastle
  • ‘Introduction to Wearable Technology’, workshop at Bridge Rectifier, Hebden Bridge, W Yorkshire
  • ‘Women in Computer Science’, Open Day, Goldsmiths College, London
  • ‘Visualising EEG signals for Wearable Technology (poster)’ Challenges & Opportunities for Wireless Sensing Systems in Healthcare and Assisted Living, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington
  • ‘Here Comes Wearable Technology’, QCon London 2013 Software Development Conference, QEII Conference Centre, London
  • Tech City International Womens’ Day Showcase, London


2012 exhibitions, presentations & workshops:

  • ‘Art-Creativity-Technology & Wellness’, Goldsmiths Thursday Club, C4CC, London
  • YRS / Digital Explorers: Middle East Hackday, London
  • OSHcamp 2012, Hebden Bridge
  • London Threads, C4CC, London
  • Wearable Technology workshop tour, Aberystwyth & Cardigan
  • Technology for Artists, Goldsmiths College, London
  • Open GDNM, The Rag Factory, London
  • International Symposium on Wearable Computers 2012, Newcastle
  • Flossie 2012, London
  • Chi-TEK Exhibition, Watermans Gallery, London
  • LilyPad Arduino workshop, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
  • Nano4design, QMUL, London
  • CultureCode, Live Theatre, Newcastle
  • CultureCode, MIMA, Middlesborough

2011 exhibitions & presentations:

  • Maker Faire UK, Newcastle
  • Kinetica Art Fair, London
  • OpenTech, London
  • Dorkbot, London
  • Web Weekend: Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • Brighton Mini Maker Faire
  • Chi-TEK, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • Transfer Summit, Keble College, Oxford
  • Quantified Self EU, Amsterdam

Publications (available on request):

  • AnemoneStarHeart: an emotive wearable, in the adjunct proceedings of the 20th International Symposium on Wearable Computing, 2016 http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2971349
  • ThinkerBelle EEG Amplifying Dress, in the adjunct proceedings of the 19th International Symposium on Wearable Computing, 2015 http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2801673
  • Responsive and Emotive Wearables: Devices Bodies, Data and Communication. In the adjunct proceedings of the 18th International Symposium on Wearable Computing 2014 http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2642731
  • Baroesque Barometric Skirt. In the adjunct proceedings of the 18th International Symposium on Wearable Computing 2014 http://ubicomp.org/ubicomp2014/proceedings/iswc_adjunct/design/p9-ashford.pdf
  • EEG Data Visualising Pendant for Use In Social Situations. In the adjunct proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Wearable Computing 2013
  • Twinkle Tartiflette – an Arduino driven interactive word and music artwork. In the adjunct proceedings of the 16th International Symposium on Wearable Computing 2012
  • Temperature Sensing T-shirt (AKA: ‘Yr In Mah Face!’). In the adjunct proceedings of the 16th International Symposium on Wearable Computing 2012
  • Don’t Break My Heart – wearable distance warning system for cyclists. In the adjunct proceedings of the 16th International Symposium on Wearable Computing 2012

I frequently speak at conferences and events on wearable technology. Areas include a sideways look at wearable technology past and present, to presentations on my own work, teaching experiences and research. Links to some of my presentations can be found on http://www.slideshare.net/Rainycat/presentations.

I also organise and lead workshops on wearable technology and e-textiles, incorporating programming and electronics principles using microcontrollers, sensors and actuators in environments such as schools, universities and hackspaces. During 2013-14 I was Women in Computing mentor at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Previously I worked the BBC, where I was Senior Producer at BBC Learning, and also Technologist at BBC R&D, involved in producing groundbreaking interactive websites, games, activities, campaigns, initiatives and pilots.