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Show RCA 2019

Yvonne Hung

Show RCA work

Major project:

Bas: Bistable Automatic Shoe

In the past decade, smart textiles have become a popular medium for scientists, designers, and engineers. In particular, sensors and actuators embedded in textiles are becoming more common in consumer products and research projects. In most of these projects however, textile is used as the agent, which holds the actuators and sensors in place. Less often examined is the potential for the textile itself to to be actuator.  

This project began with the question: what if textiles can move? The potential for textiles to be actuators – or 'textuators' –  that respond to different contexts, can have huge implications for a wide range of soft and semi-soft products, including apparel, sports gears, medical wearables and architecture.  

The goal of this project is to create shape-shifting textiles and demonstrate their potential for new applications. Through a series of material experiments, a library of passive bistable and compliant actuators was developed using spring wire, elastic yarns and traditional weaving techniques. These semi-soft mechanisms can be integrated into elastic textiles.

Bas – short for 'bistable automatic shoe' – snap onto the foot when the user steps into it, and snap open when a release trigger is pulled. This concept demonstrates a future where apparel can snap on and off the body, as well as many other potential applications for bistable textiles.

Info

  • Yvonne Hung an innovation designer. Her work bridges digital and physical worlds, often reimagining how materials, products, services and environments can improve lives for the present and future. Since attending the Royal College of Art, her focus has been designing physical products and experiences that are inspired by the latest scientific research and technologies – always seeking collaborations with scientists, engineers, and other design experts. She takes special interest in handcrafts in the digital world, international development, and entrepreneurship.

    Prior to the RCA, she was a UX designer at Google, HBO and various startups; an urban planner; and a jewellery maker.  She studied urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, with a focus on design and international development, and economics at Stanford University, where she wrote her thesis on variations in China’s one-child policy, and their effect on the sex-ratio at birth.


  • Previous degrees

  • Masters in Urban Planning, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA, 2006; BA Economics, Stanford University, Stanford, USA, 2004
  • Collaborators

  • Michelle Rinow, Textiles; Loop Studio, Digital Knitting; Joao Brito, CAD
Royal College of Art