Adriana Cabrera
MA Graduation Project
Supervison: Prof. Zane Berzina

Cooperation Partner: Fraunhofer IZM, Berlin


Undercoding is an experimental study which deals with the incorporation of QR Codes into textiles. For this textile and surface design MA project, Adriana Cabrera has developed a fabric collection which blends the borders between patterns and codes. The age-old textile tradition meets modern day technology in this collection of designs.

In this project, the textile is seen as a medium whose design serves as an encoded language of communication. Be it screen-printed or embroidered, the digital code becomes a graphic pattern, which emits an aesthetic message. The rectangular forms of a QR code are translated three-dimensionally into a textile relief through a cross-stitch pattern on woollen fabric. The binary information is printed on semitransparent panels of fabric, consisting of countless petrol blue dashes and squares.

Cabrera subtly references the textile origins of computing, which began with Jacquard weaving punch cards, and brings it up to date. The fabrics produced are a purely physical interface, with no electronic components – one must consciously choose to scan the textile with a smartphone – it cannot act alone. The project takes advantage of the portable computers we carry in our pockets nowadays, namely smartphones, which enable a seamless interaction of digital and analogue in our everyday lives.
Undercoding reflects on the duality of reality and virtuality, whilst it extends the tangible textile surface through interaction with digital media. The fabric samples are equally suited to being touched and handled as a normal textile, or alternatively being viewed and digitally interacted with. When the surface pattern is scanned with a phone camera, the user is then connected with the corresponding website.