Programming t-shirts: ITU’s first E-textiles workshop for high schools

ITU has successfully run its first e-textiles workshop for high school students showing the basics of software development with creative activities extending beyond the screen.

EventsEducationwearableschildren and youth

Hands-on activities with electronic textiles and wearable tech are increasingly used to engage a wider variety of young people in coding and digital design activities.

At the end of April, ITU hosted an intensive workshop for 22 female high school students from Virum Gymnasium. In the span of only five hours, they were able to make fully functional wearables using the Lilypad Arduino, a microcontroller designed to be integrated in e-textiles. 


e-tekstiler på ITU.

Interactive garments
After an introduction to the many different applications of computing in the physical world – not least in art and design - the students familiarized themselves with the role of input and output devices, as well as algorithms.

They learned to code using Arduino software, and during the last two hours, they brainstormed and crafted interactive garments. These ranged from creative applications of LED lights on the t-shirts the students had brought from home, to full-on alterations of the garments, e.g. into hats.

Combining male and female domains
E-textiles ideally and effectively combine two domains that have developed strong gender connotations: sewing and textiles, usually associated with femininity, and software development, commonly associated with males.

Through the unification of these fields, the goal of the workshop was to show that programming is approachable and applicable in a wide variety of contexts.

ITU plans to repeat the workshop for high school classes who are interested in exploring the world of wearables and the Internet of Things. Males and females students alike are welcome. Please contact Valeria Borsotti for more information.

The workshop was taught by current and former Digital Media and Design students Mai Agerlin Christensen, Thomas Sandahl Christensen and Victor Bayer Permild.

Further information

Valeria Borsotti, Research Assistant, phone +45 7218 5229, email

Vibeke Arildsen, Press Officer, phone 2555 0447, email