Recipient: David & Yang Welch

David is a recent MIT alumni and Yang is an artist and design engineer. Together, David and Yang came to the UNFoundation and pitched an idea: a musical quilt that honors the flora of southeast Tennessee. They’ve combined traditional quilting methods with e-textiles and open-hardware embedded devices, creating a quilt that sings to the touch. They’re using their research to further their endeavors in e-textile crafting, open-source music, and research.

The project uses conductive and piezoresitive fabrics that ultimately comes together to create a unique instrument. The goal is to create a 4×3 feet quilt, composed of 4 panels, with each panel featuring a tree of special significance to the Southern Appalachians. They’ve organized a talk with a class of fifth graders and plan to present to other local schools as well.