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Repeatless is a research project that explores the use of generative design and coding to create print and surface pattern for fashion and interior textiles, with the aim of developing the possibilities of digital fabric printing.

Pre-digital textile printing technologies used in mass production mechanically transfer the same design repeatedly down the entire length of the substrate. The patterns they reproduce have to loop identically and cannot be altered without stopping and reconfiguring the printer.

Two proposals are made. Firstly, that digital technology could allow a design to change as it is being printed. A digital printer could be receiving constantly evolving information, producing pattern that need never do the same thing twice. Other disciplines within the creative industries such as architecture and graphics have established areas of practice where generative systems are used to create design outcomes. Whilst there has been some research into this field in printed textiles and surface pattern, it remains undeveloped.

It is therefore secondly proposed that generative systems be used to create evolving pattern. These might model complex systems, respond to external intervention / interaction or re-interpret existing textile aesthetics. The generated patterns could then be digitally printed on fabric or other substrates, producing outcomes that demonstrate the application of novel design methods.

The current focus of the work is on writing code that models traditional printed design processes via the use of cellular automata to generate repeatless designs.

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