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September 12, 2020

WATCH: Ask the Researcher with Victoria Manganiello and Julian Goldman

In celebration of ᏔᎷᏣ The Basket

We spoke with the collaborators of Soft Monitor, who received the 2020 Materials-Based Research Grant.

gif of textile screen up-close. Little trails of black fluid move through tubes that are woven into a textile to create a screen.

Photo courtesy of

Soft Monitor

This past June, Center for Craft hosted "Ask the Researcher," a discussion on Zoom as part of the series, "Ask the _____." Center for Craft Assistant Director and Curator Marilyn Zapf spoke with one of the collaborative teams, Soft Monitor, who received the 2020 Materials-Based Research Grant. We were unable to make the discussion live at the time, so we are sharing it now for all to enjoy.

Soft Monitor consists of Technologist Julian Goldman and Weaver Victoria Manganiello who are collaborating to invent a screen made entirely from soft, natural, ancient materials such as flax, water, and air to replace the blue light. Prototypes will be accompanied by material and process documentation and interactive educational experiences to test practical feasibility and potential societal impact.

Victoria is a multidisciplinary artist combining textiles, installation, paintings, and kinetic sculpture. And in addition to receiving numerous awards and prestigious grants and commissions and appointments, she exhibits her work internationally, and currently is the adjunct professor at NYU and Parsons The New School and living and working in Brooklyn, New York.

Julian is a designer and artist based in Oakland, California. Currently he is the lead designer at Bolt Threads where he was involved in the development of novel biomaterials.

About the Materials-Based Research Grant

The Materials-Based Research Grant encourages mutually-beneficial collaboration between craft and the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This grant was added in 2016 to support a tendency among contemporary craftspeople to explore how their material-specific knowledge, skill, and creativity can apply outside the field of fine art.

The Materials-Based Research Grant will be taking a hiatus for the 2020/2021 grant application cycle. Please check back in 2021 for dates for the 2022 Materials-Based Research Grant.

A transcript of the interview is available for download on this page.