Accouphene is a suit that provides a manipulable sonic environment to its wearer and the people nearby. It is embroidered with fabric speakers made with highly conductive yarns. Its wearer can modulate the sounds by placing his hands close to the speakers at various distances and speeds.
Arabiia is a caricature of media stereotypes typically associated with arab women. Aside from exotic Daisy Duck with her dance of the seven veils, and the mute abiding second class citizen in a black burka, not many images spring to mind when thinking of an Arab woman. The convertible outfit is equipped with two servo motors and a switch. It enables its wearer to voluntarily choose which of two extreme representations fits her mood and audience.
Safety First! We all need reasons to wear a helmet more often. Shouldn't high technology and fashion be two more? The Audio Helmet is the latest high technology product from Plainfront Industries that brings safety to light! The audio helmet is at home at the club or a bike lane. Impress all you friends with your awareness of head injuries and the damaging effects of loud sounds. A fashion statement with good sense.
darkWatch is a mobile communication device that takes the form of a watch but displays dark or secret intervals of time. Embedded in a silicon rubber is an LED display that modulates according to an interval of time set by the user. The device is intended to communicate forbidden information in a semi-public, encoded form. For Seamless, I will create three case studies exploring how this dark interval can be both defiant and hidden.
This project was inspired by the human tendency to equate our perceptions to those of the rest of the natural world and evaluate other systems solely in terms of human experience. The elephant-inspired costume investigates the pachyderms' ability to detect infrasonic and seismic vibrations. The wearable has long telescoping sleeves which conceal the arms and hands and connect to the floor. Thus, the human is asked to sacrifice defining human characteristics (bipedal, with opposable thumbs) in order to experience a supplemental sense. The sensor is an accelerometer which picks up vibrations in the range of 5-20 hz, extending below humanly detectable limits. The signal is processed to make it audible to humans and broadcast to create a shared sensory experience.
epiSkin jewelry extends biological identity by combining technology and design into a new decorative body surface. Cultured in a lab, this biological jewelry is made of epithelia cells which are designed to grow into lace patterns. epiSkin is an exploration into the decorative technological control over biology to create an artifact which is a hybrid of both. The cells used to create the jewelery were cultured in a lab in collaboration with a biologist, then grown into custom designed forms controlled by the artist. The process in creating these pieces includes human tissue culturing as well as computer generated forms onto which the cells are transplanted into adaptive jewelry. The jewelry is worn on the body, completing the relationship of biological design as artifact.
Two vests sewn with an accordion-like instrument between; individuals wear them facing each other; as the two participants embrace and pull away their movements generate sound. The bellows of the 'accordion', when extended to their maximal capacity, reveal the word 'exhaust.' In other words, the air fills the bellows when the individuals, frustrated ('exhausted') by each other, pull apart. This air is expelled/exhausted as the individuals embrace, paradoxically suggesting that through embrasure the frustration is dispelled or exhausted.
A 1970s Fendi bag which has been transformed into a boombox, the Fendi Ghetto Blaster conflates class signs in a somewhat comical yet critical way. It was most recently used for a performance in Central Park titled Pierre Bourdieu Goes to Town. The performance featured music by the Chicago-based band King Kong whose repetitive lyrics and electronic sound playing on the notion of presence and absence provided an important foil to the visual elements. A throwback to an obsolete technology, the boombox, which in the ’70s and ’80s was famously referred to as a ‘ghetto blaster,’ is instrumental to exploring a critical discourse on class and luxury.
Heartbeat Hoodie explores the idea of involuntarily documenting parts of life using a camera to take photographs at moments of interest or excitement. The camera, strategically placed above the eyes on the hoodie, takes photographs as the wearer's heart rate increases. The camera is wired discreetly through the seeming of the garment to a basic stamp that communicates with a wireless heart rate monitor. The basic stamp uses an algorithm to analyze the heartbeat for increases that might signify a moment of excitement or interest as opposed to physical exercise. At the end of the day, you can reflect on moments that caused interest and excitement by viewing the photographs. Since the photographs are taken involuntarily, you may find new points of interest that you were not conscious of.
The ways in which our fashions will change with the future will likely be more subtle than expected, a shift that mirrors the world around us. Violent outbreaks, civil wars, and surprise attacks all seem more prevalent in major cities, yet much of our daily routine remains the same. The truly terrifying is not when we are in the midst of a real attack, but when the constant threat of violence pervades all moments. This piece is meant to visualize that fear that is with us constantly, and which seems to be multiplying. A contemporary jacket with useful pockets - looks like nothing new, but it is revealed to hide a gas mask, noise-canceling headphones, and safety gloves. They are prepared for the threat they assume is looming anywhere, at anytime. The garment would ideally be made of advanced, flame-retardant fabric, to prevent burns and debris from puncturing the skin.
The gather skirt is for an urban scavenger. It is made entirely of pockets created from gathers in the various fabric sections, and has magnets mounted on the bottom layers. As one wanders the urban landscape, the skirt collects metal scraps and remnants. These gathered metal bits are then sorted into the various pockets by size and type. The skirt is intended for use on sites of construction and destruction- places of flux that may be suggestive of a future urban state.
Wedding magazines (500+ ads featuring things you “need to make your day special") almost never mention the groom or the couple’s mutual commitment. Everything is about the bride: her dress, flowers, ring, etc. What should symbolize a marriage in our culture's ritual? What actually does? Instead of suggesting a more positive alternative, the iDo gown takes the so-called Bridezilla where she seemingly wants to go: her very own solitary walk down the aisle, with full control over music only she can hear accessed using touch-sensitive fabric technology by SoftSwitch Ltd. and a tiara with built-in iPod.
Innerlight is a wearable user controlled light display. The LEDs located on the front of the piece are dynamically controlled by the users' movements. The piece empowers the wearer to become part of the lighting scheme of an area, exploring the relationship between enviromnent and inhabitant.
iPod Status is a wearable information display. It reads artist and title information about the currently playing song on an attached iPod, and presents this information on a small screen that attaches to any messenger bag shoulder strap. Many of us have taken rides on public transportation and wondered what the interesting-looking person beside us is listening to. iPod Status is intended to encourage social connectedness by making this hidden information visible.
A collection of three knit pieces that use number patterns to dictate how their decorative structures are knit (using holding and lace techniques). Pleasing aesthetics are commonly based on mathematical proportions. The proportions relate to number patterns. This collection was designed to investigate if number patterns can be used to create design elements.
Muk.luk.flux is a pair of boots which change shape based on the speed of motion of the wearer. By drawing an analogy between respresentations of mechanical movement in contrast to organic bodily motion, they mock the notion of the 'machine aesthetic'. An accelerometer in the boots tracks the wearers speed and when in motion, the boots expand into their 'engaged' position using a system of mechanical actuators in the structure of the boots.
The Musical MIDI Jacket is a wearable performance instrument developed in 1997 by Media Lab students; it was perhaps the first wearable system to demonstrate the use of off-the-shelf conductive threads and fabrics as media for sensing and electronic interconnection. j4k3t 2.0 shows how these techniques have evolved, remaining accessible to anyone with a sewing machine and a soldering iron while becoming smaller, more sophisticated, and 350% cuter.
PCB jewelry are experiments in how context influences the perception of technical objects and designs. These accessories are comprised of a hand-made circuit board that use the traces and hardware for an FM radio as the main aesthetic theme, the earrings are speakers, and the bracelet provides the connecting wire.
Sonic Fabric is a textile woven from 50% recycled, recorded audiocassette tape and 50% cotton. The material retains its magnetism, and pieces made from it can be “listened to” by dragging an apparatus made from a tape head along its surface. Sonic Fabric was inspired by small strands of cassette tape used as wind indicators, or “tell-tails”, on sailboats, and by Tibetan prayer flags inscribed with wind-activated blessings. The batch of sonic fabric used in the pieces for the Seamless show was prerecorded with The Sounds of (1/2)Life, a layered collage of sounds and music, including Beethoven, Jack Kerouac, Laurie Anderson, crickets, whales, and the icaros (medicine songs) of a Peruvian shaman.
Modes for Urban Moods are a suite of wearable coping mechanisms which explore relationships in public spaces and materialize invisible social networks. They are tactile, spatial, sculptural expressions fashioned to the body. Space Dress is a dress that inflates, expands in size, according to its user decision and in specific situations. It is designed to cope with stress, anxiety and claustrophobic situations - or, simply, for comfort. It was originally designed for rush hour in the MTA, New York City's subway system. Other Modes are: Wings, Loud Bubble and Emergency Ring.
The sense of touch is essential to emotional health and development. taptap is a wearable accessory that can record, distribute and play back affectionate touch. Designed to look like a normal scarf, taptap provides extra warmth and comfort by simulating the touch of a loved one. Flexible touch circuits can be placed in modular pockets within the scarf to record and play back the pressure of touch, the warmth of contact or the percussion of a friendly tap. taptap can bring nurturing touch to under-loved children, familiar affection to isolated relatives or sensual contact to a distant lover.
In a networked society where information flows aplenty, ideas diffuse quickly, and users consume easily, what might be determined as hot versus not changes at a rapid pace. How can our clothes offer a glimpse of what information we access on an ever changing basis? Can a piece of someone's outfit literally not only be so last season but also so yesterday? Urbanhermes is a messenger bag designed to update one's physical appearance easily and dynamically in an organic, daily system. Influenced by a user's intentions and through notification of nearby similar imagery, dynamic images on the bag strategically reveal the user's freshest reflections on niched interests, physical interactions, and ownership provenance. The bag aims to complement a wearer's entire appearance in all its complexity, from hairstyle to skin to posture, with a layer of ephemeral fashion signals.
Thinking of clothing as an interface between body and environment, it seems that it is usually engaged to diminish exposure of one to the other. To contrast this conventional function of clothing as a protective shield/ mask, I designed garments that seek to do the opposite—to engage the body with an environmental force, using the interface of clothing to accentuate rather than diminish that force. Specifically, they are meant to call attention to and interact with the wind. They embrace volatility, transferring some of the control of the body’s movement from the wearer to the force of the wind.