Wearables, Wk 8: Park and Prototypes
PARK USER TESTING:
Last class last week, Despina gave me the advice to stop fussing over construction and to take one of the prototypes out for a test spin in a public place.
So, today I went to Washington Square Park and sat under my prototype for close to an hour. Here are my notes and impressions:
Sitting in Washington Square Park – a place with tons of people. Can sneak off an find a space to oneself. I sat near the fountain, where there are lots of people. I pulled the garment out of my bag, along with a book and my phone. I put it over my head and immediately noticed that I need to work on the transition – either it’s something that can be carried and then worn or worn and then expanded. Also if I’m already wearing it, making it so that the reflective aspects can’t be seen at first.
I feel like I just put on a costume.
People near me noticed, but went back to what they were doing.
Is ignoring weird strangers a New York thing? A Washington Square Park thing?
For a moment when I was walking to the park I was worried that people would perceive me as a threat – something terrorist related. Again – why do people find hiding threatening?
Thinking about being inside the garment – definitely want more space in front of the face, neck and chest. Definitely should be longer. Would like the ability to sit on it it, have some kind of “floor” in between me and the ground surface.
Thinking about a veil that can be let light in or out.
Definitely feel hidden away inside, not thinking about what’s happening outside of me.
“What’s in there?” – someone outside
I think piped in music (through built in speakers) may be better for noise blocking purposes, but maybe that leave me feeling too exposed?
Want to create some kind of exoskeleton so I don’t feel like it’s simple fabric resting on my head. Thinking back to tent poles.
Turning the garment around so my face is hidden, not tempted to engage with outside world.
Could this be a way of meditating?
Need to try with more insulation – light blocking and black microfleece.
I do like the current ability/choice to have natural light come through.
Wind makes it blow around a lot – might change with heavier fabric – and if I create that floor. Interested in weighing it down?
Maybe a different shape so my neck isn’t bent over the entire time. How can I sit up more full within it?
Definitely more soundproofing.
Does this make me more worried that they’re paying attention? Or do I want the attention while remaining in my private world? (YES)
Stretchy quality is nice, can really wrap and move it around.
Allows me to be the one listening in on people…Able to focus better. Read for over half an hour.
When I took the garment off, It was super easy. Wonder how that will change if I try to engineer some kind of retraction.
“Whoa, the world.” (my first thought after it took it off)
More appreciative of humanity and my surroundings – seeing things with fresh eyes. Feel calmer, less anxious, more at peace.
Think I’ll make it so the interior shows then it’s small, less conspicuous and more of a surprise when it expands.
Photos: Skylar Jessen
So with those thoughts in mind, I came back to the floor and started paper prototyping some designs. Thinking about how I can expand space, make it more architectural, create a floor.
I started with making just a basic version, similar to the style I’ve been prototyping with muslin. Then I did a larger, longer one with flaps on four sides that can be folded into the bottom for a ground cloth. Lastly, I made a way more intricate design that involved various size triangles – the thought being that the different cuts would allow the garment to easily shrink down and then expand out. However, it seemed like an overcomplicated design and it didn’t provide as much space as the second design.
I then took some Mylar and using the second paper prototype as a stencil, created a mini mylar prototype. I used resistors to stand in for the tent pole design that I’m trying to think up next.