Wearables, Wk 3: Deeper into Brainstorming and Concept Building

What do you want to happen to the human beings that use the objects you make?

1. What is the purpose of the artifact you are designing?

It’s purposes is to create a private experience for someone, even when within a public space; it is more about augmenting the person’s experience of physical space, though others might still perceive them (think sunglasses) and actively making those who try and enter that space feel uncomfortable and disoriented.

2. Why does it exist?

As humans increasingly live in urban centers, the lack of personal space and privacy is shrinking. Wanting to live a private life is stigmatized (not participating on facebook, worrying about surveillance, being anti-social). This object allows its wearer to escape the public eye, while still within it. It gives them a space to breathe and block out the world.

3. What will it DO? (How will it do it – but you can only answer this if you are clear about the rest of the answers)

It will “hide” its user from the outside world by providing a safe space into which to escape, while also actively alienating anyone who tries to interact with that person.

4. How does it work? Step-by-step – (you open a box, a drawer, you plug it in, you charge it, you press on a button to activate it or it is always on… etc)

Person puts object on in a similar fashion to a neck warmer. It can rest across their shoulders or around their neck.

When they want to escape, they pull the back part of the cowl neck up and over their head and the front part up and over their chin. They can use the drawstring to close the opening.


5. Why would someone want to use it? What do you add to their life? Remember that value is shared, applied based on some sort of value system onto objects. So think about communication, and shared values.

Privacy is a commodity in our increasingly urbanized lives. High cost of living means that most people can’t live, work or relax alone. We’re constantly assaulted by random people trying to interact with us, or surveillance cameras trying to peer at us. What if we could escape while still remaining seen?

There’s already a common practice of people hiding in plain sight – behind hands, sunglasses, scarves and hoodies. Hiding can be seen as a vulnerability or even suggesting a criminal intent (Trayvon Martin) – but what if claiming your privacy was instead framed as a radical act? As people, corporations and the government increasingly infiltrate our lives, moments of peace, quiet and solitude are often hard to find. We need to actively create our own spaces where we can block out the rest of the world – to dream, meditate, and get to know ourselves better…only to emerge as saner and better able to engage.

The piece uses soft, dark fabrics on the interior and highly reflective materials on the exterior. The point is to create a small haven that is not infiltrated by outside stimuli – any light or sound, people or cameras are reflected back. This is a sign to the outside world that you are to be left alone. Like a snail in its shell, you’ll come out when you’re ready.

6. Objects have “qualities” – what are the key qualities of the object you will create?

inside: soft, comfortable, dark
outside: metallic, reflective, harsh
flexible: must be able to expand and contract (thinking accordion folds)

7. List all the things you want to make, all the ideas you want to manifest. List them simply, as words, not sentences

    a veil
    a neck cowl with a light
    a neck cowl that animates to cover the bottom half of face
    a safe space suit (?)
    something that allows you to cry in public without being seen
    something that allows you to pee anywhere
    something that allows you to hide in public
    something that is a private space, a fort or hideaway but in public

8. What is the anchor (the key idea)? Can everything else connect and flow from there?

being in a private space while still being out in public – “hiding while in plain sight”

9. List all the forms your idea can take
a jacket that turns into a fort
a “safe space suit” that you can hide away from the world in
a giant cowl neck that envelops your head
a hat with a veil that has fiber-optics and reflective fibers woven/laces together into a webbing

10. What resources (skills, friends with skills, time, access to equipment etc) do you have to make our project happen?

access to equipment (soft lab)
fellow ITP students to user test on
Fletcher – works at a space suit company…might have thoughts?

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22. February 2016 by zoe.bachman.itp
Categories: Wearables | Tags: , , , , , | 1 comment

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  1. Pingback: Wearables, Wk 3: Objects and Their Lives Assignment – itp blog

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