personal projects and designs
tamed
: Exhibit at PARALLEL

This project explores the areas of emotional delivery, spiritual healing, human behavior observation, and visual effects communication. This experience was mainly created for myself to understand my range of emotion as changes occur as well as to search for new ways to subconsciously heal my feelings before I noticed them. The machine was used to observe my outfit choices I made unconsciously, in order to tame an unexisting consciousness to calm the feelings that I would be facing at the start of each day. The final outcome of this project is a “tamed quote” that relates to the colors I wore on certain days that correspond to the diary entries.



intention


people usually don’t know they are suffering after they look back to see what they have been through

if we could understand our emotions sooner, can we take care of ourselves better?











key working concepts


emotions - accessing through past experiences

In Lisa Feldman Barrett's book How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain. The Theory of Constructed Emotion is a theory that states our emotions are constructed by our past experiences. We first document the situation in our mind, and the emotions appear from the past experiences we have been through.

wardrobe - approaching own past

In Walter Benjamin’s article Unpacking My Library, he described reading one’s bookshelf as reading one’s life. Not only is the action of buying, collecting, and discarding books a representation of one’s behavior, but also the content of their collections. This analogy can also apply to our wardrobe. Consider if the action of buying a book could be said as owning the knowledge, then the action of buying a dress could be described as claiming a style.

psychology aspect of color and clothing

Following up with the psychology studies of clothing selection by David Juliao, he stated that the “clothes you choose to wear might be affecting not only how others see you but also the way you feel. A certain mood can make us choose some type of clothes, which in turn, will reinforce the way we are feeling.”







python library used

cv2 - extract colors
u2-net - remove the background
text2emotion - extract emotions from my diary
nltk - pick up semantic text from my diary
story generator - create daily quote








envision the future

Humans need certain interactions to understand what they have been through. It takes time for myself to find out my mood swings. Moreover, what other people describe can hardly approach what I truly feel. This thesis project is a speculative experiment that answers the question of whether the machine can notice the changes of my emotions sooner than myself. Can it provide a way to help me heal when needed?


(Ritual) Choreography of Strange Attachments
Members: Sharm Devkota, Kathryn McCarley, Silas Li

methods
projection mapping, live performance

tools
After Effects, Projector

Weaving Line: Team Members: Taylor Su and Shawn Zhang
: An Instruction Set for Strangers













Invisible Essential

: Exhibit at Telepresence




As a work in progress, the interactive fabric will react to heart rate conditions in augmented reality.

This project explores the boundaries between machines and an organism in the form of the human body in an attempt to answer the question: Is it possible to describe fashion technology as a cyborg? Invisible Essential is a project that is testing the possibility of future wearable technology. By stitching sensors onto fabrics, the designers not only create an aesthetic value but also a functional circuit. I am imagining the future when e-textiles merge into the fashion industry. We should ask ourselves if the wearables that we are creating now is pioneering the idea of a cyborg.


The target audience for this project are people that work in both the fashion textile and physical computing industries. When these industry professionals work together, they can create something amazing.

The outcome of this project includes a physical fabric with designed circuits that react to the codes. Arduino codes the collected heart rate data from testers and the augmented reality animation reacts to the heart rates collected from sensors.



When connected successfully to the system, the LEDs on the fabric will turn on accordingly to the functions. When all LEDs are on, it means that the fabric is starting to sensor the tester's heart condition. In the meantime, Ardunio and Unity are communicating with each other with the serial signal through the codes given. The testers will see their heartbeat and 3D flower pots will appear to be attached to the fabrics on the screen. The flying flower petals animation will change based on the heart rate. When the heart rate is within 60 – 100bpm, which is in good condition, the flower petals will grow and appear near the fabrics. On the contrary, if the heartbeat is too high or too low, the flower petals will disappear slowly.

The materials used for this project include threads, conductive threads, Arduino, weaved patterns, LEDs, conductive fabric, conductive paint, heartbeat sensors, photo-resistors, lilypad and more.


Concept

From the speculative aspect regarding the augmentative possibilities of wearable technology, this paper mainly focuses on the added value of future e-textiles by analyzing the current prototypes within the industry.

In Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late 20th Century, Haraway redefined the boundaries between body, self, and uniqueness. After reading her thoughts on how technology deforms, deconstructs and becomes an extension of our body, the concept of augmentation in the fashion industry could be both add on and take away as long as it reaches the idea of increasing the functionality or aesthetic value. For instance, the typical example of fashion technology is glasses. In this sense, augmentation is only seen under the circumstance of functionality and aesthetic value. The term argument should not be described as physically enhancing or extending the value, but it should be interpreted as the process of becoming a better version of self.

Augmentation, Technology, and Cyborg

The refined understanding of augmentation led me to relate its definition to technology. Technology is a platform, a way, and a medium for people to deliver what they think. It is a way for people to convey their ideas from their mind and transfer any feelings that they could not describe. It could also be a tool and a method that solves the situation humans are facing. We can relate these two terms in that technology is the way humans augment.

According to Donna Haraway, “A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction.” This definition gives a rough but clear explanation of what a cyborg is. When the boundaries and borders of the human body have become unclear and merge to each other, we will be able to consider the future of wearable fashion as a cyborg production. Memory could be considered as a recent example of breaking down the boundaries between organism and machine. Nowadays we are using cellphones to document and record our daily activities. The phone starts to become an extension of our human brain and more. The structure of our consciousness has changed based on the new technological development that does not require our brain to function as before. We can say that the use of recent technology has already made human beings cyborgs. It should be obvious enough to say, in order to live in the world society cannot function without machinery.


To Be Continued

By making and testing my own e-textile, I got a sense of how exciting it was to combine physical computing and fashion textiles. It was easy to see the future possibility of augmenting human lives. I can imagine the concept of being a cyborg will be the main trend in the near future. Recent fashion technologies can already be considered a cyborg in a sense. Based on the idea of augmentation, the human race lacks functionality and in turn people are eager to become better. We will not be satisfied with just being an organism without the added value of machinery. When the futuristic technology is fully functional and well-developed, the fashion industry will become the pioneer to explore the new area of how to become a cyborg.