custom embedded garments
INTEGRATIVE DESIGN + TECHNOLOGY
Spring 2020 exhibited at Lunar Gala
|in collaboration with||Arden Wolf and Jake Zimmer|
soft goods fabrication
|skills||pattern making, garment construction, pcb design, project management, hardware/software interfacing|
Fall of senior year a classmate and I applied for and won the Frank Ratcheye- Studio for Creative Inquiry Grant. We used the money to purchase custom-designed hardware for our fashion line that was light-hearted and amplified the integrated aspect of technology in fashion. This to this day was probably my most fulfilling passion project that I completed as it directly spoke to my interest in wearables with an integration with technology.
We designed this line to seamlessly integrated technology in ways that elevated the garments, while remaining approachable and low-barrier to entry. In using garments, our designs kept users wanting and delighted by the tech integrations. A good portion of the garments feature cheeky quotes found on Overheard. We chose Overheard because it takes what people are caught saying and pulls it out of context, allowing the reader to clearly see the humor and, almost, stupidity in the things we say to each other. In few words, we can sum up many people that each of us know. The quotes we chose are intentionally dry and lighthearted in spirit, but also exemplify our apathetic, almost privileged, attitude towards our culture. For example:
"It's like organic xanax."
The garment’s gimmick stems not only from the technology, but also from the cheeky, relatable quotes that exemplify this generation’s dark humor.
Each look required it's own specific set of technology integrations. For example, the oat milk bag-- I integrated an MPU 5060 to send accelerometer data to an Arduino Uno hidden in the bag. From there I designed, laser cut and heatformed the entire assembly.
As for the LED displays, we ordered flexible led displays from Aliexpress and sewed tulle around the displays, directing incorporated into the garments. From there we burned holes in the tulle from the inside so we could run wire throughout the inside of the garment.
The hat and the boots turned out to be the most technically complicated, both in terms of construction and developing the hardware. I designed the hat's PCB in Autodesk Eagle . Once we got it back from the manufacturer, Jake and I got to work soldering all 700+ leds to the board to become the underside of the hat. The boots feature flexible LED displays along the sides of the shoes. I needed to make several iterations before we were able to develop a housing for the display that would allow enough flexibility to be still considered boots, while also enough structure to keep the displays in place.
I brought this project to Arden and from there developed the entire line over the course of four months. I led the hardware integration of all the garments, designed the boards and patterns for the garments, while wrote the software running off the boards. Even though we created this line just for fun, it was, in a way, the culmination of my undergraduate education in design and engineering.
To see more, I highly recommend you click on this fully documented process