[gallery] Designer and Founder of STUDIO 5050, Despina Papadopoulos, and her team have developed a set of modules for sound input and output, LEDs, and temperature sensing and display along with a flexible, removable and rechargeable battery system. The module schematics are available to download here and recreate. They have designed and developed a collection of garments that demonstrate the module's capabilities including Embrace-me and the Masai dress. Both projects include schemtaics that you can download so that you can build them yourself. Here's how they describe the explorations:
Embrace-me A fitted dark-blue canvas hoodie sports the collection’s abstracted logo in a pattern made of a futuristic silver conductive fabric. When two people wearing the hoodies embrace they actually power each other up through that pattern. The symbolic energy transfer becomes fully actualized and the embrace is instantly translated into an explosion of light and sound.
Small white lights flicker in the back of each hoodie forming a big-dipper pattern while a faint heart beat sound is emitted. The hoodies themselves take their design inspiration from the construction of early Siberian hooded coats, creating an enveloping safe haven, a tranquil vestige of protection and romanticism. The hoodies also come in a luxurious, cashmere-like 100% bamboo basket weave -- very huggable indeed.
Masai Dress Inspired by Masai wedding collars, this dress salutes both our global provenance and our desire to create our own soundtrack as we move in mysterious ways. With every step, strings of hand-formed silver beads that hung from the collar brush against conductive threads sewn into the dress, generating a series of sounds. A leisurely walk or a night at a cocktail party turns into an improvisational performance.
A long asymmetrical swoop in the back of the dress recalls Balenciaga’s famed wedding dress – an homage to a maestro that visually and aurally blends cultures, traditions and emotions. The dress comes in a luscious deep-sky blue silk jersey and white nourishing Sea-Tiva (75% cotton, 25% algae).
Despina Papadopoulos will be speaking at next week's Smart Fabrics conference in Miami titled "Theory and practice: The thinking and making of wearables". It should be good!