It took me more than a month to follow up my first totally going to be weekly post, because of course it did.
Achievement Unlocked, Supervisor Acquired. And if my time with my FYP supervisor is anything to go by, Nora, I apologise in advance.
Since I’ve changed thesis idea so many times and been less than devoted to my posting about it, it would be easy to get the impression that it’s just my short attention span jumping around. So I want to take a minute to clear my name and prove that there is a certain amount of method to my madness and write up what I swear to Christ is my locked in, final, never changing ever concept.
I started before christmas with an idea to do a piece of wearable tech that you can read all about in the December entry of my Thesis tab. I knew in September I was doing a wearable. I am obsessed.
The Christmas break gave me a lot of time to think on the fact that I was going to be looking at this project for a very long time, particularly the three months of the summer. I took a hard look at my project and realised, unlike my FYP, it didn’t need to be in the least bit commercial. What it had to be was interesting. The idea I had was small time, so, inspired by the woman who has been my design hero since 2013, Anouk Wipprecht, I decided to go all in a build a dress. I dropped the location based thing because when asked why it interested me, I didn’t have an answer.
After a while of reading broadly in the area I decided to focus in from general social interactions to smart phone addiction, and the anti social side to social networks. The concept was that LEDs in the dress would dull with prolonged phone use, to represent that the wearer was being dull. This was the idea I presented to Nora in our first meeting, she said it was a good jumping off point, but wanted me to go bigger, which in hindsight, I shouldn’t have needed to be told.
Finally, direct from the message I sent my supervisor, is the final product:
“After reading around I still wanted to look at the anti social element, so I started thinking about why it was anti social and started looking at multitasking and how a person can only properly focus on one thing at a time. I essentially circled back to a similar function, but with a more detailed reasoning behind it.
The concept is to treat the physical world as another website/app/social media platform. To be active on one, means to be inactive in the other. In the same way you can only have one tab or app open on a screen, your attention can only exist in the digital or physical space. When the wearer is active online, they are therefore inactive in physical space, and the lighting (thinking fibre optic fabric) in the dress goes dead to indicate the wearer is “offline” in the world around them.
I’m also playing around with the idea using white noise (possibly in a hood) as a sort of sensory deprivation to push the “out of body” feel a bit.”