Expressive Assignment – Weiqi Wu




Video of the work


“Falling in Love” is an expressive wearable electronic tube top that could help people to express their feeling of falling in love with someone, having a crush on, or being attracted to someone, without being embarrassed. But at the same time, it would be pretty and interesting to wear it in a normal situation. Customers could directly wear it or wear it on top of other clothes. The rope in the front is adjustable, so it could fit in easily. Its normal status of the tube top is the fading blue light, which representing being peace and calm. When users feel excited or falling in love, they could put their hand on the position of their heart, it will turn red and blinking to show others your excitement and emotion. The light will be more obvious during the nighttime.


Idea & Inspiration

The inspiration first came from the meditation. In the beginning, I would like to make clothes with blue light fading that express the emotion of peacefulness. And later when adding the button which is a heart shape, I decided to change the theme. The heart shape reminds me of the story of my friend that she could not tell the guy that she had a crush on him because she is too shy. So I decided to make clothes that could help people to express and deliver their emotions of falling in love or having a crush on someone.

What I am Creating

I try to use two colours of LED lights to help to express the emotions. Through the research, blue represents calm and red could represent love. Also, in order to fit the conditions of the two moods, the blue LED lights will do fading effect to show calm and peacefulness; the red LED lights will do the blinking effect to show the excitement and the heartbeat. Also, with the blinking effect, it is easier to grab others’ attention.

The clothing used the Circuit Playground Express (CPX), LED lights, and conductive thread. There are blue lights and red lights, representing different modes. The circuit is connected parallel. When it connects to the power source, it will have fading blue light as default. The blue light represents calm and peace, which refer to as the normal status of people. The red light is activated when people put their hands on the position of their hearts. The red light will be blinking to attract the attention of others so that they could know your feeling and emotion. At the position of the heart, there is a “button”, when people put their hand over the button, it will fulfill the condition so that the red lights are on and the blue lights are off. When people move their hand away from the heart position, it will return to the blue light again.


The objective of “Falling in Love” is trying to help people to express their emotions of falling in love, having a crush on, or being attracted to someone, without feeling embarrassed. I found out that many people are shy or not brave enough to express their love or crush on others. There is also another reason which is that they are afraid of being embarrassed. For example, when one is attracted by someone, but they don’t know each other, if you are a shy person, it will be good if there is a signal that could show your feeling of being attracted. In this way, people don’t need to go up and talk directly. They could interact with the signal of the lights first and deliver the feeling.


Ideation drawing


First ideation drawing: Inspired by meditation, showing the emotion of peacefulness. I first plan to use a sweater to do the project. The LED light is sewing on the sweater, and there will be some decorative materials to cover the LED lights. And on the right is the circuit diagram that I draw for the project.



The final ideation drawing: I decided to make it into a tube top instead of sewing things on the sweater. And after making the heart-shaped button, I decided to change the theme to show the feeling of falling in love. On the top right is the circuit diagram that I draw for this idea. And the photo below shows the ideation drawing.

Images of the work in process

img_1957-1img_1921-1 Testing the circuit with alligator clips



Following the first idea, testing different materials on the clothes. And check how the light will go through the decorative materials.


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Redesign the look of the expressive wearable. Test out how it will look again, as well as the light and the materials.



Decided to use this material as the decoration on the clothes, since it has the best effect of the light diffusing.



Sew three pieces of fabrics together to make it a tube top. Adding rope in the middle.


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Sew the LED lights on the clothes, as well as the CPX (using conductive thread). Made a heart-shaped button. The button will control the circuit.


Inspired by the heart-shaped button and the love story of my friend, decided to change the theme to express the feeling of falling in love.


Testing the circuit with alligator clips. In this circuit, when it is normal situation, the blue light will fading, CPX will always has blue light on with no effect. When the button is pressed, the CPX will turn pink, the LED lights will turn red, and the red light is blinking.


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Testing if it is work on the clothes with one blue LED light and red LED light sewed on, as well as button.



Sew all the LED lights with conductive thread. Testing is in the video.




Cover all the parts with non-conductive materials. Inside, I used black fabric to cover. Outside, I used white tulle fabric. Testing the effect.



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The finish look! The video is at the beginning of the blog.

Part List

- Circit Playground Express 
- LED lights with blue and red colours
- Conductive thread
- Conductive fabric
- Felt (white)
- Tulle fabric (white)
- Yarn (black)
- Fabric (black)
- Glue gun

Code & Circuit Diagram

123The LED lights are connected parallel. A1 is connected to the red LED lights. A2 is connected to the blue LED lights. A3 is connected to the button.


Reflections & Next step


During the process of making the wearable clothing, I found out that it is easy to sew the conductive thread to the wrong side of the led light. For the next time, I should indicate which side is the positive side first, so that it will save a lot of time for the sewing process without resewing something.

Next Step

For future development, I think that sound could be incorporate into the project. For the people who have a disability of sight, they could figure out the status by listening to the sound. At the same time, the different effects of the LED lights could help them to figure out as well (Like the fading and blinking effect now of the wearable clothing). Moreover, the tube top is more for females, maybe there could be other versions for males, children, old people. Another choice will be to redesign the work that makes it into an attachable object that could attach to other clothing. Adding a heartbeat sensor in it might be a good idea as well. So that the light will change automatically depending on the heartbeat. But it will have the problem of delivering the wrong message to others since nervousness will also make the heartbeat go fast.

Resources and related works 

Inspiration work:

Expressive wearable. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2021, from

I inspired by its form.


Amsen, E. (2019, July 16). Why some shapes make you feel calm and other shapes seem angry. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from

Gremillion, A. (2020, June 30). How color impacts emotions and behaviors. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from,also%20make%20you%20feel%20calm.

Skill Level: Beginner, & Dia | August 30, 2. (n.d.). Decorative conductive Fabric button – SparkFun Electronics. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from

Speculative Wearable – Connecting Jacket (Weiqi Wu)


Idea One


Idea Two


Idea Three (This is the one that I picked for the assignment)



The “Connecting Jacket” is a relationship detector that could indicate the relationship between people. And it helps people to create connections with others in the real world. The jacket uses several types of heat-sensitive fabrics that react to different temperature ranges, which display various colours when the temperature reaches the ranges. When people near a person that often contact, the microcontroller receives the signal from others, and it will control the temperature to a specific range, so the heat-sensitive fabric will reveal red colours. When people near a person that sometimes contact, the heat-sensitive fabric will reveal the yellow colour. When the fabric show green colour, it indicates that people meet someone that has contact information but did not contact for a while. This is design for everyone.


The inspiration of the “Connecting Jacket” is trying to connect people together. During the pandemic, people start to lose the physical connection with friends or colleagues. Although people could meet each other online, it will not give me the sense of connecting in reality. I feel more disconnected from the world after the meeting. One of the problems is that while people are wearing face masks, it is not easy to recognize others on street. Therefore, the changing of the colours on the jacket could help people to find out that their friends are nearby. Being able to connect with others in real life are really necessary to fulfill social needs. Wearing a jacket and face mask, people could find their friends and communicate safely.



The microcontroller, the signal sender, and the signal receiver will locate at the inner side of the jacket. The temperature-sensitive fabric will be sewed on the outer side of the jacket. There will be using conductive fabric to connect. The heating metal wire locates at the inner side of the temperature-sensitive fabric.


The front side of the jacket


The backside of the jacket (left); The inner of the jacket with the microcontroller and the conductive wire (right)


The paper prototype jacket (on-people look)

How to activated

It will be activated by opening the microcontroller, the signal sender, and the signal receiver first. With the origin state, it should be the white colour of all the temperature-sensitive fabric. To change the colour of the fabric, people need to meet a person that has contact information. And the whole system will work and the heating metal wire will work. After the temperature reaches the range, the colour of the temperature-sensitive fabric will change.

Interaction and States

To have interaction with the jacket see the states of different situations, you have to wear it and meet people.

  • When you meet someone that you have the contact information, but you haven’t talked in a while, the heating metal wire will be heated to around 40 degrees, the first type of temperature-sensitive fabric will change the colours from white to green.


  • When you meet someone that you have the contact information and sometimes communicate with, the heating metal will be heated to around 45 degrees, the second type of temperature-sensitive fabric will change the colours from white to yellow.


  • When you meet someone that you always stay in contact with, the heating metal will be heated to around 50 degrees, the third type of temperature-sensitive fabric will change the colours from white to red.


When it is rainy, due to safety reasons, the "Connecting Jacket" is not recommended to wear, since it has wires and a battery on the jacket.

Material mood board


- Jacket
- Microcontroller
- Conductive Thread
- The non-conductive yarn for covering the conductive thread
- RGB LED lights (since I don't have temperature-sensitive fabric at home, I would like to use RGB LED light instead. Same situation with same status, only the fabric become the lights.)
- Resistor (220K)


  • Generra Hypercolor Shirt 
Hypercolor was a line of clothing, mainly T-shirts and shorts, that changed colour with heat.

Video of the Generra Hypercolour Shirts 1991

  • Body Electric
BODY ELECTRIC is a response to our growing dependence on information technology; the garments embody its omnipresent yet intangible nature.

A parallel is draw between the uniform in clothing and technology’s way of homogenizing and flattening. In order to reveal the intimate, the unique, we must look into the screen, through these windows.

The uniform pieces of the collection are inspired by classical workwear items, whose seams, pockets, collars, become the basis of incisions. This dissection of the uniform reveals the expressive self; a hand-embroidered electronic circuit: the fusion of human and computer anatomies.

This intimate garment reveals what hides beneath the skin. Veins and sinuous networks become visible through optic fibres and intricate hand-work. Heart sensors capture the body’s pulse and make it visible to the eye in waves of light, emanating from the embroidery.

Through a fusion of craft, handwork and technology, we are able to see the invisible, and bring to light a new dimension of expression.



  • C. (2019). 1991 – Generra Hyper Color Shirts – Heat Makes It Happen … Retrieved January 26, 2021, from
  • Daguin, C. (2016). BODY ELECTRIC. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from