Bloom was designed around the emotional tone word ‘fancy’. The concept was to hide beautiful mechanics that would be hidden within a special occasion garment. The goal was to create a wearable piece that contains motors which drive mechanical flora to bloom.  The actuator is based on a 3D printable servo linear actuator by maker PotentPrintables. An additional 3D printed component was modelled that acts as a container for the retracted flower.


This version of the piece uses a 9g servo to drive a linear actuator. The arms of the flower are designed to fit into   holes in a circular holder piece at the top of the actuator at an angle. The compartment restricts the angle of the arms, and releases them as they are pushed out. I mounted it on a wig to experiment with emerging out of soft material that can be dispersed. To research potential mechanisms to achieve the desire effect, different types of umbrellas were reverse engineered.


After the class critique I began updating the design, moving forward the goal will be to reach the smallest size possible of all components to end up with a compact, wearable design.


In this iteration the linear actuator brace is smaller and the pusher now drives the flower arm holder, simplifying the design. Smaller servos have been sourced and will be tested.


While the current state has a satisfying bloom effect, I’d like the flower to be hidden for a growth effect. To achieve this, methods to close an angled bend at the end of the arm with elastic material will be researched.

Parts List & Circuit

  • FITEC FS90 Micro Servo
  • Custom modeled container



The mechanics of Bloom has been a concept that I’ve been meaning to explore since 2017. While at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam I was fascinated by a kinetic light installation called Shylight, where fixtures would drop down and retract with beautiful choreography. The retraction of the arms of Shylight is caused by a ring like Bloom, although with physical forces enabling the bloom effect. The problem I wanted to explore was creating a similar effect with a purely mechanical process rather than gravity.

Another piece I thought about while building Bloom is Daniel Rozin’s “PomPom Mirror. This piece is a good reference for the supernatural effect I would like to achieve in the final piece.

For later iterations “Flowing Water Standing Time” by Ying Gao demonstrates some interactive and generative potential of an aesthetic wearable. The artist describes it as a robotic clothing reacting to the chromatic spectrum, where garments use colour and light sensors, and small cameras linked to a raspberry PI. This data then activates a series of actuators and magnets interlaced with silicone to cause the fabrics move.

While I think this has lots of potential for a ball/gala style dress, another idea that I’ve been thinking over is removing the garment and creating prothetic body extensions. The motivation for this idea revolves around a concept of having nature grow from ones body. Olivier de Sagazan’s work with clay around his body would be a good reference for creating surreal extrusions of the human form.

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