The concept of bloom is a surreal artificial ecosystem extending the human form. The wearable piece will contain motors which drive the bloom of mechanical flora. The synthetic flowers will grow out of material, and retract to completely disappear. An array of micro servos will be used to drive flowers in and out of sight through a material.  This material would be either fabric, silicone, or both dependding on what worked best in the production process. Experiments in environmental sensors (light, moisture, capacitive) and networked ecological data will be considered in the development.

Bloom concept art, P5.js.




The mechanics of Bloom has been a concept that I’ve been meaning to explore since 2017. While at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, in a collection of over 1 million objects of arts, crafts, and history, the piece that stuck with me was a kinetic light installation called Shylight.


Shylight features fixtures that down and retract with beautiful choreography. The retraction of the arms of Shylight is caused by a ring like Bloom, although gravity and clever design are the driving forces of Shylight’s blooming 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 prosthetic body extensions. The motivation for this idea revolves around a concept of having nature grow from one’s body. Olivier de Sagazan’s work with clay around his body would be a good reference for creating surreal extrusions of the human form.


With the onset of Covid-19 the final stage of mass printing the linear actuators was put on hold.

Parts: 16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Driver – I2C interface – PCA9685, 3d printed components, fabric, silicone.

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The code would be based on developing an array of defined patterns and masks to loop through.


Original Prototype:

Flex Version:

First experiment with bloom design concept and an open source actuator file.

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Redesigning the actuator for miter gears and a smaller actuator. The design needs to be as compact as possible to be functionally wearable.

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Reduction in size, going back to original angle of motion transfer. This original alignment reduces back throw of the rack.  The twigs bend as the size reduction reduces their flexibility so this would need to be rethought.

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Switching to a flexible filament for the twigs. The curves create a natural movement throughout the bloom. The flexible filament was so impressive in terms of flexibility while keeping form that I would like to try constructing the brace and servo mount with it. I assume I would need to keep the rack and gear relatively rigid though.

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Lid and mounting brace finalized. The mounting brace will potentially use screws to secure onto a stiff fabric/material.


First prototype (left) and the final pre-production version (right).

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Gao, Ying. Flowing Water, Standing Time. 2019

Rozin, Daniel. PomPom Mirrror. Bitforms Gallery.

Olivier de Sagazan.



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