Speculative You: Multiuse Garment

I went into this project knowing that I wanted to take the opportunity to create something that could be worn by migrants, the impoverished, and others who don’t have a permanent place in the world. I decided to make a coat that can be used as a tent for when no other shelter is available. The garment includes a strip LED that runs down the back of the coat’s hood and arm, and down one side of the tent (when it’s in each position). There is a soft switch located strategically so it can be seen on the outside of the coat sleeve, or on the inside of the tent, depending on which state the garment is in. If this garment were ever produced commercially, I would want it to be powered by solar panels, which I think would be the most practical and economical (not to mention environmentally-friendly), which addresses the “speculative” part of the assignment.

Materials

Fabric, tulle (King Textiles) to better disperse the LED lights

Fabric, muslin (King Textiles) to construct the pattern

Fabric, vinyl (Fabricland) for the prototype and final model

1/4″ 16g steel tubing (OCAD U) for the tent poles

Bungee cord (King Textiles) to hold together the tent poles

Strip LED (Creatron) LEDXF-006105

9V battery (Creatron) BATTA-160449

Battery snaps (Creatron) BATTH-900010

Conductive thread (Creatron) LILYP-010867

45″ zipper x 2 (King Textiles) for the sleeves

White thread (King Textiles)

Prototype

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As you can see, the garment works as intended with the prototype, but the patterning fabric (muslin) wasn’t strong enough to maintain the tent shape in the life-size version. This is obviously something I would have to address if the garment were ever produced commercially, but I think double-layering the vinyl and including tent poles along the bottom edges of the garment would work to solve the problem.

Final Garment

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My brother agrees that it’s pretty neat and practical!

15658833_1153665278004411_347391761_o <– but a little too tall (he’s 6’4″)

 

Beautiful Circuit: Uzumaki Embroidery Ring (unfinished)

UZUMAKI EMBROIDERY RING

This project is inspired by Junji Ito’s Japanese horror manga, UzumakiUzumaki tells the tale of a coastal town gripped by the mysterious curse of the spiral. The curse manifests in a number of terrifying ways, with the entire town’s inhabitants eventually becoming supernaturally entangled with one another.

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Uzumaki Embroidery Ring is a dark nod to the Japanese horror classic. Using what limited resources are available in the grips of the spiral curse, I imagine myself as a lone craftsperson, mindlessly producing yet another manifestation of the wicked spiral. Through the action of tracing a spiral within the ring, the user activates a series of broken circuits, lighting the path of the spiral as the doomed town descends towards the spiral’s singularity.

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PARTS LIST

Electronic Components:

  • 5mm LED – Red (x12); LEDGE-005200 (Creatron)
  • 9V Battery
  • 9V Battery Snap; BATTH-900010 (Creatron)
  • Conductive Thread – 60ft.; FLORT-000641 (Creatron)

Other Materials

  • Embroidery Ring; Fabricland
  • Black Burlap; Fabricland
  • Embroidery Thread – Red; Dollarama
  • Sewing Needles

 

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The unraveled spiral makes the circuit a bit easier to process visually. A previous wearable I produced called “Blinky Boots” uses this same technique in a straightened out version of the circuit:

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Chalk outline of the proposed circuit. By running a conductive item (I use a metal guitar finger pick) along the two inner spirals, the circuit of each successive Red LED is completed as long as the connection remains. By tracing the entire spiral, the user completes each successive break in the circuit.

Social Switches: Poke Wars

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PROJECT SUMMARY

A classic feature of the largest social media network on the planet, the Facebook “poke” is perhaps best described as infamous for its intrusive and pointless nature. Having no real function other than to remind friends of your presence, the “poke” function spawned a colloquial and unofficial game known as the “poke war”.

Friends repeatedly poke one another until one or multiple participating parties give up. Users that have engaged in poke wars over the years sometimes have hundreds, even thousands of unchecked poke notifications from rambunctious friends eager to win the lawless and sadistic game.

This project attempts to create a live action interpretation of the Facebook “poke”, whereby users donning powered gloves and accompanying shirts poke their friends, triggering both a vibration and LED marker, alerting both the friend and those around them that they are being mercilessly and egregiously poked in a brutal, endless cycle of misery.

PARTS LIST

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Electronic Components:

  • Conductive Fabric – 14×12″; LILFB-001220 (Creatron)
  • Conductive Thread – 60ft.; FLORT-000641 (Creatron)
  • LilyPad Vibration Motor; LILYP-398118 (Creatron)
  • 20mm Sewable Coin Cell Battery Holder; LILYB-008822
  • CR2032 3V Coil Cell Battery; BATTG-203200
  • 3mm LED – Red; LEDGE-000320

Other Components:

  • Torontotees.com T-shirt – Blue & White; 527 Yonge St.
  • Cotton Glove – Blue; Black Market Used Clothing
  • Fabric Painting Medium
  • Acrylic Paint (Blue and White)
  • Fine-tipped Paint Brushes
  • Sewing Needles

PROCESS

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In my initial sketches, I lay out the overall idea. I toyed with housing the battery locally on the shirt, and simply using the glove as a connecting switch, however I decided that it would be more symbolic of “poke wars” if the offending user were the one to power the circuit. The t-shirt consists of the contact point for the glove, the LilyPad Vibration Motor and a red LED.

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I found the alleged Facebook font online, along with the “poke” logo. With some finagling in Adobe Illustrator, I created a template with which to stencil my augmented logo onto the t-shirts.

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I wasn’t too pleased with that result so I opted to go and have them printed for a modest fee.

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Much better.

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Comparison shot for dramatic effect.

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I had browsed some info on Kobakant about making a pressure sensitive button using velum and conductive thread, however I had difficulty finding a concise tutorial on how to do it. I tried my hand at producing one but I think I was missing some steps involving an Arduino, so I put the tangental experiment away on a shelf for review at a later date.

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These patches of conductive fabric act as the gap/contact point for the conductive finger tips of the glove.

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I had originally planned on using a sewable LED for the garment, however the LilyPad Red LED didn’t work in parallel with the vibe board, however the itty bitty 3mm LED worked like a charm.

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Testing the circuit midway through production. Components work so far!

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Chalk guidelines on the glove! Instead of both traces resting on one finger, I spread them across two fingers for some leeway in the precision of the poke.

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These traces were unexpectedly difficult to sew. Definitely got sweaty and red in the face while doing this. In the future, I would probably opt to use a hand mannequin to make the sewing easier.

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It works!…When I’m not wearing it? I tested the shirt while wearing it, and it didn’t seem to work 🙁 I’m not sure why and it definitely requires some scrutiny and more experimentation to figure out that kink.

Wearing Light: Mabel’s Halloween Sweater

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Mabel Pines is a main character from the popular cartoon, Gravity Falls. She’s the fun-loving, effervescent sibling of her occasionally wet blanket brother, Dipper.

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Mabel Pines is known for her vast collection of turtleneck sweaters, which tend to feature things that are cute, cuddly, fantastical and hilarious. In the opening credits of the show, Mabel can be seen wearing a plug-in sweater featuring her name, light-up stars and a rainbow.

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For the project “wearing light”, I wanted to create a sweater that Mabel would conceivably wear. I wanted to make it feel cozy and homemade, with the same adorable and whimsical spirit present in the rest of Mabel’s wardrobe. I originally had this idea around Halloween, hence the subject matter of the sweater.

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PARTS LIST

  • Conductive Thread Bobbin – 30ft (Stainless Steel); DEV-10867
  • 4 LilyPad LED Red; DEV-14013
  • 2 LilyPad LED Blue; DEV-14012
  • 2 LilyPad LED Green; DEV-14011
  • Crafting Felt (multiple colours); Michael’s
  • 9V Battery Snap; BATTH-900010 (Creatron)
  • 9V Battery
  • Sewing Needles
  • Gildan Heavy Blend Crew Neck (Purple)
  • Fabric Painting Medium
  • Embroidery Thread (multiple colours); Dollarama

PROCESS

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First order of business was to test my circuit. I was planning on wiring 8 LED’s in parallel and wanted to make sure that this was in fact possible before starting to sew. Lo and behold, for some reason unknown to me, this circuit wasn’t lighting up completely, so I started swapping out LED’s until…

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VOILA!

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I made a few concept sketches of my ghoulish creatures until I was reasonably satisfied with the look and feel, then I cut everything out of crafting felt.

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I experimented with different colours of LED’s for the eyes, and I eventually settled on a set that functioned in the circuit with no funny business.

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At this point I was ready to start sewing, so I made a chalk outline with some edges of the characters to make sure that everything would line up and there wouldn’t be any wonky eyes (although that wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world). I started by sewing in the battery snap and went chronologically from there, using a new thread at each connecting point in the circuit. I made sure to space my negative and positive traces sufficiently away from one another. I created arcs from each LED, where the traces get dangerously close to one another and the risk of a short goes up.

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Some reinforcement for the snap.

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OMG it works!

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Further reinforcements using fabric painting medium to seal the traces.

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I used embroidery thread to affix the ghouls to the garment, and there you have it! Mabel’s Light-Up Halloween Sweater!

*IMPORTANT NOTE*

At the time of this writing, the 9V battery snap unfortunately detached from the garment, rendering Mabel’s poor sweater in need of repair, and a robust pouch to protect the snap’s thin wire from wear and tear.

 

Ahmad Ibrahim – speculative you

For this project i chose to focus on a dystopian future narrative where the character that wears this helmet is an alien life form. This character survives off of the energy of other life forms by sucking the life out of them. The alien uses the helmet to suck up energy through the laser on the left of the helmet and the energy flowing is portrayed through the EL wire lighting.

process work:

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I first started out with a foam head to draft the helmet pattern by applying tape and cutting out the parts to transfer over to the EVA foam.

 

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I then glued the foam parts together and heat formed the parts to create the curves.

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After several trials i managed to achieve the right shape.

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afterwards i applied battle damage and metallic paint.

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lastly I installed the lighting and laser.