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.


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)


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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″)