Badass Final Project Brief

OBJECTIVE:  To create a wearable and fully functioning supermodern garment to be worn while riding the TTC which would deter others from getting too close to and/or interacting with the wearer.  If strangers come to close to the wearer, the garment will raise the collar to obscure the lower portion of the face of the wearer.

Above: Inspirational Photo of an awesome jacket 🙂


In Wearable Technology 1 I played it very safe and experimented only with temperature sensors and LEDs.  I had some success with those projects and received some recognition for my work, but this semester, I really want to push myself to learn a few moreforms of input and output.  During the Social Body Project, I began working on a garment to be worn while riding the TTC that would deter others from getting too close to and/or interacting with the wearer.

While on the TTC, I often find myself in unpleasantly close proximity to other people.  I don’t at all enjoy unexpected physical contact, especially with strangers, and I found this quote from the reading “Distances in Man” very stirring and inspiring:

“Crowded subways and busses may bring strangers into what would ordinarily be classed as intimate spatial relations, but subway riders have defensive devices which take the real intimacy out of the intimate space of public conveyances.”

For inspiration, I studied the defensive methods of several animals, including the puffer fish, frilled lizards, octopuses, cobras, dogs, birds, and anglerfish and sketched off of their aesthetic and functional cues and particularities.  I decided to settle on a combination of the rising collar of the frilled lizard and the spikes of the puffer fish.

I also looked to punk and aggressive streetwear styles, biker jackets, spikes, the popped collar, and leather culture for more hardware inspiration and was very taken with the connection between the visual language of the spiked and studded motorcycle jacket and the puffer fish.

During the Social Body Project, I experimented with and tested proximity sensors, speakers, tone, melody, and sound file programming.  I plan to continue working further with a version of my initial concept from the Social Body Project, in order to have my garment performing at the level that I envision, however I am leaving out the audio output and instead, using servos.

The (yet to be titled) garment for wear on the TTC will take from the intimidating studded motorcycle jacket, the classical traveling cloak, and the fashionable high cowl-neck collar.

When an Other approaches wearer and comes within a designated distance, the Other will be sensed via proximity sensor and the collar of the garment will rise to cover the lower portion of the face of the wearer, according the level of personal space infringement.

When the collar is fully raised the, metal spikes and studs will face outward, giving off an intimidating appearance.


• Alligator clips

• Mini USB cord

• LilyPad Arduino

• LilyPad Power Supply

• 1 AAA battery

• Wire

• FTDI Chip

• GP2Y0A21YK Analog Distance Sensor

• Exsisting motorcycle jacket

• Servo motors

• Metal spikes

• Metal studs

• Black leather

• Black satin

• Black thread

• Sewing machine

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