Final Project Proposal: Integrated Circuitry

For my final project, I am going to create a fashion piece that incorporates the circuitry in the overall design. I am going to focus on embracing the electronic parts of the gadget instead of hiding them by involving them in the structure, aesthetic and usability of the piece.

I feel that the biggest opportunity is through the use of wire: the thing that often becomes the most jumbled and confusing in the circuit. I want to take this element and build it into the piece through techniques such as weaving, braiding, knotting and stitching to make it as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional.

My purple wire knotted right into the carrick bend, ready to have an LED attached.

My 12-hour project was a preliminary research piece and demonstrates how the wire, when knotted and braided, can become “hidden” while still remaining functional. While wearing the bracelet I had a few people comment on it and ask to see it, they were confused on how it work until I pointed out that the purple piece was the wire and they were surprised it blended in so perfectly. The challenges I faced in the project was the proper placement of the battery pack (obvious vs. concealed) and a proper circuit connection.

I created a mind map to explore other material opportunities. Wire, EL wire and conductive thread are all great textile-based materials that can be altered. LEDs provide great opportunity in terms of structural building and soft sensors are hailed for their concealment ability. The characteristics of these materials, their colours, thicknesses, finishes and malleability, are important considerations to the overall design as well.

Taking that research and the things I have learned, I want to create another piece (perhaps a lines of pieces?) that demonstrates the same principle. I aim to make a piece that is more refined and sturdy (I found that my bracelet kept falling off because of a poor connector.) For this coming week, I am experimenting with learning different types of knotting.

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