Speculative Wearable-Victoria Bissell-“Rave Helmet Face Mask”

I designed a custom-molded, full-face mask covered in different coloured LEDs that blink faster or slower depending on the heart rate of the wearer. The front of the piece, the face mask, is thermoplastic, and the back&collar are one piece of highly elastic knit fabric; the mask can just be pulled over the head like a hat.


Unfortunately I couldn’t think of a good way to represent fabric in a paper prototype.




This piece is a fashion item designed for a speculated future in which present-day novelty/statement items have become daily wear. Rather than design a consumer electronic that happens to be worn on the body, I wanted my wearable to be the garment itself.

My objective was to create a completely new article of clothing, which could only exist in a future where wearable electronics are normalized. I also wanted to make something that’s just fun; my goal with all my projects is to entertain people. Finally, this piece is an excuse to use the radiation face mask from my cancer treatment; ever since they gave it to me at the end, I wanted to make it into some kind of wearable.

The interaction is between the speed and intensity of the “light show,” and the heart rate of the wearer. The mask has an on/off button, and the heart rate is divided into 3 ranges which each have their own output. So, the appearance of the wearable matches the pace of the wearer’s activity; for example, if you’re just riding the bus, the lights change colour slowly; if you’re dancing or at a party, they change colour and blink very fast.

Materials mood board:

moodfront moodside

Sketches and documentation:

sketchmask1 sketchmask2

armatureside armaturefront

two exisiting items that resemble my piece are those light-up sneakers kids wore in the 90s, and a fencing mask.

Fencing. (2021, January 24). Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fencing#Equipment

Light Up LED Shoes | Official Brand Bright LED Shoes. (2020) https://brightledshoes.com/

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