Open Project- Walking Glow
The concept is inspired by going to the night market in my city, which is something I had been looking forward to but unfortunately cancelled due to Covid. I, additionally, want to incorporate materials that I wouldn’t use after the semester ends or something that isn’t conventionally used in designs – which would be alligator clips. Since alligator clips are only used for testing results, I thought I would somehow incorporate it into the design while attaching LEDs.
I was also inspired by a shirt that were made out of safety pins, a skirt made out of paint swatches, and skirts that glowed. I’m usually a person who enjoys simplistic and practical clothes, but recently, I was driven by the idea of recycling and to be honest, I doubt that I would ever use my alligator clips again so I wanted to use it as part of my design. The inspirations will be attached in the resources cited below.
The objective for this dress is to be seen or found in the night market when it is dark, contributing to the energetic atmosphere. In the night market here in Richmond, BC, we would always have performances ongoing in the background and I created a sound reactive animation for the CPX. It reacts more strongly to louder spikes in noises, which I think works perfectly for an atmosphere that would be constantly loud but has peaks in the volumes due to the concert.
Process (Including ideation drawings, images of the work in progress, and videos of the different steps)
My initial concept had lights in a series and encircled the entire dress, while being diffused by cling wrap but I had some issues.
- The light in series isn’t as bright as I want it to be and there wasn’t enough alligator clips.
- The cling wrap, although the effect is nice, it’s wrinkled texture makes it look cheap. Additionally, it becomes very stiff and restricts movement by clinging onto your skin – Movement should be a priority in the design considering you would be walking around a lot during a night market
- The belt is on the side and it is a wrap dress, so sewing it all around isn’t reasonable.
So I made some changes. I would make the clips hang and take up half of the dress, similar to goth punk skirts that are asymmetrical. Additionally, I sewed the conductive thread to extend until where the dress’s built in belt disconnects from the dress. Here is my circuit diagram and how I planned out the circuit:
Final Project Images
Unclipped – when it is still bright out there’s no need to keep the lights on
Overall dress Circuit
Video Demo of the dress in the dark
Closeup of the two paths that allows you to connect multiple parallel circuits
- Conductive thread
- Alligator Clips
- Hookup Wires (I used one wire as a substitute for an alligator clip because I had an odd number of them)
Reflections & Next Steps
I think my favourite part of this circuit was the two long conductive threads across the belt of the dress. This is because the colour is so discreet that it hides within the dress design really well. Additionally, it allows the alligator clips to clip onto them snugly because it is sewn tightly that it doesn’t escape. Also, since I am a beginner at sewing, I felt a huge sense of relief and accomplishment that the circuit worked well after it was done. I did have to re sew the line that connected to A2, because it was really unstable – the LEDs sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t so something went wrong in the sewing process. But when I redid it, it was fine. It also made the rest of the process a lot simpler too. Since I designed for the rest of the circuit to be adjustable and detachable, it was really convenient to move and adjust things whenever I wanted to as long as the threads that connected to the pins worked.
What I want to work on for future projects, and personal projects, would be to find a way to incorporate the wire for the CPX discreetly and allow it to be a more conveniently portable design. Additionally, I would want to try a bio feedback design, which can monitor heartbeats and health. I think that would especially be helpful in a night market, when you can monitor if you’re tired or if your blood pressure goes up, etc.
Resources & Related Works (cited in APA)