One of my favourite things about living in London is that you can wear whatever in God's name you want and no one bats an eyelid! I love this expressive way of dressing, and it makes me wonder - what would I look like if I could look like anything at all?
From my interest in experimental textile design, I came across beautiful examples of sculptural embroidery and beading. From looking at these images - I wondered what would it look like if these elements were responsive or reactive?
The coat is rigged with capacitive touch sensors, servo motors & plastic spines. When the touch sensors are triggered - the spines on the back of the coat raise.
In undertaking this project I wanted to get hands-on fabrication experience with the Hatchlab's maker tools. The spines are made from laser cut correx, and the hinges were designed on Tinkercad and 3d printed. The touch pads are leftover offcuts from the spines painted with conductive paint and soldered to the capacitive touch sensor.
The coat can be programmed to convey different emotions - does it need people or does it repel them? Does it have a life of its own or does it come alive on contact? Once I had the coat fully assembled I realised that I could change its “personality” depending on how the spines were triggered. The coat has an inherently theatrical quality and so I added a mask to create a wary, watchful character to inhabit the twitchy, touchy coat.