As a former Army wife, I was often asked a number of questions: what does it feel like to have a loved one involved in a war? What does it do to the relationship before, during, and after combat? How does the situation influence the way military spouses perceive their own lives? I always find these questions very difficult to answer, except to say that the experience can be felt throughout the body, and it echoes in your heart.
The Design Question: How might I portray the complex experience of being a soldier's spouse during wartime in an immersive, visceral way?
the un/quantified army wife is a multisensorial installation that uses haptic sensations and bone conduction in order that the participant experiences the story physically as well as aurally. The audio is a narrative about a spouse's daily life during wartime, and a glossary is included for those who may not be familiar with some of the terms.
Haptic sensations from handmade speakers and bone conduction transducers cause the participant feel audio in their own body as soon as they sit down in the chair. An elbow is placed in either of the copper bowls, and the participant cups a hand over their ear to hear the audio more clearly. The larger transducers transmit the audio through the participant's chest cavity, essentially turning the body into a speaker. The sensation lasts a few minutes after the participant has left the chair.
Developed in collaboration and with support from Intel's wearable technology group and Parsons School of Design
TE IPSUM explores how the clothes we wear can help us find our fit – how something as simple as a jacket can connect us to the bigger picture, to a larger social whole, to the universe, and to ourselves.
We establish these connections not only through our personalized jackets, but through the personalized data these jackets can collect and visualize. Through our system of data “fitting” and personalization, we aim to make user-centric data more meaningful, more personally poetic. We want the wearers of our jackets to understand not only their own selves, but also the world around them in richer, more vibrant ways.
In short, we want our users to feel like more than bodies to be quantified.
Casey Barber -- BFA Fashion Design, 2017
Olivia Burca -- BFA Fashion Design, 2016
Kailu Guan -- BFA Fashion Design, 2016
Jane McDonough -- MFA Design + Technology, 2016
Wynn Mustin -- MFA Design + Technology, 2016
Charles Saidel -- MFA Design + Technology, 2016
Kristin Slater -- MFA Design + Technology, 2016
Xinhuan 'Hannah' Chen -- MFA Industrial Design, 2017
Laundromat Symphony is an interactive installation piece that was made to infuse an everyday event with unexpected magic and whimsy.
IR Distance Sensors trigger cello sounds as strangers walk past, creating a new kind of symphony within a laundromat
External Affinity is an interactive installation piece made in collaboration with Isabella Cruz-Chong -- it encourages a connection with external, liminal spaces in an intimate setting.
Participants relax in a yoga hammock suspended from the ceiling and place their heads on a pillow embedded with soft speakers. As they gaze up at orbs that light up one at a time, the user hears various experimental audio tracks, as if they are hearing messages from each of the respective orbs.
Open Style Lab's 10-week research program teams designers, engineers, and occupational therapists to create functional yet stylish wearable solutions with and for people with disabilities.
What does it mean to "feel" a song?
this is not science is an exploration of the physical experience of sound and its affect on emotion. The title is reflective of my intention to create a performance piece based purely around the physical sensation of music, rather than to create an actual experiment in music therapy.
The piece involves a cellist (in this case, myself), an electric cello, and a participant who wears a neoprene garment that is connected to the cello amplifier. A bass shaker and paper speaker are sewn into the garment so that when the cello is played, the participant feels the vibrations triggered by the sound.
To construct the garment, I chose neoprene fabric for its compression qualities. The corset style allows the piece to be worn by participants of various widths without sacrificing the compression, which enhances the experience of the components reacting to the music.
The speaker is fashioned out of stiff but lightweight paper, copper tape, and neodymium magnets and is connected to one side of the amplifier output. Sewn to the front of the garment, the speaker can be activated by holding the magnet close to the center of the copper tape spiral. It should be noted that the magnet could also be sewn between the neoprene and the speaker to keep it turned on permanently. I intentionally gave the magnet to the wearer to hold because the sensation generated by the speaker is subtle, and it could be helpful to compare the two states of on/off.
Sewn to the top of the garment are the 8Ohm bass shaker “puck” and a band of hand needle-felted wool. The vibration of the bass shaker is stronger than that of the speaker; I positioned it over the wearer’s chest so as not to cause stomach distress. The puck weighs about 11 oz., so a layer of neoprene to keep it secured to the garment covers it. The wool is attached for the user's comfort – if she places her hand over the puck, the sensation won’t be jarring for her.
Once the piece is connected to the amplifier and secured to the participant, each note played on the cello can be felt. Because the electric cello uses a piezo sensor, I had posited that the wearer could feel a range of intensity depending on the type of note (e.g. a sforzando note, which is strong, sudden, and loud, would cause a sharp, intense vibration).
After user testing, however, I found the effect was less dramatic: the wearer reported feeling slight to moderate differences in the intensity but the garment caused a sense of comfort overall, regardless of the type of note played. On the contrary, she reported a feeling of consistent comfort while the cello was being played. I am, therefore, considering it to be the starting point for a series of explorations of therapeutic uses of technology and music that I will continue in the future.
Ghosting Projection mapping animation of mist and fog rolling through mountains. Made using ofxFluid and ofxFx by patriciogonzalezvivo
Microphone Responsive Tree Bark Mesh (no audio)