Thursday, December 1, 2011


Blood (2011)
Foam and needles
Mix Technique. 25.5 X 25.5cm

Price on request:
Preço sob consulta:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Coroa (2011)
Foam and needles
Mix Technique. 25.5 X 25.5cm

Price on request:
Preço sob consulta:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Camouflage (2011)
Foam and needles
Mix Technique. 26X26cm

Price on request:
Preço sob consulta:

New frames

Corvo. (2011)
Needle and foam.
Mix Technique. 44 x 29cm

Surveillance. (2011)
Needle and foam.
Mix Technique. 40 x 34cm

Tesoura. (2011)
Needle and foam.
Mix Technique. 30x 30cm

No Title. (2011)
Needle and foam.
Mix Technique. 20 x 16cm

Those are some frames I did last months.

If you are interested on buying let me know ;-)

Price on request:
Preço sob consulta:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

TK Series

I am glad to present my new work called TK-730. This work was made during the Summer Sessions at V2 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It was great to have the opportunity to with with Meg Grant, Anja Hertenberg and Leonie Urff.

What happens when senses are cross-wired in the brain? Can data convey different meanings when interpreted as a purely visual object? What other ways of interpreting a single piece of data could there be? This is what the TK Series attempts to explore.

The first machine in our series is the TK 730. This machine converts a piece of information, in this case words, into a knitted code that can be worn. It decodes the typed word and re-encodes it into the pattern of the knitwork in a sort of encryption procedure.

Our starting point for this encoding were the words text and textile. These words share the same origin - both come from the Latin texere, which means “to weave”. From this premise one can observe many things in common between them. A knitted textile work is comprised of lines and points, just like a piece of text. When you tell a story, you follow a thread in a similar way to a thread in a knitted work. It should be continuous and with no breaks. With the TK 730, you can read, see, touch and wear your story.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Exhibition in Bergen (Norway)

Exhibition opening 19. Aug 6pm , concert 6:30pm
Exhibition period 20. Aug – 25. Sept 2011
The exhibition Soft Technology was shown at SOFT Gallery in Oslo in March with four e-textile works by Norwegian and international artists and designers. We thank you for the participation in both the opening and the workshop and concert with Syntjuntan.
On Aug. 19th the exhibition Soft Technology will open again at Gallery 3.14 in Bergen, this time expanded with nine works and a collection of prototypes and samples from participants in the Soft Technology research project. The audience here will be able to touch and pull, make sound and even see and experience how electronic textile works.
The exhibition at Gallery 3,14 in Bergen shows works that takes smart materials, e-textiles and traditional electronics as a starting point in the development of the work. These are works by international and Norwegian artists that take different approaches to materiality, technology and context, and tell different stories. Still they have in common a quest to give the unstable, unknown and unpredictable a form and a visuality, both in content and materiality.
Kristina Aas (NO), Berit Greinke (DE / U.S.), Hilde Hauan (NO), Elin Igland (NO), Kobakant (AT / US / JP), Astrid Krogh (DK), Celine Marq (FR / U.S.), Hillevi Munthe (NO) and Ricardo O"Nascimento (BR).
Soft Technology is a research project on textile electronics in an artistic context, carried out at Atelier Nord in Oslo and the Art Academy in Bergen. Soft Technology is produced by Atelier Nord in collaboration with the Art Academy in Bergen and Gallery 3.14.
Concerts performed on the piece "Mønsterundersøkelser av lyd nr 1" will be played on weekends during the exhibition period.
Wednesday 31 August 5pm book launch of "The Temporary Embassy" by Anders Rubing. In cooperation with KHiB.
Lydgalleriet is also taking the opportunity to curate a sound piece for our Parabol-series in the passage.
Soft Technology is produced by Atelier Nord, more information

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer session at V2

I will spend this summer developing a project at V2 ( together with more 3 artists. We are part of the e-textile group, a group of people interested in smart clothes that meets once per month in Rotterdam to discuss and exchange ideas about technology, clothes, materials.

For this project here we are four:

All I can tell know is that we are gonna work with knitting machines... stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Last adjustments

I am now finishing the dress for the presentation on friday. All the sensors are connected and working. The code in arduino was made by Ben and the fashion design was co-made by Carol Chan. It is nice to involve more people on my artwork and see that everyone is very excited about. Documentations will come soon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

sound amp

I am planing to use these speakers in the dress and create a sort of a pattern with them.

To amplify the signal i am using the following circuit with LM386

Monday, May 16, 2011

fabric Market

Today me and Carol went to the fabric market here in Taipei for a visit to do some research on patterns and colors. It is an old building full of stands. The entire neighborhood is full of shops with fabrics, accessories, stones, ....

we found some nice patterns. We expect to finish the design this week.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Taipei Artist Village

I am now in Taipei (Taiwan) to develop a new piece. This piece is about music, culture and tradition. Before i came here i had no clue about the Taiwanese history and culture. I have to confess that I am very impress about how this people went into so many things, specially when it goes into trying to preserve their own tradition facing the many foreigners that took over their land.

I am still figuring out which kind of music i want to work with and for that i am having lots of help. But for sure i want to work with tribal music.

I am also working in collaboration with Carol Chan, a young Taiwanese fashion designer.

Today i found this little movie about tribes in Taiwan. Please, have a taste.

Friday, April 22, 2011

How technology is changing the fashion show

The release of new technologies present us with new formats to convey information.

Fashion designers are aware of those transformations and are changing the way they present their works to the audience. it is common to present a new collection in a catwalk where models wear the creations and walk for pleasure of the people.

One of the first fashion designer to introduce technology in a innovative way in his presentation was Alexander McQueen. His shows are famous for its production that always include something original. To present the summer 1999 collection he used some robots interacting with the model. The result was a dramatic performance.

After that, McQueen amazed his public in the fall/winter 2006 collection presentation using a holographic projection of the super model Kate Moss.

Recentlly Hussein Chalayan decided to present his new collection only using video projection.

Following this trendy, the brazilian brand Ellus ( presented their collection using 3d projection technology.

I am excited to see new visual effects on the presentations. There are many technologies that could delivery a dramatic effect that were not explored so far. I could mention some like augmented reality, motion tracking and interactive feed back with the audience for instance.

I am wondering: Are the real models becoming obsoletes?is the body not enough to represent the complexity that characterize our society and is reflected on the fashion world?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

More feathers experiments

This day was a bit strange for both of us.... Maybe the weather was not good...


We did some more experiments using vibration motors and strings and wind. Keep going...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

antenna and measurements

We built a little circuit to detect cellphone activity. Afterwards we wanted to check the distance that the cellphone should be from the antenna to be detectable with different resistance values. We figure out many things: that it does not work good on the top floor and that are many variables that can influence on the wave. However, we are satisfied with the range our little circuit provide (about 80 cm).

In the afternoon we had a meeting with researchers from the "Conservatoire National de Arts et Métiers" (CNAM). They study hardcore telecommunications signal treatment. Maybe we will come up with a future collaboration.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Feather tales @ Gaîté Lyric

Ricardo O'Nascimento (me) and Ebru Kurbak were invited for a short residency at Gaîté Lyric in Paris, France. Here we are researching new sensors to detect electromagnetic field and also and maybe more important for us movements with feathers.

I will be posting here some of our research and achievements.

Our working space when we arrived.

The room after some organizing. It is actually a sound studio with no windows... We have to go outside quite often to enjoy a bit of the nice weather in Paris.

Theses are the feather we will work with.

Circuit made by Ebru that detects when a cell phone is being used. It works quite well. We are trying to avoid to use arduino and use the circuit as a switcher.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Parangonet in Utrecht

Last friday I presented my work Parangonet 1.0: sonic dimension at Straatschouwburg in Utrecht, Netherlands.

It was performed by Ingrid Berger and also Pinar help me tuning the patcher.

Interesting to perceive how it was different from the one we did in Brasil. This time only one garment was performed and Ingrid managed to make if more simple. Her performance was an almost technical dialogue with the cape. She explored it in a beautiful way. I love it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

How new technologies are changing the creative process in fashion

The recent evolution of smart textiles and materials in general triggered designers' imagination and turned possible the creation of interactive and reactive clothes. Clothes can be equipped with electronic components like microcontrolers, small motors, led's, motion sensors and so on.

Technologic improvements also influence the conception of the clothing. Nowadays when a designer has an idea and start to draw it he can use digital and also generative tools to give form to his ideas. Here some exciting examples:

The brazilian brand Amapo gained notoriety after the singer M.I.A. used their pieces in a video clip. The designer duo uses 3D technology to create some of their their patterns. The result is volumetric pieces that delivers an interesting effect depending on the lights.

Another example is "Continuum", the latest project by Mary Huang. It allows anyone to "draw" a dress and convert it into a 3d model, which is turned into a flat pattern that can be cut out of fabric and sewn into the dress. The real dress can be bought via website or you can download the parts and sew it yourself. Tools like Continuum points the fashion creation towards digital customization.

Diana Eng released a set of scarves inspired by math and ethnology. She designed the patters based in mathematical functions and used several techniques to transfer the numbers into drawings.

Another technology that is rocking the fashion design is 3d print. 3d pinging is a technology where a tridimensional objected is created by laying down successive layers of material. This allows rapid prototyping and put down the costs of production.

this video describes the 3d print process pointing out the ecological potential of this technology due to the fact that the material can be totally recycled.

The dutch designer Iris Van Herpen is an example of 3d printing in fashion. In her last collection she created structured clothes that reminds shell shapes and fractals and share concepts of architecture and design.

Almost every day pop up projects and collections the make use of new technologies in their conception and realization and for sure we are going to see more exciting examples of how new technologies change creative processes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Katharina Bredies

I was introduced to the work of Katharina Bredies. She is a young artist from Belin that has beautiful work that mixes craft and technology using clothes accessories as support.

I found "This is not a radio" (2010) very interesting. »This is not a radio« is an exploration of different forms of materiality and interaction. Marrying the traditional »female« craft of textile art with the »male« domain of audio devices, the fully functional objects question tradtional interaction patterns and challenge our expectations with electronic products.

The details of the Radio Hood allow the user to operate a radio that is inte- grated into its lining. Knotting the ends of the shawl turns the radio on and off. There are speakers hidden in small pockets next to the hood. A string in a hem can be pulled to increase and decrease the volume. And a bell on top of the hood serves as a control to change the sender and browse through the radio frequencies.

The exotic look of the knitted radio entirely follows practical considerations, but it also reminds us of distant countries and ritualistic garments. Besides, all the functional elements that serve as the interface for the radio are borrowed from clothing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

what is wearable technology?

The therm "Wearable technology" embrace various other concepts like: fashionable technology, smart materials, wearable computing, e-textile and fashion.

What a piece should have to be considered something wearable and technological? What does it mean after all? Is there the use of electricity that makes a pice be placed into wearable technology field? Why this is relevant?

Suzanne Lee describe wearable computing as a genre of cloth that functions at the electronic level. Capable of processing information on the moving body (Lee, 2005). Sabine Seymour (Seymour, 2007) in 2000 coined the term ‘fashionable technologies’ that refers to the electrical engineering physical computing, and wireless communication networks that make a fashionable functional. Through technology the function of clothing is enhanced and new ones are defined.

From those definition we can conclude that it is about electronics and function. Clothes might have to be expanded and have new functionalities added in order to be considered wearable technology.

Technology in clothes has been used by several fields like medical and military. However, the function can be only aesthetic like in the very common use of light in clothes, specially in stage performance clothes.

Now I am wondering if electricity is a condition sine qua non to a piece to be considered wearable technology… I have seen many works that are very ingenious but do not use electrical components but enhance the body in a way. A nice example is the work from Trond Kasper and Bart Hess Can they be considered wearable technology?


LEE, Suzanne. “Fashioning the future. Tomorrow wardrobe”. Thames and Hudson, London. 2005.

SEYMOUR, S. “Fashionable technology: The intersection of design, fashion, science and technology”. Wien. Springer Wien /New York, 2007.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Interview with Elena Corchero

Founder of Lost Values, Elena Corchero, envisions a future where technology helps us become more human and less machinelike. She focuses in lifestyle products that embrace craft and tradition as well as new technologies and innovative materials.

Elena studied Fine Arts in Spain and Germany, and the Textile Futures Masters at CSM in London. Interested in the power of fashion to reach people, she decided to explore wearable technology as a research associate at MIT Media Lab Europe. Determined to make sustainability one of the major driving forces in her work and after various international exhibitions, publications and awards; Elena joined Distance Lab as a Senior researcher and in 2008 Lost Values was formed with their support.

POPKABLOG: What is your educational background?

Elena Corchero: I consider studies and experience at a similar level. For me it all started from a very early age learning from my mother in her Spanish Tailoring Studio. I decided to study Art after a difficult decision to not follow my father's footsteps as a lawyer ... in any case it is my law background what also makes me being so keen for social issues and Design Activism. My final year of Art took place in Germany where I specialized on multimedia and new technologies. I worked then in Haute Couture and later on MIT Media Lab Europe. After it's closure in 2005 I joined the MA Textile Futures from Central Saint Martins in London.

POPKABLOG: How did you start to work with wearables?

E C: My love for craft and Haute Couture and my admiration for new technologies lead me to apply at MIT Media Lab Europe where I had the chance for the first time to share space with a multidisciplinary team and learn much more about technology and electronics. That is where it all started. I was very inspired by an article in National Geographic called "Dream Weavers" where I started also being fascinated by Biomimicry materials.

POPKABLOG: What is your inspiration for the project?

E C: Each project is different; I believe there are only 2 general approaches. 1 An idea that you believe in, and despite not knowing how to make it come true, you want to pursue and finally somehow it does become a reality, as I learned at Media Lab, 'in a world were everything is possible ... what is it that truly matters?' if we question this we can truly achieve relevant work. The 2nd approach is to be fascinated by a technology or material, and try to find a meaningful and innovative use for it. For the work I develop at Lost Values, my initial ground is to ensure qualities for every project, to be sustainable and emotional yet smart and playful.

POPKABLOG: Why do u think is important to make intelligent clothes?

E C: Because in the world we live today we must acknowledge the intelligent consumer out there. People are more and more demanding, curios, agile with technologies, active and also nomadic. Clothing and other accessories is what follows us wherever we go and stays close to our body. By this I don't mean that everything we wear must contain technology though, some ancient materials such as the use of wool, are much more intelligent than anything man has created in a laboratory ... yet. I like to believe that materials we wear can provide us with the qualities that nature did not give us, but perhaps did give to other animals, and this can mean anything from healing properties to weather resistant, to communication, glowing, morphing, energy production, invisibility? What intrigues me the most is to believe that intelligent clothing might actually be just a field of experimentation until human skills, technology and tabus lead us to actually integrate all of this possibilities into our own bodies... that is a whole new discussion though.

POPKABLOG: Do u intent to commercialize your work?

E C: I commercialise my work since 2008 through commissions, retail and an online boutique at Retail includes the London Design Museum.

POPKABLOG: How do u predict the future of wearable technology?

E C: Nothing is predictable, but one can only believe to have a good eye/intuition and social/human understanding as well as feeding the precious with constant observation to both the simple things that happen in your everyday and keeping up with the big advances and discoveries in science and technology. But as previously said it is not just what is possible that matters but what it is truly meaningful is what will prevail ... it has not been so for the long years of mass consumption, but with people's awareness and new manufacture methods such as rapid prototyping tools, people can be more individual, trust their own criteria and choices as well as be more proactive and involved in processes customizing to their needs and even simply diving into DIY... Designing intelligent clothing is important, but definitely even more it is designing intelligent ways for people to customize these to their own needs.

POPKABLOG: Do you see yourself as an artist or a designer?

E C: Art and Design are merging and it would be a whole new discussion to try and draw their boundaries, even harder now that sciences have been added to the equation. So I might say like John Maeda, I believe to be an 'Ideas' person, the outcome of these ideas varies and their impact and reach as well. I like my work to communicate and inspire as well as have a function and be the answer to some issue I consider relevant for today’s world.

update: we were discussing what should be the best term to describe Elena's work and after some time she found a nice term: Technology Artisan. I found this very interesting once it put together the traditional with the novelty, technology with kraft. Very appropriate indeed.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Soomie Park

Soomie Park got my attention with the project LED Eyelashes with which She won a prize in Ars Electronica. Follow bellow a conversation we had via e-mail.

POPKABLOG: What is your educational background?

SOOMI PARK: I majored in visual communication design in college: specifically multimedia, such as graphic, animation and motion pictures. I studied digital media design in graduate school, International Design school for Advanced Studies (IDAS).

POPKABLOG: How did you start to work with wearables?

S P: I became fascinated by how technology can be used for artistic purposes when I took the “Interaction Design” class at IDAS, my graduate school. Adding to that excitement was learning that I could create something fashionable using technology as well because the first project for the class was to make something wearable as well as technological. I discovered that my personal interest in fashion could become my artistic inspiration and has definitely guided my work since. Wearable media became a new area of focus for me from the beginning of my study at IDAS.

POPKABLOG: What is your inspiration for the project?

S P: For the LED eyelash specifically, I was inspired by cosmetic commercials, which came through mail. I don’t know if this applies to other countries, but here in South Korea, cosmetic companies often promote their new products by keeping a mailing list of clients who have bought their products. One day I was flipping through my mails, and found a promotional postcard that had a picture of an eye with long eyelashes. This company described how their new product is able to make the eyes look bigger. I was looking for ideas for the first project of the Interactive Design class at the time, and I thought to myself, “Don’t people wear eyelashes?” It came to me at that moment: eyelashes are wearable too, so I can make something about eyelashes using technology.

Once I started to research more with a focus on the eyes, it was like a domino. Having bigger eyes was such an issue in our society. So many people go through plastic surgery to make their eyes look bigger, they wear fake eyelashes, and they put on make-ups. I was thrilled about my project to be focused on the eyes because, first, it was closely related to everyday aesthetics – what is being considered as beautiful by social standards – and what people do to look good. You go as far as surgically cutting and sewing your face to look pretty; alternatively, you wear cosmetics. I thought, “Hey, why not wearing art on your face? Isn’t art for beauty, after all?” Second, I could address social issues using my project, which was great, since dealing with social issues via artistic processes intrinsically meets my drive to communicate with others.

POPKABLOG: I lived in Japan for a while and I figure out this obsession about big eyes. This is also very noticeable from the "mangas" and "animes" where the characters have extremely big eyes. Maybe that is an Asian issue. What do you think?

S P: I also read many articles about plastic surgery to open the eyes a bit. Also in women magazines there are several make up techniques to enlarge the eyes. All of this I found in Japan. Also the LED eyelashes are very "kawai" (cute). I totally can imagine the cosplay wearing your work in Shibuya. How was the reaction of the Japanese audience to your work?

Thanks for your comment, the LED eyelash being “kawai.” Arigato.

This project has theoretical, practical and social bases not on the Japanese society, but on the Korean society. Many people asked me about how the LED eyelashes apply to or address Korean’s obsession with plastic surgery, which was my artistic intention as well.

I have never been to Sibuya, but I can understand why people may think that I might be Japanese, or the LED eyelash might be about the Japanese society. In fact, some people asked me if I was Japanese at Youtube, maybe because I used background music from a well-known Japanese animation’s original soundtrack, or because the Japanese culture is more known to the world. Or for other reasons that I may not know.

I have never exhibited my work in Japan or interacted with the Japanese society about my work. So, I am not aware of how the Japanese audience may respond to my artwork. I would be very excited if the LED eyelash could be worn by people who are into Cosplay and seen in Sibuya streets. It will be really interesting to see how the Japanese society may perceive my work and the message the LED eyelash delivers.

Answering your question if wanting big eyes could be an “Asian thing,” although I can understand why you noticed the obvious connection of my work to the Japanese culture, I think obsession with bigger eyes is more of a universal desire. I can’t say how much of plastic surgeries worldwide is to address people’s eyes, but I can say that generally people, especially women, spend a lot of their energy, time and money to make their eyes look prettier – that is, bigger. Just like Japanese Anime characters have exaggerated eyes, so do American Barbies and Disney princesses. Personally, I receive many inquires about commercializing the LED eyelash from people in Europe and the United State, but no one from Asia yet. In addition, the LED eyelash received many awards from Europe, and to tell you a personal story, I got similar, positive responses from both my European and Korean friends.

By universal, I also mean it transcends time. Look at the ancient Egyptian wall paintings, drawn thousands years ago, which show that people at that time wore thick, harsh make-ups to emphasize their eyes. I also have read about the Roman beauty standards also included long eyelashes and big eyes.

POPKABLOG: Why do u think is important to make intelligent clothes and how do you predict the future of wearable technology?

S P: People express themselves through fashion: what and how you wear clothes communicates your identity as a social class, a gender, a profession and so forth. Applying technology to what you wear is a smart way to articulate your uniqueness. Everyone wears clothes but with wearable technology you can communicate your emotions more easily.

I teach a class on Wearable Technology for college students. In the class, I don’t teach them how to use high – complicated and expensive – technology to create fashion. Really, what I preach is that the importance of assessing what people need emotionally, and finding a way to utilize technology in order to meet the needs of people more effectively. Technology is a complementary tool for us to complete the purpose of intelligent clothes.

I think that the future of wearable technology depends not primarily on how advanced technology can be, or how well high technology can be used on clothes. Rather, wearable technology will develop in a way that can complement the function of fashion (self-expression): specifically in a way that can address the emotional needs of people (communication).

POPKABLOG: Do u intent to commercialize your work?

S P: I do intend to make a limited number of the LED eyelash for a commercial purpose. I do not have any plan to manufacture this item in a large quantity.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Interview with Joanna Berzowska

For the last issue of Vague Terrain I had the opportunity to interview some people that work and research in the field of wearable technology. For the journal was not possible to publish the entire interview but now I am publishing the interviews in its totality.

The first one is from Joanna Berzowska, founder of XS labs.

Enjoy ;-)

POPKABLOG: what is your educational background?

JB: Joanna Berzowska is Associate Professor of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University and a member of the Hexagram Research Institute in Montreal. She is the founder and research director of XS Labs, where her team develops innovative methods and applications in electronic textiles and responsive garments. Her art and design work has been shown in the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in NYC, the V&A in London, the Millenium Museum in Beijing, various SIGGRAPH Art Galleries, ISEA, the Art Directors Club in NYC, the Australian Museum in Sydney, NTT ICC in Tokyo, and Ars Electronica Center in Linz among others. She lectures internationally about the field of electronic textiles and related social, cultural, aesthetic, and political issues. She was selected for the Maclean's 2006 Honour Roll as one of "thirty nine Canadians who make the world a better place to live in". She received her Masters of Science from MIT and worked with the Tangible Media Group of the MIT Media Lab before co-founding International Fashion Machines in Boston.

POPKABLOG: How did you start to work with wearables?

JB: I founded XS Labs in 2002, in my first year at Concordia University, and positioned it as a design research studio with a focus on innovation in electronic textiles and reactive garments. My interest in this field, however, did not originate from weaving, fashion design, or even fiber arts. It emerged from a concern with the lack of softness in HCI (Human Computer Interaction) and the desire to explore a wider range of material properties in the development of physical interfaces.

While a student at the MIT Media Lab in the mid 1990’s, I was drawn to electronic textiles for their ability to conform to the human body and their potential for bringing softness to physical interfaces. The work I was conducting in HCI focused on tangible interaction and involved the manipulation of physical objects with the human hand. I anticipated that electronic textiles would allow us to expand the realm of physical interaction into a wearable context and to explore the boundaries of what I call “beyond the wrist” interaction.

Our design philosophy at XS Labs focuses on the use of smart materials and technologies as fundamental design elements. The projects at XS Labs often demonstrate a preoccupation with — and a resistance to — task–based, utilitarian definitions of functionality in HCI. Our definition of function simultaneously looks at the materiality and the magic of computing technologies; it incorporates the concepts of beauty and pleasure. We are particularly concerned with the exploration of interactive forms that emphasize the natural expressive qualities of transitive materials. We focus on the aesthetics of interaction, which compels us to interrogate and to re–contextualize the materials themselves. The interaction narratives function as entry points to question some of the fundamental assumptions we make about the technologies and the materials that we deploy in our designs.

POPKABLOG: What is your inspiration for the project?

JB: With the proliferation of wearable and portable electronic devices in our everyday lives, our power consumption needs are constantly increasing. The development of alternative energy sources has not kept up with the needs of our markets and we find our spaces cluttered with an ever-expanding number of adaptors and chargers. A promising alternative involves the development of energy sources that are independent from our power grids and reside on the body, collocated with the electronic devices they power. Research in this area includes (1) alternate power sources such as flexible solar panels, photovoltaic cells, biobatteries, and dielectric elastomers among others; (2) eco-design and design for sustainability; and finally (3) parasitic power, which involves harnessing energy directly from the body or generating power by the user. Researchers such as Paradiso from the MIT Media Laboratory have studied methods to recover power (a) passively, from body heat, arm motion, typing, and walking, and (b) actively through user actions such as winding or pedaling. Many of these solutions compromise comfort in order to deliver functionality, which contributes to slow rates of acceptance both from designers and potential customers.

The dresses are the result of a development process that included a series of structured brainstorming and bodystorming exercises. Very early in the design process, it was decided that we would not attempt to conceal the generators and their operation. Previous work in body-generated power strives to seamlessly integrate generators into wearable artifacts so as not to make their presence “obvious or annoying”. Most often, this is accomplished by harnessing the energy from walking by embedding generators in the soles of shoes. We chose to pursue a different approach, one that is heavily influenced by the field of fashion design. While it is difficult to accept an uncomfortable running shoe or other fitness garment, it is easier to embed the discomfort and the inefficiency of current human-generated power solutions into the culture of fashion and costuming. Fashion designers throughout history have distinguished themselves by presenting new silhouettes and trends that constantly surprise and challenge the body. This has been exemplified by devices that include brassieres, bustles, crinoline hoops, and exaggerated shoulder pads as well as more extreme practices that involve deliberate physical deformation of the body. The field of fashion design often embraces discomfort and has been known to tolerate some amount of pain, which inspired us to explore the use of irritation and inconvenience as a means of power generation on the body. The Captain Electric garments focus on alternate definitions of functionality, such as pleasure, fun, and beauty, so as to allow playful and engaging design concepts, while leveraging the discomfort to influence the conceptual direction of the experience.

POPKABLOG: Why do you think is important to make intelligent clothes?

JB: Many of our electronic textile innovations are informed by the technical and the cultural history of how textiles have been made for generations (weaving, stitching, embroidery, knitting, beading, quilting) but use a range of materials with different electro-mechanical properties. This enables us to construct composite textiles with more complex properties. New developments in material sciences and the field of electronics have often been hard, solid, and unyielding. We want to make them soft, playful, and magical, so as to better service the curvilinear contours of the human body and the complexities of human desire. Working within the Fine Arts, we often infuse dark humor and romanticism into the materials and processes as a way to drive technical innovation.

POPKABLOG: Do you intent to commercialize your work?

JB: Yes, through my students. I inspire them to work in the field and they graduate and start commercial ventures.

POPKABLOG: How do you predict the future of wearable technology?

JB: I deeply believe that the killer application will not involve reading email on my sleeve, increasing my productivity by receiving vibrating reminders of my appointments in my jacket, or keeping track of my calorie intake through my necklace. Those are specialized applications. They are not fun or sexy. They sound too much like work. The future of “smart textiles” and wearable technologies is to have fun, to connect with friends, and to bring social networking information back onto the body.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Flexible circuit workshop in Spain

sesc pinheiros 24/11/2010

In March I will give a workshop at "Espacio red de prácticas y culturas digitales" in Málaga.

There we will learn how to develop smart cloths using flexible circuitry techniques. Here the description in spanish.

Este taller pretende introducir a los participantes en el universo de los circuitos flexibles y reflexionar sobre su utilización y funcionalidad. En él los participantes utilizarán la tecnología para vestir prendas y objetos.
Se tratarán conceptos básicos de electrónica, circuitos flexibles, materiales conductivos y sensores. Los participantes aprenderán a transformar un accesorio (bolso, cartera, cinturón, sombrero, etc.), una prenda (camiseta, pantalón) o algún otro objeto (cajas, etc.) utilizando luces o sonidos que serán accionados interactivamente por el usuario. La parte electrónica será desarrollada en circuitos flexibles con hilos y tejidos conductivos y técnicas de costura.
Por último se evaluará la funcionalidad de estas interacciones y el porqué de la utilización de luces o sonidos en prendas y objetos personales.
Esta actividad forma parte del programa de talleres del Centro de Producción y Experimentación en Contenidos Digitales UNIA, una iniciativa coordinada desde UNIA Prácticas y Culturas Digitales

more information:

Hope see some of you there and please tell your spanish friends ;-)