Within the past two decades, technology has slowly assimilated into our everyday lives. Phones that used to just be for calling has now become a black box for all of our needs from health, to photos to even business management.
On January 9th, 2007, Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone at the Macworld convention, an occasion that would change the world as we know it. With modern technology, Jobs and Apple created the first real multifaceted phone, allowing users to not only call and text, but browse the internet, use social media, and even play music–all in one device. And while today many people condemn societies reliance on technology, it is no debate that the world has become closer because of it. Scientists from across the globe are now able to collaborate instantly on scientific advancements. Relatives from different countries can see their loved ones face with the tab of a button. It is the first time in history where information from any corner of the earth can be accessed by anyone in the blink of an eye.
On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, one of the world first ever social media sites. It marks the start of the social media craze we now live in today. Now, people can share their entire lives online for others to see. From photos to credits card numbers, nothing is secret anymore. Communities that were once only a few dozen people, blew up to thousands as people from around the world were given access to the interests and hobbies of people thousands of miles apart. This development also significantly help companies who could use digital platforms like Facebook to widen their audience range.
So the bottom line is clear– yes, technology has killed human connection, but it is still without a doubt that our lives have significantly improved because of it.
As of now, I am still in the idea process. While I know I wanted to create a garment that includes LED lights, I am still in between ideas. The first idea that I am considering is a two-piece cape. The first piece is a sheer fabric attached to the model at the neck and fingers. This will be the garment with the led lights. The cape underneath will be a pure white train attached to the model at the neck. The lights will be rainbow colors represented the different kinds of people connected through technology. The second idea I am considering is more of a body installation. Kind of like a lantern it will be worn like a crown but fall to the grown. The piece will be made with wire for structure and sheer sparkly fabric with LED lights hanging from it. The same idea of the rainbow lights is incorporated into this piece as well.
Design Proposal (Revision):
After discussing with Aviva about my ideas with using light, we decided to take the element out and figure out a way to still incoorporated technology without physically using it. I felt that while my initial idea looked good, it lacked the deeper meaning behind it. So I started compiling my ideas together to try and first think of what I wanted to say before taking that message and creating a piece out of it.
First Aviva and I created a thought chart so I could clearly write down my ideas
After brainstorming I decided that I wanted to create something that not only emphasized how technology constrains people but also acts as a necessary evil. This inspired me to create some form of a wearable cage. With a dark skeleton and clear panels, it simultaneously hinders the wearer’s movement yet assimilates itself into the wearers appears just like how reliance of technology is a both good and bad. The clear panels will be covered in reflected tape in the shape of a motherboard to add a bionic feel.
At first, I wanted to do a mask like object, but after some more brainstorming it turned into more of a chest piece.
I was inspired by the straight jacket as it is known for its constraining quality. I wanted to keep the design geometric to keep with the clean technological feel of the piece.
I even tried to imagine the pieces as a full outfit, but the ideas were too ambitious and began to stray away from the message I wanted to portray.
After many drafts, I decided that better doesn’t mean more complicated and stripped all the fluff my design, revealing the final design I went with. From there I began to draw up a more detailed design to help me set the dimensions.
I proceeded to make a small 3D mockup on the cage to make sure that it was structurally stable.
Once I found out it could stand, I went and make a larger, more detailed version to start getting the actual skeleton design down.
Then I sketched around on tracing paper to get the hang of drawing motherboard designs
(This design was never made because when I started taping the vinyl I realized making a more simplistic would make it look more modern and clean cut)
After this, I proceed to create the orthographic sketch in order to figure out the exact measurements of all the pieces I needed to create the final product.
Once the blueprints were finished I started measuring and cutting the pieces I need for the skeleton out of black illustration board.
When I finally finished cutting out all the pieces, I was able to start assembling the pieces together.
I would first measure the exact location I needed to drill holes
To connect all the pieces I used gold envelope clips (keeping with the industrial aesthetic of the whole project)
This is what the final skeleton looks like
Once I finished creating the skeleton I moved onto the vinyl designs
To measure the vinyl and waste less piece, I would first draw a template on tracing paper and use that to cut out the pieces
Using the same method of drilling, I made hole to attach to the skeleton
Once all the pieces came together I started to assemble them.
At the beginning of this project, I was too focused on the aesthetic of the work that I began to neglect the conceptual aspect of it. I desperately wanted to use light in my project and it was all I could think about. My ideas became simple and predictable, which was and is not something I want to start doing. After some brainstorming with Aviva, I was inspired to find a way to talk about technology with physically using technology in the piece. This really pushed me out of my comfort zone, thinking about I could use or transform to create the embodiment of technology with the handicap of lights.
The would say the hardest part of the project was the idea stage for me. This time, I was able to manage my time a lot better so the building part was not as stressful as before. I hope you can tell from the styling pictures, that at the end I was able to put in effort into them since my previous styling pics were not up to my own standards.
The vinyl as a material was very interesting to work with. At first, I wanted to use black electrical tape for the motherboard design, but since the hardware store didn’t have any black tape, I used the reflective tape as an alternative. However, I’m really glad I went with this choice because I honestly love the design a lot more than if it was just black. I really like seeing the tape reflect light along with the vinyl. The hardest part of using vinyl was bending it into the shapes I needed. I wanted to keep the envelope pin use to a minimal, but as you can see it didn’t really work out that way. Still the project overall, in my opinion, was a success and I really enjoyed working on it.