PROJECT#1- WEEKS 1-5-Haptic Space and Materiality- ‘Personal Exoskeleton’

Project description

During the first 5 weeks, students will research and explore the notion of our senses, focusing on the sense of touch. How does the body react to touch? What emotions and physical associations it evoke? Touch can be physical or can be emotional. In this project, students will research the structure of insects’ external shield. How does it function? What characteristics, it has? Based on this research students will design a Wearable Exoskeleton. This exoskeleton- will serve as skin like; It can cover your face, arm, leg, or any other part you chose. Consider, how would you express these attributes in a visual way? Focus on the 3D design elements: How lines become form? How can lines create a volume?



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


   An exoskeleton (from Greek) is the external skeleton that supports and protects an animal’s body. Exoskeletons contain rigid and resistant components that fulfill a set of functional roles in many animals including protection, excretion, sensing, support, feeding and acting as a barrier against desiccation in terrestrial organisms. Exoskeletons have a role in defense from pests and predators, support, and in providing an attachment framework for musculature.Exoskeletons contain chitin; the addition of calcium carbonate makes them harder and stronger.Ingrowths of the arthropod exoskeleton.

Since exoskeletons are rigid, they present some limits to growth. Organisms with open shells can grow by adding new material to the aperture of their shell, as is the case in snails, bivalves. A true exoskeleton, like that found in arthropods, must be shed when it is outgrown. A new exoskeleton is produced beneath the old one. As the old one is shed, the new skeleton is soft and pliable. The animal will pump itself up to expand the new shell to maximal size, then let it harden.  

    Skeletonization also appeared at almost exactly the same time that animals started burrowing to avoid predation, and one of the earliest exoskeletons was made of glued-together mineral flakes, suggesting that skeletonization was likewise a response to increased pressure from predators.

From  Live Science and Wikipedia


    Humans have five basic senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. The sensing organs associated with each sense send information to the brain to help us understand and perceive the world around us. People also have other senses in addition to the basic five. The senses and their operation, classification, and theory are overlapping topics studied by a variety of fields.

    Other animals also have receptors to sense the world around them, with degrees of capability varying greatly between species. Humans have a comparatively weak sense of smell and a stronger sense of sight relative to many other mammals while some animals may lack one or more of the traditional five senses. Some animals may also intake and interpret sensory stimuli in very different ways. Some species of animals are able to sense the world in a way that humans cannot, with some species able to sense electrical and magnetic fields, and detect water pressure and currents.



Mood Board:



During the research, I got the inspiration from spider.  Spiders are chelicerates and therefore arthropods. As arthropods they have: segmented bodies with jointed limbs, all covered in a cuticle made of chitin and proteins; heads that are composed of several segments that fuse during the development of the embryo. The body exoskeletons had different function. Spiders also have in the joints of their limbs slit sensillae that detects force and vibrations. In web-building spiders, all these mechanical and chemical sensors are more important than the eyes, while the eyes are most important to spiders that hunt actively. The inspiration also from the silk, it is mainly composed of a protein very similar to that used in insect silk. It is similar in tensile strength to nylon and biological materials such as chitin, collagen and cellulose, but is much more elastic.

I liked to created a high quality, modern product. Thus, I believed spider could be a good element for my product. I may use the spider body exoskeletons shape and the silk element to create a product.



Concept and Idea:


Firstly, we asked to drawing development of 3-4 concepts based on our research and inspiration, I sketched many elements connect with spider and the shape. And also use the silk as an important tools relate each part of design to a whole body. Below the development of my ideas can be seen. I had six concept with spider and silk elements. The inspiration of wings and arm decoration, I thought the exoskeletons of spider is unique than other animals. The functions and flexibility are the main point of this sketch. As well as the inspiration of rest four sketches. It all has the spider and silk elements through the design. 

9 Initial Thumbnail Sketches :


6 Developed Ideas  and 3 Final elements :


3 Final concept:


The next step, after I choose the final three ideas I went on and developed them by drawing 12 different versions, changing the shape and details of the ideas. After completing those, I decided once and for all to choose the belt design. And I also create the final idea of my base model.

12 different versions:


Final idea:




3D Mockups: 

For the mockups, I still changed my ideas and the functions of the model, even the metal and the shape.

Process of final model:

About the main body shape, I tried to use cardboard but when I use it ,it had low quality feeling. So I decided to use foam board. Because spider was mystery, I thought black and golden color very suit the topic. But the most important thing was use the “silk.” Making hole on the foam board was not easy.

After finished the “silk,” cut the golden metal roll was very difficult, sometimes I wanted to change the material. Because it was hard to control the shape and size.

The cotton use for combine with the metal roll to became a comfortable belt.

The last part of the model, I use tools to connect these elements to be a belt fashion product.

The last process of the belt product model:

Photo Shots:


This is my first project in this semester. It is very interesting and very beneficial in this process. It reminds me of the work I did when I applied to the school. This project made me re-recognize the fun of design and some problems I never encountered. From the initial research and analysis, I carefully thought about which animal is different and inspired me. It is also from the beginning of the determination of the spider, the design steps began slowly. Every sketch will make me have a new inspiration, and new ideas will appear. At the same time, I also no idea how to start, I can only slowly analyze what kind of products I want to design. After slowly screening and finalizing, the basic concepts of the model also came out. But when determining the final idea, the material is a new problem. I have to think and want to find a suitable material to show the best feeling and characteristics of the product. From the very beginning, I chose the paperboard version to the foam board I chose later, because I want to achieve satisfactory results. After the main body was determined, in order to express the effect of the spider web, I decided to use the white line to intersperse the line to achieve the effect. The most important thing in the exoskeleton is “legs,” because the theme is black gold color matching to mystery, so I originally wanted to use gold paper jam, but after touching it, there is no texture. Finally, I bought a gold metal roll, which is consistent with both color and touch. But the problem is the problem of cutting and shaping. Because the properties of the metal are uncontrollable, the speed of the patience scissors needs to be controlled, but the final effect is still very good. Satisfied. This project has made me very profitable. I have learned the use of different materials and accumulated a lot of practical experience.

Leave a reply

Skip to toolbar