Twin object: done, documented.
First tests for the object for couples. At this stage I was still uncertain on how I would create a tangible representation of intimacy in the object. You can see in the last picture that I was making loops so that the couple could embrace each other.
A very serious photo of one of the headpiece’s last tests, just before sewing the lining and topstitching. If you manage to ignore my face, you can see that the chest part has changed. In the final version it closes right under the armpits with pressure buttons, so the headpiece stays on firmly.
This is the leather prototype. As you can see, it doesn’t have any of that stiff structure that I was aiming for. Also, it looks like something Dracula would wear.
Really not a good look.
You see, the leather I used for the prototype is thinner and softer than the leather I was planning to use for the final piece; as such, it does not hold its shape very well.
When I first started building the leather prototype I wasn’t planning on using boning. Like I said in a previous post, I had a blurry idea of maybe using the aluminum structure to hold it together. The aluminum strips, however, have VERY sharp edges and were prone to hurting whoever was handling them, as well as damaging the surface of the leather. Nah.
The idea for boning came after reading this post on the wonderful The Cutting Class (highly recommended to anyone learning how to sew!). Boning is flexible and could give me the structure I needed without the dangerous downsides of the aluminum strips.
The boning worked wonderfully for this prototype. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of this specific prototype with the boning in place (I blame it on the long hours I spent sewing without pause…).
The final designs that made it through the final cut - I had SO MANY drawings in my sketchbooks!
These three designs were the ones I actually attempted building. The last one, with the horizontal strips, looks so good, but it was a bit beyond my capabilities as a pattern-maker. It was a risky design, and I didn’t want to try to do something much more difficult than necessary, especially when working with a full-on leather garment for the first time.
Anyway, the first design was the one I experimented with first, but the side on either sides had some creases I really didn’t like. In the end, for the final headpiece, I used the second design, which has some darts in the sides in order to prevent creasing.
More process documentation from the headpiece.
I initially moulded these aluminum wires (bought at the Baumarkt, they’re intended for some type of construction… or something) to the head dummy I have at home. The muslin prototype was built on top of this structure.
A Protected Life
Robot n.01: The Headpiece
Filtering is an essential part of life. Through filtering we choose and select; through filtering we shape our social circles, cultural affinities, opinions and thoughts. In the near future, however, certain decisions might not be taken internally and individually; rather, objects might take them for us.
The future of technology is often presented as a realm of accomplishment and effectiveness: “faster”, “sleeker” and “more convenient” are but a few of the adjectives frequently used to describe the continuous stream of innovations to reach us. The picture of an ever-hopeful future is continually altered in shape and direction by every new gadget released to the public: with each new device our relationship with what we already have is amended by the expectations of what is to come. Objects that promise to make our lives more convenient, more protected, more organized, better. Objects that act as assistants, helpers, secretaries, entertainers. Most of these devices, gadgets and services operate under the established premises of efficiency, performance and productivity. Ideas like frictionless sharing1 or personalized advertising2 have been slowly making their way into reality whilst technology aims to a future where devices and services will not only be meticulously tailored to our individual tastes, but will also be able to predict and, ultimately, decide what could or should interest us and our peers.
This robot protects the wearer from conversations it finds to be dangerous, harmful or unsettling. The wearer does not need to know what kind of information the device seeks to hide; it is only to the robot’s discretion to judge what is appropriate and what is not. The robot listens continuously to what is being discussed in the space the wearer finds him or herself and, in finding that the theme of conversation is not appropriate, gently drowns the wearer in a cloud of buzzing pink noise. The wearer is spared from unsettling and unnecessary information, making it easier not to think or care about unnecessary things.
Douglas Adams. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - A Trilogy in Five Parts, p. 618. (From the last book, Mostly Harmless)
This, for me, is pretty much the perfect definition of what Design Fiction is about.