Typically, wearable technology is applied to design-centered devices for humans. The challenge is to connect the sense of nature intrinsically with the human. Sense of nature will develop a garment that can feel and express the movements of the Planet, understanding the planet in a deeper way. This garment leads us to a speculative design about where we live, how our planet behaves and how to connect with different points of the earth and nature.
This project seeks the creation of a garment that reacts every time there is an earthquake somewhere in the world in real-time. We would use this garment in a performance setting, in this way people will be able to visualize how earth moves, and how alive our planet is. The Project will use a soft robotic approach that mimics plate tectonic movements such as centrifugal movements that are extrapolated from points where there is movement on the planet.
My name is Moon Ribas, I'm a cyborg artist and choreographer, and for almost seven years, I've had implants in my body that allowed me to feel the seismic activity of the planet through vibrations. I see this new input as a new sense, what I called that seismic sense. A couple of years ago, I took my implants out, but I still want to perform the piece where the earth is a choreographer and reacts when I'm on stage. And then, this idea came to me. To create a piece of garment that will function as the implants did, and at the same time, people could visualize in a more direct way how the earth moves.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT
There are many things on our planet that we cannot perceive because our senses are limited, so our way to understand and feel our perception limits the earth. But if we could extend our perception, our way to understand and empathize with it would probably change. Our project aims to connect users with natural phenomena, feel the planet earth as a living entity, and expose awareness of the reality of how our planet is, creating empathy towards other living things beyond the human species. To start with creating the Seismic Garment, we made the team with Adriana Cabrera and Montse Ciges.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
I am Adriana Cabrera, an industrial and media designer lecturer in Soft Robotics. Together with Montserrat Ciges, with a Fashion-technology background, we worked in the creative and prototyping part. The creative process started from the artistic concept to meet all the challenges of an haute couture piece. Interdisciplinary collaboration with Sam Sadtler focuses on the connectivity & Alexander Bursac form the computational design. We went through many challenges in the process.
During the pandemic time, one of the challenges of the collaboration was the lack of physical meetings with our partners and working without the presence of the end-user of the piece, Moon. The prototyping process brought us the possibility to experiment with diferent materials and techniques. Working with technologies such as 3D printing with silicone and advanced materials that would adapt to the design and appearance, we wanted to give the dress lightness and softness of soft robotics to suit the computational design. Also, the materials had to be sufficiently elastic to allow flexibility in the artist’s movements. Only when the prototype was finished, we could fit the dress for the first time. This was one of the biggest challenges, especially with the chosen materials. Soft Robotics are still a point that we will improve to give them more visibility and engage the audience with Moon’s performance. “To make the invisible visible”.
It was amazing to collaborate with an artist and a group of experts and learn remotely. To co-create and make new reflections that talk about our relationship as human beings as part of nature and connect technologies to a larger ecosystem.
It is Bainha de Copas’ goal to expand this project as a model with a vision to create a global cultural tour (constituted by bundles and transmedia content), workshops and promotional content and products that, through storytelling and design, value heritage in order to impact broader audiences. Thus, it is desirable for it to expand throughout Europe and create new joint ventures with clients and brand ambassadors, assuming different types of relation – franchising, joint ventures, valorization, exploitation, licensing, workshops, etc.
Use bio-inspired design as a tool for a contemporary critique of environmental impact.