Monday, 29 August 2011

Brainstorming in class about areas of 'Walking', I chose to follow the train of thought on POSTURE.
The design above is a update of the basic backpack. This new version is equipped with strong poles (in this case, cardboard rolls) to support the back while walking. Straps connect the body across the chest and waist, ensuring that the back stays straight while in the backpack. Slouching means that the back drags the bag with it which in turn is very uncomfortable, correcting the posture.
It extends the idea of traveling with a large backpack around Europe, in which the support comes from front straps and a frame. This version is much more accessible, and meant for everyday use.

Feldenkrais Experiment;
This was an interesting class in which we all lay on the floor and became very aware of how our body was 'feeling', rather than how we were feeling in our mind. The experiment reminded me of yoga class in which there is a relaxation session at the end, where the instructor tells us to trust the floor to let it hold you. During this class I became so much more aware of my body and how it feels while lying on the floor, e.g. where I could feel the ground holding me.
By rotating our hips and pelvic muscles, we could loosen up our bodies and feel more relaxed and comfortable.

The illustration above is of my interpretation of this experience. I focused on the pain and sensations I was feeling, from lying flat for a long period of time. I especially focused on the shoulder blade, buttock and back of head. The red colour represents the intensity of the feeling, whereas the blue areas represent areas that I was more aware of than normal e.g. my spine.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

This lady should use my frame invention!!


The dreaded shoulder bag is turning us all into walking, breathing 'leaning towers of Pisa'. It would be great for our postures if someone were to invent a structure that held up our bags in a way that the weight is evenly distributed.

Back packs are a better option but how about if you had more baggage to carry. In the workshop I invented a backpack with a hip frame that holds your bags slightly away from the body. I found that i could not feel the weight on my hips and actually forgot the bags were there.

I saw this image in Todd's book BLESS and thought it was quite interesting to look at, in terms of the transferring of weight. A vest that holds your bags:

Walking to work one day I got to thinking about the lack of communication that occurs on a daily basis between people who most probably have a lot in common. When I am on the train I somehow always end up speak to strangers and i'm not entirely sure how but when it happens there is always something in common.

In the photo below I observed the people walking in front of me. I thought to myself, we've all come from the same area and we all work in the same area so why aren't we talking to each other. But the lack of communication only exists because it's awkward to break the silence. I remembered Allana's puzzle piece clothing that connects you to other people. How great would it be if the puzzle clothing connected you to random people around you that you had things in common with. Therefore in the scenario below, everyone would be connected and would be forced to socialise.... The puzzle clothing could be turned on and off just incase you are in a rush and do not have time to stroll with strangers.

Design idea 1:

A device for the jogging community
I believe that there is a code between joggers... some sort of kinship.
As you run past someone, you must either interact with them through facial gestures or through hand signals... but either way, there is always an interaction.
What if this interaction was intensified and you were able to be in closer contact with fellow joggers by connecting to their database. The device would primarily be based around MOTIVATION, as the device transfers personal info. such as:
- purpose for run
- mental state
- abilities/disabilities
along with the Motivation application it would also work as a social networking device.

Below is a friend scanner developed in Japan.
Similar concept... not quite. But very cute. You are able to share information with people you meet when you're out and about by scanning their device.

Acceptance + MAGIC

The wearable device is essentially an undergarment that deals with some common insecurities adopted by women. The woman who wears this body brace is in search of a way to deal withi nsecurities and to be accepted as it holds goods posture and sucks in the tummy. The frame is worn underneath clothing when walking, to feel a sense of self-acceptance. The magic is that the garment is invisible.

I finally understand my blog and have discovered how to post on the wall so please excuse my delayed posts from the first few lessons.

Feldenkris exercise

"Find your true weakness and surrender to it. Therein lies the path to genius. Most people spend their lives using their strengths to overcome or cover up their weaknesses. Those few who use their strengths to incorporate their weaknesses, who don't divide themselves, those people are very rare. In any generation there are a few and they lead their generation."
-- Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc.

This exercise immediately got me thinking about the body in a different light.
The relaxation exercise allowed me to centralise my thoughts on the pressure points around my body and especially those causing me pain.

Below: An abstract life size drawing of my body. The head is a feather to represent a clear mind, The points that stretch down the body that radiate waves represent pain points.

* A great task to become in touch with the body through abstract drawing

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Naked Pockets?

I think it was Steph who brought up in a post last week the question of how a walker feels in the absence of their artifacts or props of walking. I have often heard people say when they have forgotten things "I feel naked with out my watch, phone, ipod, etc." In this scenario you consider how your functionality is impaired but why use the word naked? The reality is "I don't have my watch so I don't know the time and I feel lost" or "I don't have my phone so I can't make contact with people or be contacted so I feel anxious." but people give more weight to this problem saying that it effects them on a physical level leaving them exposed and naked.

I tried a little empathetic experiment leaving everything behind but a few dollars in my pocket and walked to the corner shop and found the results suprisingly acute. The front pocket of my jeans felt particularly empty with out my phone. Normally when I have it I never really noticed how it moves and presses against my leg as I walk but its absence was quite stark and unsettling. I keep unconsciously touching my pocket and felt quite distracted as I walked. On the way home I felt more relaxed but I power walked the whole way as if I was wasting time. Quite odd. I felt exposed to people on the street and vaguely inclined to talked to them as I passed because I was not 'plugged in' to my ipod. It gave me the feeling that I was 'open for business' and that today more then any other strangers were going to randomly speak to me. Weird. Naked without being naked. The new modern phenomenon.

naked |ˈnākid|


(of a person or part of the body) without clothes : he'd never seen a naked woman before | he was stripped naked.

(of an object) without the usual covering or protection : her room was lit by a single naked bulb.

(of a tree, plant, or animal) without leaves, hairs, scales, shell, etc. : the twisted trunks and naked branches of the trees.

figurative exposed to harm; unprotected or vulnerable : John looked naked and defenseless without his glasses.

[ attrib. ] (of something such as feelings or behavior) undisguised; blatant : naked, unprovoked aggression | the naked truth.

I think when people use the term 'naked' in this situation it is used with the meaning of "without the usual covering or protection" and "exposed to harm; unprotected or vulnerable" as stated above. Our daily items are talismans of security so we feel naked without them and there absence is particularly notable when we are walking and they are no longer interacting with us. Listening to my ipod says to others "I can't talk.", having your mobile feels connected and wearing a watch I feel on top of things. Without them the personal bubble bursts and voila! Naked.

In this theme my sister recently returned from England and we cannot find that place we put her keys for safe keeping so whenever she leaves the house she complains about her 'naked pockets'. Poor girl.

Walking Observations

My first observation was carried out on the corner of Harris St and Ultimo Rd. I sat stationary on the corner and observed people as they walked past me. I decided to concentrate on what people were doing while they were walking. Some things that I observed included people talking on phones, texting, listening to music, people carrying bags, books, folders, eating or carrying a coffee etc. Following on from this I observed what people did with their hands, if they were not holding onto anything, while walking. Some people walked with their arms swinging by their sides, arms crossed, arms held behind their backs, hands in pockets, holding hands with another person etc. I found it particularly common for males to have their hands in their pockets while walking, though this seems like an uncomfortable and restrictive way of walking.

On the weekend I went on another walk this time along George St from Central Station to the QVB and took some photographs of people walking in the city to again observe where people like to have their hands while they are walking.

As a reaction to what I had observed in my two observations about peoples styles of walking, in the class task the wearable piece that I developed was designed so that people could have their hands comfortably held in their desired position. The piece had has straps that go over the shoulders and across the chest, then has loops that hang off in a number of positions so you can rest your hands in any position that you feel comfortable while walking. It could work better if there was one set of loops at the back and one set at the front with adjustable straps instead of having many sets of hanging loops. 

Monday, 22 August 2011

The 15 Worst Kinds of Pedestrians in New York City

Found this pretty funny post about the worst types of pedestrians. Although it's about NYC, some of them definitely apply to Sydney as well. It identifies some of the issues that pedestrians walking in the city face - could be the starting point/inspiration for a design that attempts to solve these problems.

Walking in the City – Observation #1

My initial observations were based around the idea of becoming a part of the walking city – being involved in the experience with a heightened awareness of my actions, rather than watching on from afar. I started my walk by following one particular stressed out looking pedestrian who seemed to be in quite a hurry to get nowhere in particular. This journey of keeping up with my newfound walking buddy led me on a weaving path through all sorts of pedestrians including tourists, business men and women on their lunch breaks, students, homeless people, pesky charity workers and those just wandering through the city. There was one pedestrian which caught my attention in particular – a young adult male, possibly a student, dressed in casual clothes and wearing a backpack. He was walking at an average speed – faster than a tourist taking in the sites but slower than a peak hour worker rushing to get home. What this particular pedestrian showed me was that people walking in the city without that much concern for time or a destination who appeared to be merely enjoying the walk, did not really fit into the city environment. The pedestrian tended to wander around the footpath, swerving from left to right, looking up at buildings and at shop windows and appeared to be taking in their surroundings more so than others. In the meantime, the people around the ‘wanderer’ were looking annoyed, trying to speed through the maze of people, looking at the space on the ground rather than the path in front of them, or using their mobile phones while still managing to somehow make their way through the crowd.

My observations from this initial walk of the behaviour of different types of pedestrians in the city and how this reflects on their experience of walking in the city would be an interesting area to explore. This could lead to the development of a concept for a wearable that will allow each type of pedestrian to be able to experience the city in a richer and more sensorial way than what they would when they are rushing to reach a their destination or deadline.

As for the initial fast-walker, we ended up at Coles.

My Invention: Tranquility Pads

Tranquility – the need to be safe.

My invention is a set of ergonomically designed shoulder pads which can be worn inconspicuously by pedestrians while walking in the city to protect themselves from bumps and bruises caused when their fellow pedestrians knock into them unannounced. Busy city environments can often be quite unnerving experiences for pedestrians unfamiliar with the environment or who don’t like their personal space to be invaded by a stranger in a hurry. My invention cushions the physical and emotional blow of a stranger bumping into you on their rush to work by protecting you and allowing you to walk safely through the city. The tranquillity pads also act as small pillows which you can adjust and use to nap on the train or in your lunch break to bring a sense of calm and safety to the hectic city environment.

The Magic lies in their ability to provide a feeling of inconspicuous tranquility and safety while still allowing you get where you need to be and experience the city environment. To further increase the feeling of tranquility, the pads could integrate a massaging lining to relax and calm the user in times of stress while walking in the city.

Some quotes from Body Consciousness, by R. Shusterman:

“I also perceive my body as something that I have and use rather than am… something that distracts, disturbs, or makes me suffer. Such discord encourages somatic alienation and the familiar denigrating objectification of the body as just an instrument” (pg. 3)

“Too many of our ordinary somatic pleasures are taken hurriedly, distractedly, and almost as unconsciously as the pleasures of sleep. If this dearth of somaesthetic sensitivity helps explain our culture’s growing dependence on increasing stimulation through the sensationalism of mass-media entertainments and far more radical means of thrill taking, then such a diet of artificial excitements can conversely explain how our habits of perception.. are transformed in ways that elevate the stimulus threshold for perceptibility and satisfaction while diminishing our capacities for tranquil, steady, and sustained attention.” (pg. 6-7)

The Walk So Far..

The Feldenkrais lesson was quite an interesting experience which allowed me to see and feel the body in a different way than what we have come to accept scientifically. My representation of the body after we had undertaken the exercise shows the key areas which I found played the greatest role in movement and what would be walking in real life. What surprised me was how much control you can have over your body with only your pelvis and spine, as represented by the bold colours around these key areas and the subdued tones for the other major limbs as if they didn’t exist at all. The key aspect I took from this exercise was how hard it is to ‘turn your brain off’ as represented by the radiating pulses around the head in the drawing. No matter how hard I tried, I was always conscious of what my body was doing and the others around me – an observation which could relate to everyday life and people walking in the city.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

more street photography

In Jacqui's lecture last week one photographer who would have fitted right in with many she mentioned is American photographer Walker Evans. His series titled labour anonymous, 1946 shows a series ordinary  workers  photographed unaware at a street corner in Detroit. He also famously took hidden photos called subway portraits of people on the subway unaware.

Beat Streuli also captures people unaware but modern day city dwellers.

                                          Sydney 02, 60_16, 150 x 200 cm, 2002

see a series of Sydney street scenes at

Design for an active city competition

In Melbourne's Design that Moves festival a competition was held to promote pedestrian travel.. called Design for an active city the competition will see 9 shortlisted entries implemented in October. They are aimed at promoting a major thoroughfare in Melbourne city. The concept to turn a bridge into a musical instrument sounds pretty interesting. You will notice how most of the concepts involved architectural/urban spatial type interventions... shortlisted projects get $25, 000 dollars to play with so i suppose it best to spend it on something that costs. It will be interesting to see how our concepts ( to come)  might compare with the ones shortlisted. How similar or different might ours be?

The design brief is here
O b s e r v i n g   t h e   W a l k

What: Observational exercise -people walking
When: Tuesday 16.08.11 3pm - 4pm
Where: Outside central station, opposite from railway square and the beginning of Pitt Street

The three main points I wanted to observe were:

1. what items are people carrying with them/on them while walking (this includes pockets of clothing, if they had any indication of being full)

2. what pace are people walking at -are they taking big steps, medium, small (keeping it in comparison to their body). Are people wanting to walk faster than they physically can?

3. what kind of footwear are people wearing

Common findings include:

The more people were carrying, the more effort they seemed to be putting into their steps and walking at a fast pace. The type of shoes people walking at a fast pace were wearing were typically 'office style smart shoes', ballet flats or even (one woman) a pair of at least 10cm high heel boots! A common item that men were carrying was a newspaper rolled up in their back pocket or in hand -commonly the MX which is handed out near city train stations for free.

My favourite pic. of the day - business man was running and then slowed down to a fast-paced walk, briefcase and coffee in hand and smart office shoes (that don't look that comfortable to run in) to match!

My spot - I was sitting on that grass strip observing

The city could definitely be a specific context, where people may not necessarily be walking for any other reason than to get from A to B, hence the full bags in tote, unlikely type of 'walking shoes' etc. Observing in a park or a beach, or a beach suburb could definitely give much different results. Will have to give that a go.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Fashioning Technology

This website has a lot of interesting electronic and technical creations that relate to clothing and the body.

Moving Mobile Phone Charger

This invention I found is a mobile phone charger that runs off kinetic energy (from movement), which attaches to the wearer's shoe. Good reason to get moving and go for a walk!

A wearable called a Bag

When I went on my little walking expedition on Tuesday afternoon, I came across a group that I followed because of the observation I made about what they were carrying. They all had different bags!
A backpack, a canvas sling bag, a grocery roller and an overnight bag. If they were all leaving uni together and they were all conversing closely & laughing together as they were walking, would it be safe to assume that they might be doing the same course? Maybe the same subjects, timetables etc. So if they potentially needed the same things as each other for the days events, I wonder why their bags were all so different?  What else were they doing, where else were they going in order for them to select that particular bag for their walk? Do we choose a bag for comfort? Functionality? Or does it give us a certain sense of empowerment? How do these things effect our 'walking experience'?

Walking Impared

Next week my brother is participating in World sight day challenge, where he has to distort his vision by wearing contacts. I thought i would be a interesting opportunity to observe the change in his everyday activities and document his ability to walk through the city as he makes his way to uni, as well as this it is for a good cause! It will give a good perspective on how different walking is for every single person in society. I have included the link below that explains what its all about so feel free to have a look and donate.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Personal empowerment

I like the idea of looking at the accessories of the walker. How can a single item that they carry or wear change the way in which they move around an urban space? How can even song they are listening to dictate their stride, their pace? More importantly, should we be looking at things known as intelligent wearables as merely gadgets, or are they signs of something greater? Do they represent signs for functional autonomy in a fully-fledged urban walker? Does this mean the urban walker feels personally empowered accompanied by these wearables? How would they feel in the absence of them?

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Feldenkrais Method

From the Feldenkrias Lesson we drew a drawing representing our feelings which made me realised how much unaware i am of my own body. The drawing represent more about the pain and discomfort i was feeling during the session than the awareness of my whole body. My body is like an invisible vessel... and it makes me wonder how many people out there are like me. The drawing of my skeleton after the session allows me to see my body from a different perspective, from a more abstract and emotional viewpoint allowing me to break away from the rigid anatomical objective perspective of the body.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Today’s observation exercise turned out to be an interesting experience for me. I must admit throughout the exercise my attention did stray from concentrating on pure walking, but in the end it kind of brought me to think about closeness within society.

I decided to sit in a shopping centre food court and watch people as the entered and exited escalators. After a short amount of time sitting there a man in a green jumper came to sit at the table I was at. He initially wandered over to the other end of the table, but eventually moved closer and closer to where I was sitting, as there were dirt and food scraps on the table. When he chose his final seat he was right (and kind of uncomfortably) next to me. I continued watching others in the shopping centre as they walked to and from the escalators. I noticed people holding large objects and bags walked much faster than people who were carrying nothing at all. As I observed, took photos, and filmed, my attention kept getting drawn to the man who was sitting right across from me. I couldn't stop wondering if he was noticing me making my observations and recordings, and was wondering. With him so close to me it made me really consider how I was taking my observations and watching others. This brought my attention to the way in which so many people are moving through the city; walking past each other, physically brushing past each other, standing next to each other in bus lines, and yet, in a relaxed seated position, closeness to others can be so uncomfortable. Its almost as if when we are standing or walking next to strangers, it doesn't matter how close our proximity is, we can stand or walk right next to each other- as long as we are going somewhere and have a purpose for our actions. But if we are to sit next to a stranger closely, we feel uncomfortable and uneasy.

Monday, 15 August 2011


The Feldenkrais Method

Illustrating body awareness during The Feldenkrais Lesson taught me an alternate way to represent the body, rather than words. For example: it was interesting to map out areas of awareness as a drawing, which allowed most people to focus on areas of discomfort and pain. I had most discomfort around my head, jaw, and hips - represented by harsh red scribbled areas.

However during the exercises I became more aware of other body parts, such as behind my knees and shoulders. Areas I could still feel a sensation, however were not associated with pain.


Body Consciousness 'A philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics' - Richard Shusterman

Favourite Quote "I also perceive my body as something I have and use rather than am' pg: 3
- relating to our bodies as tools and instruments that allow experience (separate entity in a way). Further relating to Plato's philosophy "seperating the soul as much as possible from the body... until it is completely independent" pg 16

Gemma's Invention

My invention involved the use of magic to cause discomfort and pain when my 'collecting abilities' became over indulgent or unnecessary. I am prone to being an impulse buyer and collector, and usually don't think or consider the 'need' for what i buy.

Therefore my 'bottomless pit' bag would still allow me to carry all my essentials (every uni student has to have a giant bag). However the act of impulse buying and collecting can discouraged - as the bag would magically get extremely and unbarring and heavy, reminding me that this discomfort was solely my fault.

Kathleen's Bouncy Shoes

Ryan's Invention

Alex's Invention

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Becoming Aware

Throughout the Felderkrais exercise that was undertaken in week one I found that I eventually became more aware of my body by the end of the class. Initially however it was difficult to feel past the areas of pain and discomfort in my body such as the muscular pain in my thigh from a gym workout the day before, and the discomfort felt in my back as I find it difficult to flatten my arch onto the floor. After a while though I was able to properly take in what the instructor was saying so that I could be more in touch with my body and all its parts. It would be a good feeling to be able to train our mind and our bodies to ignore the pain and focus on other parts of the body. This would be a natural and much healthier way of dealing with the aches and pains that we so commonly feel and let get in the way of everyday life!

In my diagram (my skeleton of feeling) the thicker and darker areas show the parts of my body that I was more aware of during the exercise, whereas the lighter and thinner areas represent the places that I was less aware of and didn’t take my notice to what was being felt, or maybe felt lighter in a way.  

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Central Saint Martins, Textile Futures 2011,

More interesting links from Jotta…

"10 years ago, when Carole Collet set up Textile Futures at Central Saint Martins, she envisioned a new agenda for textile design. Since then the course has become internationally recognised, Collet and her team have formed a new discipline for “designers who are willing to engage with sustainable thinking, experimental design and radical doing.” We spent some time with these designers to find out more about our future textiles."

- via Mille Ross, Jotta website/blog

Mapping Emotion in and around the body

Link to item on Orlagh O'Brien's project at the fabulous Jotta (art & design) website

"Can 250 people describe their visceral feelings of emotion visually, and if so, would any patterns arise? In order to answer this, I developed a unique method of asking people to reflect on and describe their private feelings in a simple, repeatable manner, the results of which could be correlated visually and demographically."

"People were asked in various ways to describe their somatic experience of 5 emotions: anger, joy, fear, sadness, love. The method was hard copy to allow for unimpeded drawing, and consistent colour appearance"

Gary Wolf – The Quantified Self

Garl Wolf TED talk, reposted from Orlagh O'Brien's E}V blog
At TED@Cannes, Gary Wolf gives a 5-min intro to an intriguing new pastime: using mobile apps and always-on gadgets to track and analyze your body, mood, diet, spending -- just about everything in daily life you can measure -- in gloriously geeky detail.

Feldenkrais Experience

Week one we underwent an exercise where we used Feldenkrais to increase self awareness about our bodies. It was an interesting experience...becoming totally in tune with what is going on inside you. Quite relaxing as well! A cross between yoga and meditation. You start to notice every little thing that is happening.....every breath, every though, every twitch, every burn. You will be able to see my interpretations of what i 'felt' throughout the experience in the image above. Comparing this life size diagram to a sketch of a skeleton is very different - it explicitly illustrates feeling as oppose to an assumed representation of the body. My mind was relaxed, and dreamy, indicated by the dream clouds i have drawn in replacement for a skull. Areas in purple indicate where i felt comfortable and content. Green areas indicate where i felt uncomfortable, shaky, hollow and/or cold. The orange areas indicate parts where i felt warm. My aim was to really describe sensations that I was feeling. I tried to do this by using smooth or shaky lines and dense scribbles to indicate areas of pressure.
The exercise was useful to start to question self awareness in the ordinary activities of movement and walking. Something definitely to consider when thinking about designing for sensory experience. 

Gait Analysis and Syntheis: Gender and Walking

A couple of weeks ago I mention 'point-light' gait analysis methods, as a way to think about the different ways we hold ourselves in walking. This is something that is explored a lot in Feldenkrais work: how can we walk more easily - taking advantage of gravity and our musculo-skeletal structure, and re-examine deeply rooted (embodied) naratives of self, self image and how we interact with the world (people) around us. To what extent does our muscular tonus (coordination of tension and relaxation) reflect core habits, and self-conception, interaction and availability to others?

Here's a link to a fascinating interactive website from BioMotion Lab, that allows you to synthesize mood and gender through a point-light animation (click on the picture to open the link):

I find it very interesting to observe pedestrians in the city from this perspective: the body-language of walking, and how we consciously or unconsciously signal our sense of power, desirability, control and mood, and then to reflect on my own musculo-skeletal organization in walking - what am I holding, how are my intentions embodied in this organisation, are these intentions aligned, or contradictory? Its easier to reflect on these very subtle (but powerful) postural differences when you can compare and contrast your own experience - this is something that is often explored in Feldenkrais 'Awareness Through Movement' lessons, at the end of each class: "how do you feel in walking now? what feels different? is this how you usually feel in walking? what in particular feels different?".

The topic of gender and walking can be particularly important for people seeking to transition from one gender to another (or something in between?), and for people who feel the need for a stronger identification with received notions of what it means to be a man or woman in our culture. Bear in mind that gait styles and their gendering can vary significantly from one culture to another, and even from one subculture to another (i.e. Sub-Saharan Africa, East-Asia, Rap/R&B culture, Bikies, Surfies, Drag Queens, Gay Twinks/Bears etc.).

Here's an interesting conversation from a transman's (female-to-male transexual) blog by Dan4th re walking and gait analysis:
Provost et al (2008) found that women who were more fertile, or who had an "unrestricted sociosexual orientation" (more likely to engage in short-term mating) found greater masculinity more attractive in point light walkers.

…One of the first things that other transmen tried to teach me, when I was first transitioning, was how to walk like a man. I'll tell you flat out: I don't. I still catch myself with quite a bit of hip swing. Still, learning the correct walk is a huge step towards "passing" for most transfolk I've known. I am dubious but fascinated by Brooks et al's finding about walker orientation. This study used 3 men and 2 women as observers. I have to say: I probably spend more time watching men approach and women leave, but that's because I make an effort not to stare at women (when they can see me doing it).

And from a totally different perspective: a wonderful and very inspiring formal manipulation of point-light gait analysis technique by the Issey Miyake creative team

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

I n d e p e d e n c e  -the need for individuality 

( ...and  M a g i c )

The importance of this design lies predominantly in its concept, rather than this specific physical form as seen in the pics. The concept explores the idea of independence, the need for individuality; hence the idea that someone is out walking from one place to another to get errands done -shopping for a birthday present, stocking up on uni supplies, having a walk around before meeting a friend after they finish work etc. So it is the need of having things that could create comfort in certain unpredictable instances -seeing a beautiful park, and having time to kill, so wanting to sit down on the dew struck grass, but not wanting to dirty your clothes (use the lining as a little blanket to sit on); also seeing the sun is out for the day but then in the city a piercingly cold wind goes wild and you didn't take a jacket with you (use the lining as a shawl)

This bag that has been designed with practical use in mind -not only can it be used to carry items, but its lining is removable, so it can be used as a blanket to sit on in a park, worn as a shawl if the weather changes etc. Its design aesthetics also plays an important role, because if it could be sold as an accessory piece, an item created to add extra character of some sort to the wearer, rather than a bag, it would be seen as such a versatile fashion, which is where its magic is proven.

The magic is that the wearer doesn't plan to use any of the accessory's functions at the beginning of the day, but turns out to have come in handy at the end of this independent's day.

The shoulder strap is adjustable, it unties and length can be changed according to personal comfort
Fabric as blanket, shawl, picnic mat etc.

...And a nice embarrassing little video.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

welcome to 14 weeks of walking - owl project

Hi All,

Welcome to 14 weeks of walking.

Hope all enjoyed your workshop activities last week ... to get you thinking with your body.

Here is some really interesting research that uses wearables and bodies as  exploratory  tools,  to try and find out the possibilities of technology through imaginative projection.

It is called the OWL project and has been developed  by Danielle Wilde & Kristina Andersen. They came to UTS last year and ran some workshops. There some interesting papers available.

It is a good way to start thinking about what kind of scope there is to think about the things 

we wear on our bodies. It is relatively straightforward to think about clothing/fashion but 

what about other more speculative artefacts or wearable objects. The Owl Project opens up 

this space.