The programme is really good. Many projects have already been featured on this blog, but there are several nice surprises as well. Take Yo Taxi! for example. To help New Yorkers stop a Yellow Cab on its tracks designer Terence Arjo embedded the Yo,Taxi! coat with a persistence of vision display, shown through a row of LEDs on the cuff of the coat. When the wearer waves his/her hand in the taxi-hailing gesture, the LEDs illuminate. The POV strobes in time with the wearer’s action, displaying the word “TAXI” seemingly floating in mid-air. Now have a look at the video and try not to laugh.
Also on the catwalk: the Balance/Imbalance shirt by Sonali Sridhar. On wearing your phone and keys, the garment is pulled down and covers the body. Every time the keys or phone are taken out to be used, the shirt skews in one direction leaving the wearer with a sense of imbalance. A purely mechanical solution to this notion of feeling awkward without your devices.
Another of Sridhar’s project strikes a chord with me because when i’m walking in the streets (even the empty ones) i compulsively check if my wallet, kaikaikiki, keys and mobile phones are indeed still in my bag. The pockets of the Presence/Absence jacket have a set of snaps sewed into them. These correspond with a set each on the wearer’s wallet, keys and phone. On putting your devices into the pockets and snapping them shut the devices are physically connected to the jacket. The jacket has 3 LED’s that stop blinking when these connections are completed. The LED’s move into a panic mode when any of these are absent by indicating with a rapid blink. Every minute or so the circuit does a quick check on all the components and makes sure they are all present and this is viewed when the LED’s dim slowly, reassuring their presence. Reminded me of Christian Palino‘s Periferal Needs, a set of designs for people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder.