After almost 2 decades of experimentation in wearable technologies we are seeing a renewed interest in the area. Both the apparel and technology industry are edging the market and yet, nothing seems to stick.
Wearable environments are complex – their intimate relationship to the human body, their expressive potential, their ambivalent relationship to fashion, well-being and notions of selfhood, all bring into focus core questions of interaction design.
Making Sense of Wearables will review the current and past landscape of wearable environments, outline possible criteria of success and experiment with developing prototypes that account for their personal, social and material implications (and opportunities).
The class will be structured around themes of personal (human senses, qualified self, well being, intimacy and communication) and social space (time and location, gestures, fashion and material culture). Each week a new theme will be introduced, along with examples, historical evolution in the area, readings and related technologies and their implications. Students will be asked to respond to these themes with weekly assignments and fuse emerging technological possibilities with design considerations of the embodied human experience. Students will be encouraged to explore and expands their aptitude in physical computing and rapid prototyping techniques but deep experience in either is not a pre-requisite for the class.