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Johnny Wang Sara Webber Ut Thi Hien Tran

Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013

Precedents Study

human ribs and spine

intrumented bodies a porcupines in defensive mode

Birdcage Couture

skeletal cage Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013

personal border

Porcupines defense system is an interesting example of personal space. The long and sharp quills cover their bodies in other to protect them from predators attacks. Hundred of quills act like weapons when other creatures come too close to them.

Armadillo armour - a source of inspiration

The armadillo’s plate armour sits on its body as a hard outer coating to protect itself from potential predators; much like the concept behind the cape and the scales of our Second Skin. Both elements allow the user to choose between a defensive protection indicated by the volume of the cape and the weapon-like aesthetics of the scales, as well as the option to physically open up the protective suit to a person of trust. Alike the armadillo, the opened cape and upturned spiked-arm allow for intimacy and closeness within the proximity of the users personal space that is defined by a lack of hard, protective covering. The form and armour of the armadillo also inspires us as it allows for the creature to roll into a ball as if the plates of armour are on a hinge, which inspired us to endeavour to create retractable/moveable protective scales.

normal mode

Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013

defensive mode

Interpreting ideas Unconditionally, we tend to use arms to defend while being attacked by external impacts. This action is innate and natural.

We implemented a small experiment in order to explore the boudaries of personal space , also how human bodies create ultimate privacy. We found out, the arms contribute mostly to all the actions and reactions while we are in personal mode as well as communication and social mode. The arm , while rotating horizontally, creates a circular volume embracing the bodies. The inner zone is known as intimate zone which only welcome closed people to come in, or, when that person is in good mood to socialize, hence, allows people to come closer to them.

Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013

Previous idea The design we got for Module 2 is a bit confusing and somehow , does not create a connection between parts of the design since there are 3 concepts drawn at the same time. Each part is literally doing their own functions and do not relate to each other. The cape is what we intend to keep to develop further in this Module 3. Potentially, the cape can help to illustrate arm motion and somehow, allows movements which are special characteristics of Skin and Bone material system.

Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013

Visualizing idea

The design illustrate arms motion based on what we have explored. We intend to sketch a volume which embraces the right half of the upper part of body. This is supposed to symbolize personal space , also, delineates different modes of that person, whether he/she is ready to socialize.

Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013

From the armour of armodillo , we visualize some elements which can help to develop our concepts. They are pieces of wood in irregular and regular shapes , with pointed edges which can hurt the others

Rhino Model Technically, each piece of thr rib cage includes two pieces which have the same general shape, however, the inner holes are cut in different shapes. These two are glued together : -enhance the strength of the cage, reduce horizontal bending. -aesthetically looks much more elegant

Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013

A wooden pole will be placed through the back ends of the ribs as the centre of the horizontal rotation, and at the same time, attatched to the pole holder. The pole holder will also act as a system similar to a backpack, combining the torso of of the body and the second skin with straps. The ribs will then be covered by fabrics that are soft and stretchy enough to form a unique shape that is created by the outlines of the ribs.

Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013

pole holder: ensures there is a distance between the body and the cage, thus, the edges of rib pieces do not touch the person back and allowed to move

Scales The scales are designed to represent the idea of self pretection through intimidation. We were inspired by the plate armors of armadilos and during our idea development stages, we decided to take it one step further and add spikes to each one of the plates. The addition of the spikes enhences the idea of intimidation, but also contrasts against the cape/ shield on the opposite side of the body visually.

The spikes apparently warns the others to stay away from that person. Additionally, when being attacked, that person can raise the arm up to cover his/her face . This not only reperesents personal space but also defensive system of human.

Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013

Material Preparation Skin: Red colored tretchy fabric We choose elastic fabric because elasticity can help to visualize the general shape which is form by bone frame hidden inside.

The ribs and scales were glued with PVA glue while the pole holder/backpack was stuck together with nail glue because neither PVA glue or super glue were strong enough to support the weight of all the ribs hanging off the back of the body.

Bone: LUAN PLYWOOD -900x900 , 2.7 mm in thickness TIMBER PLYWOOD -900x900: 3 mm in thickness The rib pieces are cut by laser cutter Luan Plywood is good enough for the cage, and additionally, since it is much lighter to carry than metal or wood.

Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013


Rib pieces cut by laser cutter

Spine at the back helps to hold the pole also, enable the ribs to rotate horizontally

Sewing the fabric to the scale frame

Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013

Final Design

From the front

defensive mode with arm covers the face

from the side

The hardest thing we have met while building this is using glue. Moreover, since the design is pretty big in size, it was so difficult to hold and construct it probably. The ribs initially did not went well in the way we wanted them to be, kept falling down and bending.

welcome mode

Virtual Environments Sem 2 2013

from the side