Preface : Project This project is a method in which to see design as a medium to comprehend and decipher human behaviour. This section seeks to explain aspects of the self in relationship to the objects one chooses to surround themselves with. This project emphasizes something as fluid and indistinct as personal identity, but we somehow let it manifest in our seemingly static objects to aid in expressing aspects about ourselves. Objects fulfill the need for us to reflect, understand, and archive ourselves.
Concept This project talks about clothing as holders of memories, as aids in asserting our identity, and as representations of a certain self-understanding. Now, this â€œself-understandingâ€? is supported by a variety of life-tracking devices that collect personal data in which we can reflect. This project uses data collection as a method of personalizing our everyday clothing. An interaction with technology that supports introspection for self understanding then eventually for self expression.
Initial Inspirations The attachment psychology that links humans to objects. The impulse and desire we have in embedding material things with meaning, memories, and allowing them to represent, reflect on, and create a history of ourselves. As creators of these objects and interactions, how can design be positioned to support this behaviour? Often design is talked about in the most black and white of ways, boiling the importance of objects down to just form and function. The insights, value, and progress come from this â€œgrey areaâ€? between this seemingly rigid framework. This is where the relationship between the object and the human is formed. This is where meaning, either emotional or psychological factors are contemplated. All these aspects need to work in succession to deliver connections of quality and to inform critical discourse.
“We are not transparent to ourselves. We have intuitions, suspicions, hunches, vague musings and strangely mixed emotions, all of which resist simple definition.” – Alain de Botton
Objectives / Challenges In the initial stages of the project, there were more challenges than expected. After revisiting the process work and initial thoughts, the early approaches taken were a shift away from the prescribed â€œfind a problem; find a solution.â€? This project saw fit to operate in a way understand prospective opportunities rather than immediate or obvious problems as a way to highlight deeper notions of human behaviours as well as emerging ones. ... Understanding deeper notions of human behaviour through research in self and social psychologies and finding opportunities of intervention through design.
Validation / Decisions Remembering the objective of this project was to understand the ways in which we reflect, understand, express, and archive ourselves. The type of object that would speak the loudest in conveying this message was clothing. Other than the fundamental motives of protection, decoration, and modesty; clothing ourselves is a ritual in which we communicate our interests, quirks, personality, mood, and culture. The human behaviour of display is one layered with complexities that exercise the reflective self, the emotional self, and the social self. In an effort to express the small nuances of ourselves we let our clothing speak. Making the connection between something as understandable as clothing as representations of ourselves to something a little less currently adapted as a life tracking / personal logging devices or apps remained a challenge to be navigated with research and experimentation.
VALUES / PERSONALITY
METHODS OF EXPRESSION
19 Abstract It became more and more clear that in light of interpreting emerging behaviours in ways in which was attempt to understand ourselves and our lives, the expanding use of life tracking / personal logging devices and applications was at the forefront. The development of the project started to accelerate when there was existing technology and existing behaviours to spring from. The propelling question then became: â€œCan these life logging apps and devices not only help us track our activity, reflect on our habits and experiences but can this collected data also help us personalize our objects?â€? To further communicate the values of this project, it was crucial to experiment with at least one of these devices and apps available as well as with coding and data visualization. The app of choice was the Reporter App, a life logging app created my Nicholas Felton. I had the opportunity to speaks to him over email during the research phase and he is a passionate and insightful man that created the Reporter app to allow users to track the things they care about, the little things.
Prototype The prototyping stage started with purchasing the Reporter App for five users and instructing them to use it as personally and freely as possible. This data collection stage went on for about two months. The open source nature of the QS [Quantified Self] and the coding community helped in getting access to all the tools needed to prototype the garments and interactions. All the data collected in the apps were easily exportable and the data visualization programs all free and download-able. The analogy of â€œdata visualizationâ€? grew into the most understandable. The act of collecting data about yourself and turning it into charts or graphs that visualize the information. However, this project extends it beyond and generates data visualizations that are in the form of garment patterns that then are manipulated by the data as a method of personalization. After this personalization stage the garment can then be made for the person.
KNOWN BY SELF Controlled / self prompted data collection
DISCOVERED BY SELF Review / understanding of data collected
KNOWN BY OTHERS Comprehension of data shared / expressed
UNKNOWN BY SELF / OTHERS Aspects to be discovered / developed
27 Finalize For analyzing the results from the five users of the Reporter App, referencing personal psychology tools such as the Myers Briggs personality theory as well as Johariâ€™s Window for insight into how the personal data from the users should be deciphered. There were four areas where the users tracked the most: Productivity Wellness Social Personal These category areas became a foundation in which the data is translated into changes in the garment. Applying a version of the Johariâ€™s Window model to aid in interpreting what the user was trying to understand about themselves. The garment was simplified down to its essential parts; front bodice, back bodice, and sleeves. Characteristics of each part of the garment are changed by variables in the user data. Aspects like shape and structure of the front bodice is affected by productivity data, overall drape of the back bodice changed by wellness data, details like the neckline and overall length of bodice and sleeves dictated by social data, and the introduction of new panels and materials by personal data. After manipulating the garment patterns based on the data collected, the five garments were then made.
Visual Essay: Persona Still Lifes Still Life, an arrangement of inanimate things depicting typically commonplace objects that are seemingly ordinary. However, a still life allows for the viewer to study the forms and meanings of an object or combination of object. The viewer can start to contemplate who the owner of these objects are and what they symbolize. This series of photos not only act as communication of the garments created in this project but a glimpse into the people they were created for as they let their â€œstill lifesâ€? speak for them.
Epilogue : Project This project is a method in which to see design as a medium to contemplate and interpret the relationship between the human and the object, space, experience, and culture. Objects fulfill the need for us to reflect, understand, and archive ourselves. Often design is talked about in the most black and white of ways, boiling the importance of objects down to just form and function. The insights, value, and progress come from this â€œgrey areaâ€? between this seemingly rigid framework. This is where the relationship between the object and the human is formed. This is where meaning, either emotional or psychological is contemplated. This is where experimentation in the process of creation not only results in the final forms but also in a range of potential applications. This project highlights experimentations with personal data collection for self knowledge, perceives the potential in the interdependence of the quantified self and the understood and expressed self. The desire and willingness of the human to merge the digital experience with the tangible experience.
Start from the other side.
Readings • Barthes, Roland. The Language of Fashion. Oxford: Berg, 2006. Print. • Botton, Alain De, and John Armstrong. Art as Therapy, 2013. Print. • Bohnacker, Hartmut. Generative Design: Visualize, Program, and Create with Processing. New York: Princeton Architectural, 2012. Print. • Chapman, Alan. Johari’s Window: Model for SelfAwareness, Personal Development, and Understanding Relationship. 2003. Print. • Flugel, J. C. The Psychology of Clothes. London: Hogarth, 1930. Print. • Fry, Ben. Visualizing Data. Beijing: O’Reilly Media, 2008. Print. • Hudek, Antony. The Object. London: White Chapel Gallery, 2014. Print. Documents of Contemporary Art. • Labaco, Ronald T. Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital. 2013. Print. • Norman, Donald A. Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things. New York: Basic, 2004. Print. • Ray, Man. One Hundred Objects of My Affection, 1961. Print. Documents of Contemporary Art. • Ryan, Susan Elizabeth. Garments of Paradise: Wearable Discourse in the Digital Age. Print. • Spivack, Emily. Worn Stories. 2012. Print. • Stererl, Hito. A Thing Like You and Me, 2012. Print • Uğur, Seçil. Wearing Embodied Emotions: A Practice Based Design Research on Wearable Technology. Print
Photo journal that asked people to pick a wearable item that they feel they are attached to and explain why. Insights into the values and behaviours of clothing and other related wearables.
â€œI picked this one because it was the first dress I personally picked out and it was the very first dress I tried on. When I came out of the dressing room my mom was almost in tears and everyone gasped. It fit me almost perfectly as well. After this dress I tried on at least a dozen others and none spiked that reaction for the other ladies shopping with me and the train on anything else didnâ€™t compare.â€? -Ashley Plumtree
â€œgives me a feeling on accomplishment and confidence when I walk. and when I bought my first pair of brown dress shoes got me out of wearing black and white stuff and adds colour to my life!â€? -Michael Fan
â€œI am super attached to my blanket scarf. Not only does it keep me warm, but it gives me a sense of security. It makes me feel safe like my childhood blanket used to make me feel.â€? -Nicole Wong
“I picked my house slippers, they are practical and they keep my feet warm and clean. All about comfort with these.” -Seden Lai
“I’m emotionally attached to my Birkenstocks because they remind me of an important, defining time in my life. so not only are they nostalgic but they’re also kind of like a badge of honour representing this experience in my life. When I was 18, I left the world I knew to travel Ghana for 6 months with hippies, and you can’t be a hippie in Africa without Birks, obviously. That experience led to me spending 6 months in Uganda, five years later, and that’s not where my off-the-beaten-path travels will end. So, they’re sort of a reminder that when life gets hectic, it’s just another adventure and to attack it with the same principles I learned when I was out there, which in the end, makes me a happier person.” -Stephanie Cozzette
â€œI picked this T-shirt because it was the first shirt i ever bought for myself. I got it in grade 8 back when i decided to start caring how I should dress and I present myself â€? -Martin Kwon
“I haven’t ever really been attached to any article of clothing. I like to clean out my closet almost every season and give clothes away. These boxes/bags are for goodwill. It might be cause I shop based on trends and alot of it goes out of style. Then I think why did i ever buy that?” -Marta Kowcun
“I don’t believe in getting attached to clothing. I mean, yes, there are certainly special pieces, pieces worth talking about, pieces worth showing off. I have a lot of those pieces: expertly knitted sweaters by my grandmother, shoes I have destroyed with kilometers and kilometers of running, and many others. Though these pieces hold symbolism and memories, they are not the keepers of the emotions nor the accomplishments I’ve felt and achieved in them. My grandmother’s love might have led her to know a beautiful sweater, but her love will in no way diminish should the sweater get ruined or start to unravel. my running shoes have aided in months of running, but their presence or lack there of does not take away from what my feet have achieved. I do believe clothing can be special, as all things can be. what we project onto them however, should remain important whether the piece remains with us or not.” -Ailen Cruz
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“My favorite sweater because pretty much did everything in it..a lot of firsts as well. Got it in grade 12 when I was an emo skater kid, protected me from a lot of falls and didnt break, asked out my first gf in it, first kiss in it, got my G2 in it, pretty sure i was wearing it when I lost my virginity, and its comfy! Its too old to wear out now, but if Im going out somewhere where I dont have to worry about how im dressed, say hunting, fishing, or cottage. Its my go to sweater and I’ll never throw it out. Basically its pretty much one of the last few things I own from the period of time where I was becoming who I am today, which was also my favourite time in my life. I’d give up 10 years of life to go back to that final year of high school. Thats how much I enjoyed life at that time, and this sweater is a reminder of all that, so I dont know what it’ll take to let go of it.” -Julian Generali
“I picked these pants. I wear them pretty much everyday and I like them for functional reasons, they are super comfortable. But I chose them over my other things because my brother bought them for me, they’re important to me because he’s the only family that’s close to me.” -Prairie Koo
â€œI picked these pants because they emobody who I am. Frame says adult, pattern says child.â€? -Kevin Kim
â€œMy favourite pants. They are sweatpants Olivia [girlfriend] gave me as a gift and I think I hold them dearly because they are comfortable but also because they are my home pants my association to home is tied to wearing them.â€? -David Schnitman
“This blazer was my mom’s and she gave it to me in grade 12 and I cut it up and made it my own. It happened to become impractical after I altered it (It’s a really thick material but short sleeve) but I can’t get rid of it even though I never wear it . I don’t think it would mean as much to anyone else if I gave it away.” -Adrianne Lee
“My favourite object and accessory is a 18k Gold Ring that belonged to my grandmother. It was given to me at age 13 after she passed away. She was a gold wearing type of lady, never leaving the house with bare knuckles or necklace in sight. I wouldn’t wear it before, only on special occasions, due to the fear of losing it but it has become a staple piece of mine to the point that I can’t leave the house without it. My attachment to this object not only comes from the fact that my grandmother owned it and wore it everyday, but also what it represents. I like to think that even though she’s no longer here, this little piece of jewerly keeps the bond we had intact and strong.” -Malu Bulnes Velez
“I chose this scarf, it was my mom’s scarf. When i was younger it was more of a security item for me. Now it’s just something special and pretty to me. When I’m away from home I take it with me. It feels natural.” -Rani Kim
“My Sky Stone necklace. It was a gift from my dad, it represents my family, my religion, things i believe in. It’s a lucky object. It’s kind of a connection to my father because I don’t have much of a relationship with him; unspoken bond. When I was little my Dad would surprise me with toys so this reminds me of that time.” - Oscar Kwong
“I picked my wooden earrings, I think I picked these because of aesthetic reasons: they frame my face and fit into my own aesthetic. When I first bought them I wasn’t really looking for them, they just kind of found me.” -Justus Buenaflor
“One of the first pieces I bought with my own money at my first job. I sometimes wear it when I get sad. The fabric is soft, silky, and comforting. It’s super versitile so that’s fun for me. So many memories in this shirt.” - Caroline Van
Photo journal that asked people to pick a wearable item that they feel they are attached to and explain why. Insights into the values and behaviours of clothing and other related wearables.
Preface : Process This project is a result of research into various areas of human behaviour as well as shifts in culture. This section seeks to explain the foundations as well as the structures that hold this project up. The process work highlights a chronological account of concept development, research, opportunities, points of validation, and production. Following the process work behind this project to understand its value and meaning relative to human behaviour, technology, business and culture.
Concept Development An area of interest from the beginning of this project was how we develop attachment and meaning within the objects that we surround ourselves with. How the carefully curated collection of inanimate things guide in contemplating and expressing ourselves relative to them.
Key questions within the first stages of defining the project scope. Why are people emotionally attached to certain objects? How does this manifest in objects/wearables? What role does technology have regarding changes behaviours? Where does this become most evident/significant? Why does this integration of wearables and technology matter? How do we personalize our wearable objects?
The trend of integrating wearables and technology has been a way to introduce technological processes or mechanisms into familiar forms as an attempt to make connections within our lives. Continue this exploration in combining the wearable form with digital methods and this need for the emotional by : • Insights into how technology has change behaviours • Understanding the value of the garment and its rituals • Determine where emotional factors are embedded by examining these rituals • Psychological/behavioural research methods
Research Within the initial stage of determining what the area of interest was, there was a number of rough project values that then needed to be strengthened by research. The questions and hypotheses considered in the early stages set the projectâ€™s research course to be centred around insights into current modes of attachment towards objects [specifically towards clothing]. How one reflects upon ones personality in parallel to the objects in which they own/want, and how the current state of technology and business is facilitating these relationships. It was important to understand the core and emerging factors of human psychology in relation to the core and emerging aspects of technology.
14 Photo journal and interviews that asked people to pick a wearable item that they feel they are attached to and explain why. Insights into the values and behaviours of clothing and other related wearables.
Connection to Self
Physical and emotional comfort. Knowledge of self aesthetic and social presentation. Independence.
Connection to Others
Representation of a bond with another person. In some cases, it was the reason for keeping the item long past its ‘usefulness.’
Connection to Past
Picked item allows the wearer to have moments of nostalgic reflection which acts as a method of comfort in their current lives.
Some responses claimed that they do not develop attachment to wearable objects because to them they are means to an end, disposable or “donate-able,” or they feel that whatever emotional meaning they link to something should remain whether the object remains or not. Emphasis on object afterlife.
Self-Awareness / Attachment Psychology
Feedback sessions at the Psychology offices at the University of Toronto. Conversations with the associate professor of psychology, Geoff MacDonald for insights into how to approach my project from a psychological and core behavioural perspective. Geoff specializes in attachment and social psychology in individuals and has research interest in the individualized and social experiences of humans. Insights helped to frame core factors of the human experience that affect notions of attachment and self-awareness.
Custom Wearables Industry
Conversations with tailors, dressmakers, and custom shoemakers to find insights into how and why people personalize their wearables. Other than the high quality / one of a kind, the experience of being part of the process allows for this feeling of pampering.
Relationship with Personal Devices
Similar to the responses about wearables, most people said that they do have an attachment to their personal devices and have tried to personalize them to make them fit better into their lives. However, in most cases, people were reluctant in acknowledging that they may have formed certain dependencies to their devices and showed a desire to use their devices less.
LIFE CYCLE OF ELECTRONICS
LIFE CYCLE OF FASHION
Relationship between Technology & Wearables
Very specific functionality that the user is meant to constantly use, some products just come off as novelty. The arbitrary melding of fashion and technology in many current examples has so far proven to be unintuitive. In an effort to make this combination successful we must have a deeper understanding of the psychology of clothing/other wearables, the relationship between people and technology, how to relieve the mismatched life cycles of fashion and tech. This balancing of values should serves all parties involved, especially the wearer.
• • • • •
Personalization / Self expression Individualized experience Technology should be in a supportive role Physical and emotional comfort Afterlife of the product is considered
Opportunities After assessment of the research areas explored, projected values began to become clearer and new values were discovered. Validating concepts from research and observations into substantial project directions. The research collected, was able to open up a number of opportunities. It was a matter of selecting an output that both expressed the core message and insights into the human relationship with objects and was rooted in current and developing conversations within technology, business, and culture.
People see value in participating in the advancements and integration of technology into everyday life but are unwilling to feel like they are creating dependencies. â€˘ Technological aspects
Access to Process
The experience of how the product is obtained may be a method that needs to be explored as a way of adding value to the product. Level of user involvement and understanding. â€˘ Personal aspects
Technology and its relationship with the wearable form is an indication that there needs to be a capacity of support towards the individualized experience and personal expression. â€˘ Social aspects
Project Direction Reviewing initial research along with possible opportunities, there were a number of key questions that needed to be answered for the final project direction to become clear. What is the object? Why? How is the object created? Why? How is the human involved? Why? The intended interaction of this project was to understand how we express and reflect upon ourselves via our objects. With this it became obvious that the object that would communicate this notion was clothing. The questions “how is the object created?” And “how is the human involved?” Started to overlap. Realizing how we attempt to understand ourselves within the context of technology became critical. With this it became obvious that prevalence of the life tracking/personal archiving apps and devices was an area to move forward with.
DATA COLLECTION FOR PERSONALIZATION
This project talks about clothing as holders of memories, as aids in asserting our identity, and as representations of a certain self-understanding. Now, this â€œself-understandingâ€? is supported by a variety of life-tracking devices that collect personal data in which we can reflect. This project uses data collection as a method of personalizing out everyday clothing.
Reporter is a new application for understanding the things you care about. With a few randomly timed surveys each day, Reporter can illuminate aspects of your life that might be otherwise unmeasurable. Use the Reporter App to collect personal data from users to create an experience that utilizes data collection as a method of personalizing new objects for the user.
MADE TO MEASURE
Opens up opportunities to not only define metrics to physical attributes like size or fit, but we can start to measure deeper characteristics about the user. Which then can be used to personalize garments. The quantified self is related to the reflective self The object [garment] is related to the expressed self
The prototyping stage started with purchasing the Reporter App for five users and instructing them to use it as personally and freely as possible. This data collection stage went on for about two months. From analyzing the results from the five users of the Reporter App, there were four areas where the users tracked the most. Productivity Wellness Social Personal These category areas became a foundations in which the data is translated into changes in the garment.
With the data categorized under these themes and with the range of different changes the results for each data set are endless for the user.
System It was not only the type of object and the user interaction that needed to be determined, aspects of the entire system like production, business, marketing, and logistics were to be resolved in parallel. In most cases, decisions become clear based on the end object and the type of individualized experience that the project offers.
END USERS Young Adults – Quantified Self communities
SUPPLIERS Fabric Suppliers Software Providers Hardware Suppliers
PRODUCTION Manufacturers/Sewists Coders
INFLUENCERS Coders –Technical restraints of generative software programs Psychologists –Methods and procedures of research (behavioural, emotional, personality) may be affected/could benefit from expert guidance.
RETAIL For either a retail/concept pace or e-commerce setting: Logistics Services –Deliveries/transportation Potential Business Partner(s)
A co-creation business model, that many companies like knyttan use to add value and uniqueness to their products. Focus on employing similar strategies to allow users to be part of the process but differ in offering personalization in other methods than just surface treatment.
The user is able to capture personal data in a particular moment or throughout the day. The data is collected into an open source visualization platform and used to manipulate garment patterns which are defined by the userâ€™s measurements, or a standard pattern block size. The personal data will be used to create into new wearable objects. The user is able to reflect upon themselves through collected data, not through a series of numeric statistics but experience it through a series of personalized objects.
Ge ne rati on
IL / ETA
Retail System Retail has shifted from the only point of purchase to showcase spaces where brands are able to build experiences around their products along side their online presence. A physical storefront that is less about moving merchandise and more about sharing the process with the customer, especially for brands where that is where the value lies.
Garment patterns generated digitally, digital files are sent to the laser cutter and fabric is cut out directly. The retail space could house the production system. The production system would require laser-cutting, seamstresses for assembly.
EM YST S N
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Production To illustrate this concept of personal data into personal object, five different garments were to be made based on five different userâ€™s data sets. The production stage was to be performs in a series of these actions: Input: user data Output: visualization of garment pattern Input: digital file of garment pattern Output: laser-cut into fabric components Input: fabric components Output: outsourced to be made into functional garments Along with material sourcing, finding a seamstress, and finding assistance for writing a piece of code to read the userâ€™s data from the Reporter app then set parameters to output changes in the garments pattern to then dictate the final object.
Develop a series of garments that integrates data collecting technology as a method of personalization.
CORE VALUES Individuality Self Knowledge / Introspection Personal Expression Sentimentality Analogous
PRINCIPLES Personalization / Uniqueness Tracking Personal Data Digital Tools To Physical Objects Personal Archiving Process Driven / User Dependent
MATERIALS / FORM Cotton, Jersey, Linen Generative Washable Wearable Representative
CAROLINE_DATA VERSION 01 01. 15. 2014.
Reading the data exported from the Reporter App and parsing it into categories [Productivity, Wellness, Social, Personal]which then become the variables that manipulate the garment pattern visualization.
FEEDBACK “Is it representational enough?” “Are the changes too subtle?” “Do I get to chose the material?” “What if it doesn’t fit?” “What will the online experience look/be like?”
Material Sourcing. Inspecting garment pattern pieces from the laser-cutter. Sewing together sample garments for outsourcing.
GARMENT 1- COMPONENTS
GARMENT 4- COMPONENTS
Front Bodice: 5 pieces Back Bodice: 2 pieces Sleeve: 4 pieces Patches: 2 pieces Binding: 1 piece
Front Bodice: 4 pieces Back Bodice: 2 pieces Sleeve: 4 pieces Binding: 2 pieces
GARMENT 2- COMPONENTS
GARMENT 5- COMPONENTS
Front Bodice: 5 pieces Back Bodice: 2 pieces Sleeve: 4 pieces Patches: 1 piece Binding: 1 piece
Front Bodice: 2 pieces Back Bodice: 2 pieces Sleeve: 4 pieces Binding: 1 piece
GARMENT 3- COMPONENTS Front Bodice: 6 pieces Back Bodice: 2 pieces Sleeve: 4 pieces Patches: 2 pieces Binding: 2 pieces
79 All final piece sent to laser-cutter. Component and instruction documents enclosed in outsource package.
Visiting studio of seamstress. Drop off and pick up of outsource package.
Epilogue : Process This project is a result of research into various areas of human behaviour as well as shifts in culture. It seeks to explain the foundations as well as the relationships of human and object. The process work highlights a chronological account of actions that utilize design as a medium and voice.
Start from the other side.
References pg 4 • Sewn as Site. D, Pistekova. pg 22 • XOX Sensory Wristband, XOX studio. pg 26 • The Pink & Blue Project, JeongMee Yoon. pg 32 • Data visualization interfaces, Withings. pg 36 • (No)where (Now)here, Ying Gao. pg 44 • Reporter App, Nick Feltro. pg 54 • 3x1 pg 57 • Knyttan pg 68 • Worn Stories, Emily Spivak