Good and Bad design for illuminated clothing and bags

enlighted_bag.jpgIntegrating illumination / light into clothing or bags become popular judging on the many commercial and concept designs introduced throughout the past year.

Light elements in clothing give an additional style dimension, a more dynamic look to the gem stone and glitter dust we have on our clothing for a long time to add sparkle to our outfit.

Much effort is spend to integrate dynamic illumination into clothing and bags to make them as soft as the textiles used for those products.

What I do badly miss is the use of the same sophistication and creativity which is so generously spend on the light integration as well as on the light / illumination presentation. My point: almost all the products and design concepts use the light in two stages: on/off. Just like flipping a light switch – yes/no, on/off, 0/1 – binary, computational, rational, hard, cold.

How much warmer, organic is the soft, slowly coming the life glow like light dimmers in a room on more sophisticated products like on Apple computer the LEDs. Apple sets themselves apart from companies like Dell or HP with this kind of love to details: details that make technology softer, organic.

Switching on light in one ‘big-bang’ is simple but it’s looking very cheaply especially when used as style element in clothing with it’s organic and dynamic shapes. Illuminating textiles by softly increasing light intensity and fading out in the same way like the rhythm of live or a heart beat will be much more attractive than the hectic flickering textile lights we can see too often.

Very small changes on the technology side make a big difference between Apple and Lenovo (just to name all of them) – sophistication on one and cheap mass market on the other end of the scale.

I use the nicely designed bags from Enlighted as example to illustrate my point but most other illuminated bags and garments light up the same way. If the light management would be softer and more organic the whole presentation and style experience would radiate quality and sophistication. At this current stage I think someone must be very bold to show up in public with an erratic flickering bag.

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