New York based interaction designer Alis Cambol uses technology enhanced clothing for non-verbal communication habits simulating communication forms used by animals.
Her thesis work at Parson’s, called the Communication Apparel explores the possibilities of communicating with and through clothing. We do use clothing for a very long time to make non-vebal communication, be it via the style, color and accessories. Uniforms, certain colors communicate to membership to groups, uniforms communicate our profession and job without having to tell anyone.
Alis is going a step further and adds a new dimension to clothing by adding some e-textile technologies that allow parts of the fabric or accessories to shift position, change the shape.
Di Mainstone has created shape shifting fashion as well as Hussein Chalayan. Alis Cambol has added the dimension of non-verbal communication patterns that make her designs more organic and show familiar patterns like the Lizard Dress (photo above) which raises the frill collar in moments of aggression and fear.
The sensors to lift or lower the frill collar is integrated in the dress’ arm so
when the wearer crosses her arms – a sign of being uncomfortable or defensive – the frill collar will raise.
Using thermochromic inks, Alis created another concept design inspired by the octopus, which changes colors according to various emotions and strategies. When in a state of aggression or defense, some types of octopuses can turn red.
Check out the Lizard Dress in the YouTube video below to get an idea how communication via apparel looks and works:
A very detailed project description can be found on Alis’ project blog, so detailed that one can follow the steps to create the Lizard Dress and the Octopus Cape.