Garments that change shape have a similar magical fascination and garments the emit light. How big this fascination is has been shown by Hussein Chalayan with his Mechanical Dress, the Video Dress and his latest creation the Sparkling Crystal Dress.
A collaboration between Di Mainstone and Joanna Berzowska at XS Labs took the shape shifting element of garments a bit further in the SKORPIONS Project, a set of kinetic electronic garments that move and change on the body in slow, organic motions.
The shape change is realized with the use of shape-memory alloy (SMA) Nitinol to achieve the slow, organic motions.
The idea of integrating Nitinol into textiles might be obvious to create shape changing, responsive fabrics. But according the experience of Joanna, the process is quite complicated and expensive which explains the lack of Nitinol-based shape changing garments on the market.
SKORPIONS integrate electronic fabrics, soft electronic circuits, specially designed circuit boards, Nitinol, mechanical actuators such as magnets, and traditional textile construction techniques such as sculptural folds and drapes of fabric across the body.
The cut of the pattern, the seams, and other construction details become an important component of engineering design. All those elements are essential to create such interesting, sophisticated dresses as the XS Lab team realized in the SKORPIONS project.
A feast for the eyes and senses and Wearable Electronic as it should be one day; meaningful, playful, invisible yet visible in an pleasant and discrete way.
Below is a short video clip showing how the SKWARTH model – my personal favorite – changes softly it’s shape:
Do not miss to check out the Skorpions Website with a wealth of information about the finished dresses, the team and the background information of the SKORPIONS project. I highly recommend you reading this inspirational material.
[source: XS LABS]