A recent article by Charlie Foster for Forbes.com about the wearable electronic DIY movement describes the ‘cross over point’ between the ‘boy’s only’ club of silicon based tinkering and the ‘arts-and-crafts’ community traditionally a more feminine domain.
The marriage of tech and fashion opens the doors for crafters to learn how to solder and tinkerers to learn sewing.
The article describes how Leah Buechley started out in 2005 by creating her now famous LED tank top, one of the first Do-It-Yourself wearable electronic project. Since then Leah has tirelessly invented, developed and created components for use in the e-textile environment merging the electronic with the textile world.
Leah’s work brought immense advancements into the wearable electronic DIY community with the creation of the LilyPad Arduino, a ‘textilized’ circuit board with microprocessor and other essential ‘ready to use’ e-textile components. The availability of the LilyPad components provide DIY enthusiasts a quick way to build interactive fashion projects or just have fun with a bit of interactive, blinking fashion accessories or, as Syuzi Pakhchyan formulates: “Who needs diamonds when you have LEDs?” in her book ‘Fashioning Technology‘.
As regular reader of talk2myShirt you are of course up-to-date with the developments of the commercial side of wearable electronic as well as the fast growing DIY interest into sewing ‘textilized’ electronics to create interactive clothing.
Interactive Clothing that serves as second skin, interacting and reacting to our environment we live in, bringing back the form of interaction with our environment we have lost at the moment humans started to cover the skin with dead, lifeless materials called textiles.
Wearable Electronic is not only iPod controlling jackets and bags. Wearable Electronic will extend our senses, senses we have lost or we cover up.
DIY activities alone will not be able to accomplish this target but the DIY community can and will unleash a huge pool of creativity which can lead into successful implementation into (mass)consumable products.
Visit Forbes.com to read the complete article, it’s a great summary of the wearable electronic DIY movement.