Our final working prototype (as far as the unrvl course) is complete! We came in over break to knock out the final steps. This time around we used a standard clothing iron to completely test our idea around making the concept as accessible as possible. Lo and behold, it worked! We found that by laying down a thin barrier, in this case a piece of muslin, between the iron and the tarp you can successfully heat up and fuse the seams together. This time around we decided to add a foldable collar to help provide maximum coverage of the neck and torso. Using recycled items like a two-liter bottle, plastic Tupperware container and repurposed bungee straps, we made a successful gas mask! Proud that we were able to bring this idea to this point. I’m excited to share the final presentation and continue working on the concept even after this course is over. Once again, grateful for Xi and our collaboration this semester!
More prototyping! Annet encouraged us this week to trying a draping method to come up with a more comfortable and accurate fit for the garment. Using muslin we draped a half garment that we could duplicate for the opposite side in order to make a complete garment. It was an interesting way to approach garment making. Definitely a more rapid way to test ideas and measurements. After this stage we were able to get comfortable shape we felt really fit our one-size-fits-all approach to the pattern. We also purchased a goggles and gas masks to start seeing how the two elements work together in order to make our own DIY versions. We took the filters apart in order to see what the masks consists of. What we found is that the materials used in these instances were activated charcoal pellets, cotton filters and one-way valves. Once again feeling that much more confident in our project. We are really getting some where!
We’re making progress! After much more experimenting, we were able to create seams using only folds and applied heat. It was an energy boost to be able to make a working garment. Thank you to Vic and Annet for the prior assistance. The prototype was a partial failure which was great progress. After we both tried to put it on we realized that the rigidity of the tarp coupled with the not so wide entrance made for little to no stretch in the material in order to be able to put it on comfortable. The pressure applied to the seams because of the force needed to put on the garment also made the seams rip. I was proud of the failure, it made room for us to make an even better garment moving forward. The saga continues!
This week we slowed down a little as it was an intense time between both of us working towards our grad Fall shows. Nonetheless we continued meeting on Monday afternoon as we have been once we came together as a team for our project. We used it as time to recoup and figure out what to do for the following week. I really appreciate Xi’s energy. Although she can be shy/quiet. She is really funny and a powerhouse of knowledge and understanding. Feels like a secret weapon on our team. Grateful that we have crossed paths. Xi is awesome!
We really hit the ground running this week! We got into full swing for prototyping. After a few conversations, Xi did an awesome job coming up with a concept for a foldable hood and sleeve. It was nice that the experiment was to scale so that we can try it on. She is shy so above are only pictures of me sporting the samples. We also started testing out illustrated patterns that we could use for our digital toolkit. It took some math and failures but we got through it and made a successful pattern to start with.
Another breakthrough was coming up with a name and logo. We sat for a while shooting out names and couldn’t land on anything. Then we started looking at images in relation to what we have been trying to develop and boom it hit us! “Protect + Protest” My favorite part is the logo, it really flows in my opinion. This is where I feel our momentum started picking up and we both were even more excited about our project!
This week we did a lot of research on forms and what has been created before in terms of protective wear and patterns. We explored folds, camo patterns, dress forms and beyond via reference books, paper and beyond.
The Maharashi book was my favorite to go through. I’ve been following him and his work for some time now yet somehow never knew of this book. It was really inspiring to how much intention he has put behind his textile patterns, silhouettes and dedication to history. Every page had my mind racing. The Van Beirendonck book was another highlight. It is mind blowing the way he pushes his ideas and the technology that he uses to complete his visions.
Some of my process and research in figuring out the construction of gas masks and the elements that protestors face during protests.
During last Wednesday’s class Paul held a short workshop on the basics of electric circuits and simple programming. It was more of a refresher for myself and a few other students who have been taking Paul’s electronic intensive on Saturdays. I’m enjoying learning about this tech as it has given me an idea for a series of works I’ve been developing since beginning my time at MICA. Perhaps it could even be incorporated into my project for Unravel.
I’m gaining confidence that I can actualize a prototype of my project for the course. Thank you Annet for introducing me to Bill Moss and the book ‘Collapsible’. It’s helping me better understand what kind of mechanics I would like to implement into my garments. It’s making me feel that the prototype is tangible and possible. More to come.
As I read through both readings I couldn’t help but think about what is happening in the world at this very moment. How tumultuous of times we are living in. Folks around the world are fighting for and being persecuted for what they believe in. From Hong Kong to Sudan, Brazil to the Bronx folks are pushing for basic human rights. Simultaneously, the severity of global climate change is crippling the planet.
How is workmanship and cybernetics being utilized or examined under the guise of solving problems effectively. Rather than pinning them against each other, we are in a time where we need solutions sooner rather than later. People are suffering and dying everyday due to the effects of climate change coupled with a host of systemic oppression and disenfranchisement.
In this course I am constantly thinking about how do apply what we are learning into the real world. Not just as self-fulfilling prototypes and projects but in ways that can have real life implications. Workmanship or cybernetics? Does it matter? We need to employ students to think on a real life level not just about completing assignments and passing courses.
Part of the solution to this is giving students a global context, who else has thoughts on Workmanship and cybernetics? What have they said or are saying in Ghana? The Caribbean? The South Pacific? India? China? Oman? And everywhere else in the world. One perspective is not enough.