alive like stylefree companions

stylefree is a wearable exploration of markers of aliveness and the potential for affective relationships with algorithmically driven technological artifacts.

The silk top part of this ambiguous garment features conductive threads seamlessly following the fabric’s design and two embedded micro-fans, along with custom-made electronics. When the scarf detects motion through a finely calibrated accelerometer it activates the conductive threads to produce a distinct sensation of heat around the wearer’s neck, while the two fans simulate a breathing pattern by expanding and contracting the scarf ’s flowing material. The intensity of the heat emitted and the rate of breathing are directly related to how often and for how long the scarf is used, as to simulate or proclaim states of neglect, boredom or purring satisfaction.

The scarf ’s responsiveness to the wearer is based on tracking usage in terms of frequency and duration using a simple algorithm as a demonstration of the minimum coding necessary to simulate markers of responsiveness, the uncanny, and of interactivity.

Stylefree is conceived and produced by Despina Papadopoulos / Principled Design in collaboration with Bless and Umbrellium to push the boundaries between the meaningful integration of design, craft, electronics and what we consider the limits of these practices to be.

Directed by Principled Design
Garment Design by Bless
Mechanical and interaction design engineered by Umbrellium
Additional hardware and EE design by Deqing Sun and Peiqi Su
E-textile development by Principled Design
With Support from Plot

Stylefree was funded by WEARsustain as part of EU’s Horizon 2020 program.