I tend to take things for granted. I complain about being "starving " when I haven't eaten in three hours; and I complain about being tired when I haven't slept in to 11. I complain that my body hurts after being able to play for a full lacrosse game. Juxtapose studio has exposed me to people and issues that I simply could not relate with. I still don't have cerebral palsy, and I still don't have to endure the pain of people staring at me all the time, but this project gave me a window into what disabled people go through. I am grateful for this opportunity to help me continue to grow as a person as I am learning about the lifestyles of others, specifically different than my own.
In the studio we made a chest piece wearable designed for Michelle. Cerebral palsy is a disorder that relates to movement, muscle tone, and posture. It affects the muscle coordination within a body. Michele expressed that she never felt welcomed and that she didn't have a "seat at the table". Additionally, Michelle expressed her love for sea life. We tried to relate these two ideas and came up with the idea of making a wearable representative of the coral reef. The coral reef representing community as well as expressing beauty and uniqueness; there are no two pieces that are the same. In this way we tried to build a supportive community for Michelle through the wearable.
The wearable is a felt chest pieces fitted with many wooden input slots which are compatible with the two types of appendages we created. The seaweed appendage laser cut felt with a wire sewn in through the middle so it can be easily warped around Michelle or her mobility devices to represent support and comfort. The other type of appendage, inspired by turtle shell, is a three dimensional, jointed, wood appendage. These appendages both project into the space around Michelle and hug her body illustrating the external relationships community can grant her, as well as the supportive and protective qualities of a open and accepting community.