My goal was to redesign a past fashion project in order for it to be shown during Boston Fashion Week 2015. I worked on a conceptual dress designed for a world with little oxygen. A worldwide drought could kill all of hte oxygen producing plants on the planet, forcing humans to conserve oxygen. People could fill up external lungs on the dress with oxygen and then they would be able to live without more air for a lot longer than if they did not have the dress. Since I worked on a project that had already been started I was not creating a completely new piece, but instead redesigning the original. I started off by sketching out what I wanted the dress to look like, and then began to create the dress.
The first iteration of the lung dress was a paper model that I made in order to figure out the design of the dress. I based the design off of the sketch that I had made at the beginning of the studio, and the designs of the original lungs. This iteration had no moving parts, and none of the parts were attached to one another. Every piece in the dress was pinned or taped to the mannequin. I made this prototype using paper strips to represent where the tubes of the dress would be, and cardboard cutouts of the lungs to show the lung placement. In the next iteration I hoped to create a model of the dress that would hold together instead of needing to be pinned to the mannequin.
The second iteration I created was a fully cardboard prototype of the dress. The main part of the dress was malleable so that it could form a dress shape, but there were no working lungs. For the prototype I had created hinges for the lungs instead of using tape, so while it did not expand by itself, the cardboard lung did move if someone pulled it open. When redesigning the dress I focused on making giving it more of a dress like shape, unlike the original piece which just clung to the body. While doing this, I worked on creating different ways for the tubes to attach to the lungs. I ended up using the lungs as attachment points for where the tube pieces would be joined. This way I ended up having the tubes connect at the lung. In the next iteration I hoped to get the lung to expand and contract on its own, as well was make the piece out of wood and acrylic instead of just cardboard.
For the third iteration of the dress I just made a few changes to the second iteration. I kept the completely cardboard design, while changing the shapes of certain pieces. Since the lungs were pentagonal I decided that I would change the tube pieces to match. In this iteration I also added elastic string on the outside edges of the pentagonal tube pieces in order to create more of a tube like shape. The elastic stretches out when the lungs expand, and then it goes back to normal when the lungs contract. This iteration did not have any self-moving parts, but the lungs could be moved by and just as they could be in the second iteration. For the final iteration I hoped that I could switch out the cardboard for wood or acrylic, as well as get the lungs to expand using a servo.
The fourth iteration of the dress was wood with an acrylic lung. Since the main part of the dress was wood, it was very sturdy compared to the cardboard version. In this version the acrylic lung were still connects the tubes in order form a dress, but there was an attachment piece that went in between the two parts so that the lung could be removed without taking the whole dress apart. Although the dress held together very well, the rigidness of the wood did not allow the tubes to conform to the body as well as they did in the cardboard prototype. Because of this the dress stuck out from the side of the body, and was probably less comfortable to wear than the last iteration. The lung did not expand by itself in this iteration either, because the mechanism with a servo had not yet been modified to fit in the lung. In the final iteration I hoped to paint the wood, as well as add elastic string that stretches as the lungs expand.
The final iteration of the lung dress is made of silver painted would with two moving acrylic lungs, and two non-movable lungs. The main part of the dress is made of silver wood strips and pentagons that are attached to create a tube-like structure. Elastic is strung on the pieces to create the outer shape of the tubes. There is a movable lung on the front of the dress, as well as one on the side. Both of the lungs have servos inside of htem that allow them to expand and contract. On the back of the dress there is a non-movable lung that houses the battery and Arduino to control the servos, and on the other side of the dress is another non-movable lung. When the lungs expand, the elastic stretches out, cbringing the whole dress to life. When the wearer of the dress walks, it appears as though the lungs move less than they do when the dress is stationary. The change in speed is just an illusion, but it makes it seem as though the dress is reacting to movement. The lung dress is not completely finished, but it shows what the final dress could look like.