Wear is a project that chronicles a year spent making, measuring, and marking experiences as a mother during COVID lockdown. It is a Design Memoir in the form of a handmade woven garment with integrated circuitry that measures the forces on my body. It accompanied by a video that documents, from a first-person perspective, the everyday though which the project came about. I conceptualized, designed, and fabricated the fabric, sensors, and circuitry by hand using processes of stitching, weaving, and felting. These tasks that took place in parallel with many other repetitive tasks and repetitive days spent in close collaboration with a small set of materials and humans. The garment is marked by these manic and memorable experiences as wear upon the material and numeric data collected by the sensors. Specifically, the sensors recorded the forces collected on my body at 21 individual points. The garment, thus, can “play back” these forces as color change in the regions that the force was incurred. The color change is subtle and slowly changing, casting uncertainty and inviting interpretation as to the bodily experience. It lends itself to be read within the frame of a viewer’s lifeworld—a Rorschach test more than a data visualization.
The garment can be worn as a house dress or hung as a map allowing others to inspect the materials and circuitry. The simulation below shows the data captured upon the garment on February 6, 2021