The Dressware project involves a creation of multipurpose inflatable dresses that through inflation can change and adapt to different situations and environments. Following the legacy of Archigram and Michael Webb’s Suitaloon and Cushicle, my concepts evolve around the idea of clothing as portable architecture and combine practical applications of the multi-functionality of life nowadays with “you never know WEAR?” situations of local and global emergencies.
Drawing attention to the issues of uncertainty in globalized culture where as individuals we have less and less control over our lives, increasingly controlled by big institutions, corporations and governments, the Dressware project brings our individual needs to the basic, everyday experience of survival.
My prototypes include: a Sleeping Bag Dress, a Lifesaver Dress and a Parachute Dress that can be used as shelter, a floating device or an escape mechanism.
The Sleeping Bag Dress is a kimono-like dress, which once inflated, changes into a cylindrical container for a person to sleep and reside inside.
The Lifesaver Dress will entail inflation and deflation of a skirt, which while inflated will create a ring or a protecting 'circle' around the person, expanding the space of the body and will allow it to float on water.
The Parachute Dress will allow a skirt to be converted into a parachute. A person will be able to slip through the waist, inflate the skirt and be supported in the air through a harness of webbing.
My goal is to incorporate wearable and wireless technologies in order to make my prototypes as close as possible to portable, self-sustainable environments. I am particularly interested in controlling transformation processes of luminescence, camouflage, heat, toughening and using alternative power supply sources.
First public presentation of the Dressware project will take place in Tallinn, Estonia on August 19th, 2004 as part of the Internationla Symposium on Electronic Art - ISEA 2004 (www.isea2004.net/).