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"wearable technology" Tag


Who said books should look like books?


Thursday, February 28, 2019

 

Who said books should look like books ?

I was initially drawn to 70 degrees due to it’s rhomboid design.
Before opening the book you get a sense of quirkiness from the get go.
The layout of content continues to play with you throughout which is eye catching and unique.
My thoughts on the design have led me to consider the potential shape of books, bookcases and technology.
If we look through time we see the generic library format of rectangular books housed on shelves with a 90 degrees support point.
I believe questioning the shape of books, bookshelves and technology can lead to new ways of giving and receiving information.
Traditionally, in two-dimensional geometry a rhomboid is a parallelogram in which adjacent sides are of unequal lengths and angles are non-right angled.
For me this definition represents the book quite well due to it’s content involving a collaboration of artists who are parallel in unison but unique by definition.
Maybe the world has become too accustomed with the usual rectangular book shape and partly forgotten about how much potential there is when it comes to the shape of books and how they are presented.
Are we choosing convenience over creativity, or is the rectangle shape law abiding for the rest of time?
Why is everything mitigated through the rectangle?
Most of the time books are rectanglular. Right in front of me I have another book. It’s a rectangular book which fits in my hands like the size of your average telephone. But why is it not shaped like a circle or a hexagon?
In fact if we think about the history of book making technology and the history of the book, there is not a particular reason why it should be rectangular instead of any other shape.
There is something about the ways in which we use technology where that technology effects us and we in turn are effected by the technology.
For example, I find it more satisfying to hold the book in front of me in a portrait position.
But if I’m not going to hold something in my hand then I often find it more satisfying for it to be in a landscape position. What would be some examples of this?
As previously mentioned the book in front of me is the same size as your average phone. They’re almost the exact same size. And although I can hold my smart phone in a landscape position, and will do that sometimes to take pictures, by and large I tend to use it in a portrait upright position.
If we look at a normal paper back book which is usually around the same size as a tablet computer then here they are both oriented in much the same way, in an upright fashion. And can it be used sideways? Yes, when looking at video.
We spend a lot of time looking at monitors and if you look at the shape of the monitor we notice that monitors are not upright, they are horizontal. Historically, televisions used to be more of a square and that’s because the movies used to be more of a square. The rectangular shape came later and then later on as television technology changed, it made it easier to move away from picture tube. Then we started to move away from the square to the rectangular shape for our televisions as well.
There is something about the ways in which we interact in the world that says to us, “If I am going to hold the text in my hand in some way and I am going to interact with it, then I want it to be upright.” But if we are to be more passively observing, like watching a movie or watching television, or if the way I’m manipulating it is at a distance-  like looking at a computer monitor, but I’m typing on a keyboard, then i want it to be rectangular. And there are many ways in which we interact with our technology everyday in everyday ways, that we unconsciously accept these things as if they are cultural imperatives.
And which is first? Is it that there is something natural about it? That just being a human with normal size human hands oriented in a normal way? That this is the way in which we desire to interact with both rectangular books and the shape of your average smart phone? Or is it that we culturally developed it and now we have that expectation? The answer is both. We make technology to change the world around us.
But by the same token we are changed by our technologies, interacting with them in many ways.
Nowadays we are looking at some changes, where people want to move to more wearable technology. And some people I think are a little concerned that as we move to wearable, embeddable and AI technology the distinction between us and our technology will be less clear. The truth is we have always interacted with our technology in much the same way.
So the next time your using any piece of technology whether it be a book, a cell phone or a steering wheel of a car, take a moment to think about the ways in which we accept certain things and that technology just seems to fit us properly, because humans made it for humans and we ourselves have adapted to the limits of our own technologies.

To conclude, If we break down the word knowledge we see the words know ledge and no ledge. Maybe this is a sign that we can expand our horizons towards a more creative and compelling environment when it comes to the shape of books, bookshelves and technology as a whole.

 

Bedwyr Williams: ECHT/70°. design by Åbäke, Rietveld library number: williams 1

WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY


Sunday, December 10, 2017

 

WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

Our clothes are probably some of the most tactile and flexible objects surrounding us – touching our bodies at all times. This is probably also why it has been such a hard job for designers and researchers to combine it with the stiff mechanics of technology. The term used when these fields are combined is Wearable Technology. Something that fashion designer Pauline van Dongen has been known internationally for exploring. But while Pauline van Dongens works primarily exist in the span of the human body interacting with its physical surroundings, I find it more interesting to research how technology can elevate our identity through clothing.

 

solar-shirt

 

We use technology to perform our identities online.

We use fashion to perform our identities through garments.

Why not try to physically combine technology with clothes as a way of enhancing how we showcase our individuality and uniqueness.

 

For wearable technologies to become truly integrated with fashion we have to bridge the divide between aesthetics and how we understand technology’s usefulness.” – Pauline van Dongen

 

FASHIONABLE TECHNOLOGY

It is obvious that clothes functions as a protective extension of the skin, but it is just as important that they help us form our individual identities. Our identities are ‘wearable’ and changeable through fashion, and have been so for a long time now. The new aspect of adding technology to this equation will hopefully be able to offer alternative and new ways of transforming our identities.

At the moment, there is already a lot of researching going on and a lot of solutions being proposed as to how wearable technology can change our current view of fashion. This research does not only include experiments like Pauline van Dongen’s, regarding the practical usefulness of technology in fashion, but can also have a more conceptual or aesthetic focus point. These projects become interesting since this is where a lot of the ‘identity-making’ in fashion occurs.

Ying Gao is another fashion designer dealing with the concept of technology intertwining with her designs. But in comparison to Pauline van Dongen she uses technology primarily for conceptual and aesthetic reasons. However, this still interacts between the human body and its surroundings, but does not allow the wearer itself to manipulate his/her clothing. Something I think that would be a logical next step with wearable technology.

 

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Other research exemplifies how this self-initiated interaction might become possible. Dr. Sabine Seymour, who is the director of the Fashionable Technology Lab at Parsons The New School for Design in New York, has even written a book with this exact title, Fashionable Technology, that researches the intersection of design, fashion, science and technology. On top of that, several companies are working on inventions involving textile – such as touch-screen fabric. I find this study interesting because it is the steppingstone for making fashion truly customizable at any time. And not only by the external domain of a phone or computer, but by actual interaction with the textiles you put on your body. This idea of technology leading to a more tactile and touchable communication with your clothes – instead of it being dematerialized in a device – also takes technology in a totally new direction.

 

Google+Levi+Strauss+Touchscreen+Clothing+Display+Alliance+Blog

 

INDIVIDUAL TECHNOLOGY

Of course there is plenty of ways to approach linking the gap between aesthetics and the functionality of technology. Personally, I am curious about a solution where that link would manifest new ways of projecting my personal identity. Combining the idea of a, supposedly soon-to-be, future where textiles can act as touch-screens, I have tried to conceptualize how technology can have an effect on fashion and its personal value.

 

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

 

There is no doubt that technological innovations will have a deep impact on the meaning and communication of fashion and thereby identity.

[…] we have now entered an age in which technology is not only a bodily extension, but also a physical improvement, enhancement and expression.”

Throughout your life your identity is constantly changing, so it seems only logical to design new types of clothing that can follow your personal development. As my video suggests, this would be possible if clothing became truly obedient to your personal wishes and could be customized with your own hands. You could then at any given moment change the appearance of your clothing – and your identity. A more analogue example of this is the Color-In Dress, made as a cooperation between Berber Soepboer (fashion designer) and Michiel Schuurman (graphic designer). Although my experiment is limited to colors and patterns, you could imagine that even shape or texture could be transformable too, with the rate technology is developing.

Indeed, this way of customizing your style is already possible, but at the expense of a fast, unsustainable and trend-driven industry. If my (suggestive) model of wearable technology [x] is realized, I believe that this would establish an intimate dialogue between body, mind and fabric – making fashion more valuable to the wearer. It is the relationship you have with your clothes and how it mirrors your personality and emotions, I find interesting to develop further with technology.

Pauline van Dongen’s vision is based on the belief that technology can add new value and meaning to fashion. She does this while focusing on the human body and an interactive relation to its surroundings. I believe, that it is just as important how wearable technology can add an interactive level to our projection of ourselves, and change our relationship with fashion on a very personal level.

 


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