ITP, NYU TISCH
Spring Show 2018
Maker Faire 2018
SUBVERSION OF THE MALE GAZE
The male gaze is a feminist theory coined by Laura Mulvey. The male gaze is the idea of having the male interest in mind. It invokes sexual politics and women are often stripped of their dignity, compromising their sexuality to sate men. Mimosa is meant to give women a sense of empowerment, to have control of when to activate the piece and subvert the male gaze
The male gaze empowers men at the same time it invokes sexual politics of the gaze commonly seen in advertisement, film and comics. Men are used to the idea of gazing at women and objectifying them with little or no guilty conscience. They believe that it is a social norm to behave the way they do because it is the status quo. Unfortunately, this attract behaviours from men that are unwelcoming. Mimosa was created as an opposing act towards the male gaze, it was meant to give women a sense of empowerment to cover their bust line when they feel their area are being violated by uninvited stares.
Mimosa was created as
an opposing act towards the male gaze,
it was meant to give women a
sense of empowerment
The process for the project includes the following:
User Pain Points
User Journey Flow
It is important to acknowledge the women who has been fighting for their rights in this field, it is unfair for me to put myself on the spotlight as a man, to bring out this topic and shadow all the women who has been fighting for their rights.
This is an acknowledgement for all the women who has fought for what they believe and are still fighting, I respect your work you have done and I wish you to continue fighting and I will keep standing beside you.
We have seen many women being objectified by media, movies are one of the common platform where women are meant to sate men. If we look well into centuries ago before the development of film, when paintings are seen as a way to capture the moment, we can observe that many male painters distort portions of a women to further enhance their physical appearance based on the males desire. Madonna with a long neck is an example of the many paintings where women are meant as an object of desire.
In the world we live in it is made easier for men to reach out for materials to satisfy them. Unfortunately, some of these men transcended their private behaviour in public when they interact with women. Catcalls, misdemeanour behaviour are a few common signs that the male gaze has caused without men realizing it. I question if men do realize what they did is wrong or do they even have the guilty conscience when they behave that way.
I began to wonder the possibilities of making a statement for men to realize this. I looked into fashion and how fashion could convey a message.
USER PAIN POINTS
The following are the core problems this product aims to solve, largely aligned with subversion of the male gaze
Freedom to wear what they like - Majority women whom was interviewed for this project mentioned the freedom to wear whatever they like without jeapordizing themselves to the male gaze
Triggered by oddly stares - Getting stares from random men is not a compliment, it is very triggering to them
Unsafe space - Getting catcalls for the way women dress evokes anger on these women, men does not realize that their action is disrespectful
An interview was done on several women for specific situations where they might face
Christine, 24 Years Old
Occupation: Marketing Executive
Christine work as a marketing executive, the nature of her job is to meet clients therefore making her a very sociable person. When she is not working, she often enjoy her time with her friends in bars,clubs or private parties.
Christine is fashionable and up to trend, she would wear anything that makes her feel comfortable, however she get stares by men whenever she wears something that is slightly skin revealing dresses and she gets uncomfortable when these men stare's or tease her.
Women get stares by men for the clothing that they wear, especially the slighlty skin revealing ones.
"I hate it when men give me the cat calls, I have some dignity and respect"
"I don't understand why
men thinks we dress for
them, I dress to make
myself feel good, not to
"I like wearing low bust line dress, that doesn't mean I invite you to look at it, also I don't want to have a shawl covering it"
"Men need to know their limits! They really don't!"
The design must be created with the women in mind, it should not make her feel awkward wearing it on her
It should not just focus as an aesthetic piece but it must also bring the intention of the piece strongly
The sense of empowerment should be transcended to women when they wear the piece, they should be the one determining control
USER JOURNEY FLOW
Most of my inspiration derived from nature, specifically reptiles or birds that has a certain reaction when they are either protecting themselves or attracting the opposite gender of their own species. There are so much to learn from observing nature and how they behave, the natural system that they have on their own is exquisite and unique that replicating them and putting it into physical computing may seem hard to have a smooth effect. I also looked at fashionable wears that already exists, deciphering the designer intent on creating their piece makes it interesting to pen down my own thoughts and directions.
Rapid prototyping was an essential phase for creating
mimosa. It gave me a better idea of my direction and
what I should start with, how I should get going with
the project and the materials I should be using. I experimented with different materials before finalizing on the final one. It was interesting to toy with different materials and to make it look premium but at the same time cost effective.
I started using fabric and intended to use fabric manipulation as a system to create the piece, however, it was hard for me to recreate the effect I wanted. I then played with paper mechanics. While that worked for a brief moment, it felt too cheap and too mechanic, the flow was not right and it felt like a stage curtain more than anything else.
I went back to my moodboard and started to realize a pattern that I see in nature. I tried to manipulate the effect of peacock fanning his feathers.