Mimossa: Wearable Jewellery Technology


Most women who are very confident with their body often show it through their character, the way they carry themselves or the clothing they wear. Some see these women as an exemplar to follow suit because of the strong persona they carry. Unfortunately, a certain percentage of society don't regard this as confidence, they objectify them and at times, doesn't know the boundaries of respect.

Inspiration

Mimossa was inspired by the mechanics of a Mimossa plant, it is satisfying to observe the plant opening and closing by a human touch. I felt that there was a relation to the project in terms of the characteristic to the project. Mimossa focuses on women who are confident of their body and enjoy wearing low cut dresses but dislike it when they get creepy stares looking at their bust line.

Persona

Felicia, 26 years old

Advertising Client Account Executive

Goals

To be able to express herself freely

Feel safe and not too vulnerable

Motivation

Doesn't like to wear shawl or anything too bulky

Issue

Gets too uncomfortable when someone stares at her bust line for too long

The Research

Working with fabrics

I experimented with fabrics, playing with the shibori method which is a manipulation of fabrics using heat settings. The play of fabrics was really interesting but it didn't rest well with the jewellery idea. I resorted to plan my work with other materials.

The Process

Sketches/Rapid Prototyping/Prototyping

The Creation

I experimented with plenty of materials, most of which must be light weight and aesthetically pleasing. Since I am pretty much grounded with the design, I kept looking for the perfect cover to fabricate my jewellery piece.

I found this colored plastic sheet at Canal Plastics, they have different designs and I bought a few to test out and used the laser cutter (at Tandon) to cut it. However, I realize that the plastic melt easily with heat and I had to resort to manual cutting.

Experimentation

I wanted to create a different style other than the one I initially designed, I bought a acrylic tube from Canal Plastic and bend it using the oven to take its shape. The experiment was a failure and I resorted to going back to plan A.

Technology

The first prototype I used was Arduino, a servo motor and a potentiometer as a controller. I didn't like the idea of a wired wearable and wanted something that the user can control within reach. Since many people use their handphones most of the time, I thought of using bluetooth as the main vehicle to function the piece.

I started testing out with flora and flora bluetooth but the setting up was difficult and I faced too many issues with it. I decided to use a Feather bluetooth MO with servo motor instead which solved plenty of issues.

Piecing Together

Fabricating the piece took longer than expected, since I had to resort to borrowing a feather Mo that was already soldered on which makes it hard for me to reduce the size at the back. However, it all turned out quite well in the end.

Final Piece

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Moving Forward

I plan to experiment with other materials, and collaborate with jewellery designers who are more knowledgeable in the materials that they work with for example brass or the like. I may also plan to work the 3D printing and look into the possibilities of creating one with it.

#ExpressiveInterfaces #ProjectDevelopment

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