FUTURE SKINS: READY FOR THE BETWEEN by Paola Tognazzi

Second skin evolution is an investigation in progress about wearable 3D printed structures, integrated in garments, in such a way that they can create a symbiotic process of transformation of form between the wearer movements and the structure. This research is part of a serie along the theme of FUTURE SKINS: READY FOR THE BETWEEN. Between what is no longer and what is not yet.
We are looking for the space in which the structure is formed by its past and its future. A formulation of our visions and desires as humans to meet the unknown, in this case we search through the language of digital and its materialization in 3D. Technically, the fundamental part of the research are the Mechanics studies about how to connect the 3D structure to the body so that the body becomes the motor triggering the interaction of the modules without using electronics. The body itself is the engine of the wearable structure, who controls the wearable and not the other way around. (Creating robots that do not need electricity) It is a study on the materialization of movement.

This collaboration between the italian artist and physical interaction designer Paola Tognazzi Drake and Mexican expert 3D modeler Jonathan Ramírez Díaz de León aims to promote how wearable technology can be implemented in everyday life and how, for that to be possible, it’s necessary to design, thinking about the ergonomy of the body, the movement dynamics and natural mechanics without skipping fundamental steps in the analysis (a problem that instead can happen when using electronics). For the 3D printing of the prototypes we are collaborating with the expert Gianluca Pugliese and his 3D printers (WASP).

Second Skin Evolution Promo by Paola Tognazzi from paola tognazzi on Vimeo.

It is a project on how to prototype 3D printed structures and how to connect them to the body so that they can interact with the physical movements of the wearer, according to the directions of the movements. Only when a structure moves do we discover how the elements that compose it coordinate and interact together, revealing its identity. This project designs from and for the body in motion, applying the dynamics of the physical movements to understand the structural expressiveness of the patterns to inform the 3D design.

Objective: The idea of this garment is to create a continuous soft touch on the skin that sends information to the brain about the coordination between movement and body.

The opportunity of 3D printing technology has led to innovative forms. However these structures are often architectural and static both through their material and design.

The innovation of this research is the creation of interactive mutually informing process between the wearer and the 3D structure, using mechanical structures and engineering instead of electronics.

The shape for the 3D printed structure was created using the costume made software Choreographing Spaces (in Processing). We overlap the structural design on top of a map of the muscles of the back to align the modules with the muscular fascias we intend to stimulate through the soft friction with the rotation of the modules.

3D printed modules

Laser cut gears

Gears study:

Video documentation of the complete process till now:

Second Skin Evolution by Paola Tognazzi from paola tognazzi on Vimeo.

During the creative process, we research between reality and fiction, to generate a mystery that makes possible the search of new forms and structures. The work focuses on the gaps that are generated when translating verbal language to nonverbal modes of communication and vice versa, which materializes in prototypes where the animalistic and erotic also find their place.
During the Research process we unite intuition, knowledge, poetry and science. An omen of possible future developments touching the fantasy of science fiction with the reality of the animal and biological world.
FUTURE SKINS: READY FOR THE BETWEEN analyzes the friction between material and immaterial reality and the tension that it generates in the configuration of the structure of the prototypes. Thinking about function in innovating structures by applying old and new techniques, we try not to forget the marketing of beauty. Integrating the 3 would be the true innovation, though is not easy.
For this we deal with topics such as our tactile relationship with the images, new forms of representation, identity, desire, sexuality and why not, the monetization of affection as well as the increased dependence of technological economy and its effects on the invisible work of the body.

This project can offer a tactile sensory experience of the invisible work of the body by employing the transmission of movement on a person’s skin.
The aim of this design is to inform the public about the opportunities of integrating textile with other techniques not necessarily electronic to create a sense of touch, vibration, communication for self-awareness. In this accelerated world in which we are so focus on the tomorrow on the next big thing that we miss the present, this reactive 3D printed skin encourages one to be present in the here and now to feel. The wearer has the control of the data and the movement, which is the fundamental part for him to acknowledge his being here.