I’ve definitely been following Pauline Van Dongen’s amazing work with solar dresses, but I just learned about a cool new direction the designer is moving in from Versus. Shown above is the Mesopic/ Light Jacket, inspired by the challenges of seeing and being seen at night. It’s not only a voyage into how the eye works, but it is also a lighting designer’s dream, really looking at the way light moves on surfaces in the evening.
Pauline’s jacket uses Philips’ LED fabric strips. The fabric ribbons allow more movement, are easier to stitch and also softer next to the body. What is most striking is the way they are incorporated, allowing the light to bounce off the skin in ghostly fashion. Not only do they add a beautiful design element, but they are also practical for those late night exercise habits.
The jacket explores more than light; it is another way Pauline examines humanity in nature and tech.
“There is nothing natural in nature; technology makes our humanness giving form to our surroundings. The human habitat reveals a techno-morphed structure that can no longer be hidden behind the vestiges of a natural world: technology has to be naturalized.”
Sometimes the idea behind the work becomes even larger than the finished product. Suddenly I think of my own surroundings and my mad desire to Photoshop telephone poles out of my fave nature pics. Then I’m also reminded of those crazy cell phone towers disguised as pine trees (where pines don’t even belong). This designer is on target. We are too forward in tech to move back, yet we aren’t content to leave our tech exposed. Softening it with nature is one way to make us all a bit more comfortable. And if Pauline has her way, we will become more environmentally sensitive with our choice of electronics and how we power them. Here’s to more solar power and collaborative thinking to get us there faster. In the meantime, you can get some LED ribbon and stitch up your own city light magic. Check out our LED Ribbon Shoe tutorial and you’ll be jogging or dancing with a glow.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.