January 14, 2015 AT 5:00 am

Crazy Helmets Let You See like an Animal #WearableWednesday


These inventive helmets spotted on DesignTaxi really stoked my curiosity. They remind me a lot of those little viewfinders that allow you to look at the world through the eyes of a dragonfly. This particular helmet allows you the view from a Hammerhead Shark. That’s what I call a wide shot!

Designed by artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly, the helmets have interesting origins, according to the artists’ site.

The project takes as a starting point the pioneering experiments in perceptual adaptation carried out by psychologist George Malcolm Stratton in the early twentieth century. Stratton wore special glasses which inverted images up and down and left and right for over a week, and discovered that the human brain could adapt to these new conditions.


What is most striking besides the obvious unusual viewpoint of the user, is the fact that the user becomes interesting to watch. That is also a prime motivator for this artistic duo.

The Meta-Perceptual Helmets are the ultimate chapter in our exploration of what we call “observer participation”, a notion that the artwork is only brought to life by the act of looking. With the helmets we have tried to make a perfect loop of looking and being looked at.


Remember that there are a variety of sight styles used by living beings. One of my fave pics is of Anne and Denis checking out possible lenses for their art. How would you want to see differently? I think I would like to see like an owl.


The helmets are made by hand from polished aluminum, and although there is little mention of the construction, it is apparent that the helmets are art long before they reach someone’s head. I’m encouraging you to visit the artists’ site, because there are some fabulous sketches of other futuristic helmets dealing with vision, having nothing to do with animals. It makes me wonder what it would be like to combine their thought process with an Oculus Rift–it could definitely open up some interesting gaming. For now, make yourself a colorful Daft Punk Helmet with our tutorial. You can dance into the future looking through scrolling lights.

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