09 September 2007

Fashion exhibition in 東京 (Tokyo, Japan) on 09 September 2007

Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2007-09_jp-tokyo_wakita-expo.htm

Dress based on Fabcell, while green, by 渋谷みどり (SHIBUTANI Midori) in 東京 (Tokyo) I attended a fashion exhibition entitled 情報の官能 (The Senses of Information) in 東京 (Tokyo, Japan) on 09 September 2007 in company of 倫太朗 (Rintaro) to see artistic prototypes of smart clothes. This first exhibition of textiles and garments by 脇田研究室 (Wakita laboratory) featured binary ("0"s and "1"s)-based compositions, tools and artistic works such as color-changing dresses exploiting the Fabcell technology and the Wearable Synthesis concept. 脇田玲 (WAKITA Akira) founded the laboratory at 慶應義塾大学 (Keio university) in 2004 to investigate the future of information design; it is thus involved in fashion, communication and interactions.

Fabcell is a square textile invented in 2006 by 渋谷みどり (SHIBUTANI Midori), woven from flexible non-emissive yarns connected to electronic components, which color varies with temperature. There, the exhibited dress turned from green to red in a few minutes when electric current was applied to its conductive yarns. This technology is potentially useful for fashion or to inform about e.g. a wearer's emotions. However it is not yet ready for use in everyday life because the strong voltages used to quickly change the color are dangerous, the textile resists badly to washing, and small cells are still difficult to create.

The Wearable Synthesis concept defines clothes and accessories as modules with both input (e.g. temperature sensor) and output (e.g. colored lights) that communicate to generate various effects. For example, a dress may change its color according to other worn items, or to the presence of a friend. Such a model was exhibited but out of order when I went by.

08 September 2007

Trip to 서울 (Seoul, South Korea) on 03-08 September 2007

Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2007-09-08_kr-seoul.htm

Guards on the go at 경복궁 (Gyeongbok Palace) I travelled to 서울 (Seoul, South Korea) for the first time on 03-08 September 2007 to give a talk at the 10th International Symposium on Analysis, Design, and Evaluation of Human-Machine Systems (aka HMS2007) and another at 연세대학교 (Yonsei university) (see Post 07 September 2007). On my first day, I explored the city center and walked to the top of 남산 (Namsan park), where I lingered on great views over the capital. On my last day, 자영 (Jayoung), a Korean researcher from the university, and her friend 질 (Jin) guided me inside 경복궁 (Gyeongbok Palace) and accompanied me for lunch in the charming 인사동 (Insadong) district.

I loved the relaxing and lively atmosphere of the capital, its great landscapes and tasty food, its classy women and skilled jazz musicians. Behaviors and costs differ greatly from 東京 (Tokyo, Japan): people are more friendly but more noisy, notably in subways; traditional dishes such as 비빔밥 (bibimbap) and transportation, even taxis, are quite cheap. Living several months in 서울 (Seoul) would certainly be a heartening and enriching experience.

07 September 2007

Visit at the textile department of 연세대학교 (Yonsei university) in 서울 (Seoul, South Korea) on 07 September 2007

Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2007-09-07_kr-seoul_yonsei-textile-lab.htm

Side view of textile keypad on a child's sleeve at 연세대학교 (Yonsei university) I visited 연세대학교 (Yonsei university) in 서울 (Seoul, South Korea) on 07 September 2007 to give a lecture about the general public's needs in ubiquitous computing and to see prototypes of smart clothes by 스마트의류 기술개발연구소 (smartwear research center), on the invitation of its director 조 길수 (CHO Gilsoo). I strolled in the university campus for the first time, appreciating the open spaces and trees before heading for the textile department.

After my talk, Korean specialists in smart clothing introduced me the activities of the group, answered questions, and showed prototypes while explaining the challenges and techniques used. They presented a ski suit monitoring exposure to sunlight with ultraviolet sensors, bike wear detecting the wearer's strong emotions (e.g. fear) with galvanic skin response (aka GSR) sensors, a dress lighting up according to surrounding sounds, and garments for children containing pressure interfaces. I was notably interested in the textile keypads and connectors as washable basic elements to design smart clothes for the general public; the keypads were embedded in sleeves of tops for children, and the textile connectors were demonstrated as data transmitters for the ski suit. The garments were all featured at the Smart Clothing 2007 fashion show held in 서울 (Seoul) on 11 May 2007.

[Update 08-Sep-2007] 자영 (Jayoung), a Korean researcher from the group, kindly guided me in the capital for my last day in the country (see Post 08 September 2007).