3D-Printed Outfits Responds to the Male (or Female) Gaze

3D-Printed Outfits Responds to the Male (or Female) Gaze
Arts & Culture

The 3D-printed wearable Caress of the Gaze promises a new human mating ritual

Rachel Pincus
  • 24 september 2015

As the human species has evolved, many of our mating rituals have gone from the plainly visible, such as body parts changing color, to quieter mind games and ruses. Now a 3D-printed wearable outfit designed by University of Southern California PhD Candidate Behnaz Farahi is drawing attention to our evolution by hearkening back to this earlier stage.

Caress of the Gaze is a remarkably natural-looking neck ruff or cape covered in brilliantly spotted feather-like quills. The outfit actually reacts to the gaze of another person, expanding and contracting to fit the contours of the body as the eyes rove around.

A microcontroller connected to the ruff’s camera is able to suss out the age and gender of the gazer as well, which further affects the garment’s motion.

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A Objet Connex500 3D Printer was integral to this project. This special printer “allows the fabrication of composite materials with varying flexibilities [and] densities, and can combine materials in several ways with different material properties deposited in a single print run,” said Farahi.

Inspired by the flexible behavior of the skin itself, this outfit therefore exhibits different material characteristics in various parts of the body ranging from stiff to soft.

Farahi has created similar garments before like Ruff, but this one represents her further ventures into new ideas and materials, including “actuating cellular structures.” She adds that despite the high-tech nature of this garment, her goal is to get us in touch with our surroundings.

Behnaz Farahi | Caress of the Gaze psfk

This project therefore addresses the emerging field of shape changing structures and interactive systems that bridges the worlds of fashion, art, technology and design. It does so, in the belief that by implementing design/motion principles inspired by natural systems, we might be able to rethink the relationship between our bodies and the surrounding environment. Even though this approach is still speculative, it opens up the possibility of a radical new approach to interactive clothing.

Caress of the Gaze was developed in San Francisco as part of the Artist Residency at Pier9, Autodesk. The project was also sponsored by Madworkshop Foundation.

Behnaz Farahi | Caress of the Gaze

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