This week’s selection is the HeartBeatDress by designer Anouk Wipprecht.
Wipprecht is no stranger to these pages, having been our Design of the Week in 2015 for her amazing “Smoke Dress”. Now Wipprecht is back with an amazing new work, the HeartBeatDress.
Miami-based Wipprecht has been in the 3D printed fashion business for many years, and has produced some of the industry’s most notable works. They are highly complex structures that simultaneously leverage 3D print technology capabilities and artistic expression.
In a partnership with Swarovski, Wipprecht developed the dress as a way to “investigate the emotional connection between the crystal and the heartbeat.” That’s because the dress is not a static item, but includes a 3D printed crystal that responds to the wearer’s actual emotional state. This is done through a sensor system, a BIOPAC MP40 and a PACIS Park, wearable wireless device for biosensing.
As the wearer’s heart rate changes, so does the crystal’s appearance. Wipprecht explains how this changes the wearer:
“It’s almost like you have goosebumps, you cannot control it, or you start to be red in your face. In the purest form, you’re able to broadcast your emotions. If you are wearing your heartbeat on your sleeve, it is a really pure thing. It also gets you in a lot of really awkward situations that lend itself to observation of new expressions from an interactive design aspect.”
This is certainly an unusual effect, but why do so? Wipprecht explains:
“I try to envision how technology can move away from being the overwhelming force it is today. I ask myself: when and if technology is living on the body, what does it do? How does it react or interact? How can it be an interface and express something new? How can it help us do things we cannot do ourselves? My interest is in finding the extra capabilities fashion can give to the body to enhance communication in a non-verbal way. We are so used to looking on our ‘screens.’ Technology came into our lives to help us and create convenience, but nowadays, it often ends up overwhelming us instead. So how can it help us get closer to ourselves again?”
The solid portions of the dress were 3D printed using SLS technology and PA11 nylon powder at Shapeways.
The HeartBeatDress is a one-of-a-kind design, and you won’t be seeing it in any clothing shop anytime soon. Instead it exists as an inspiration to other fashion tech designers who may consider even more unusual projects. Let’s push that envelope even further!