Elizabeth Fuller

Adventures in ITP

Wearables Studio

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Wearable technologies present unique creative opportunities; proximity to the body suggests new ways of viewing technology, and our bodies inform and affect what the technology can do. The always-on nature of a wearable device also changes our relationship to it; it becomes part of us and,having it on-hand, we're constantly finding new uses for it. On the flip side, wearable technologies present unique and interesting problems; conceptual, social, and design challenges require a critical eye and technical challenges demand a diverse combination of practical skills. Making wearable technology has traditionally been difficult, but the availability of new tools, materials, and techniques has lately made the going a little easier. Wearables Studio is an intensive project development environment for students to create satisfying, expressive, wearable technologies that work. We explore the available tools and techniques while developing an understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities afforded by wearable technologies. Students develop a wearable technology concept, then refine, construct, and test their working prototype. Though we cover some of the theoretical points of wearable technologies, the class is production-oriented; you should have one or more projects in mind, one of which you will bring to completion over the course of the semester. The class includes lectures on the theoretical and practical aspects of wearable technologies, class discussion, guest critiques, and plenty of in-class critique and feedback.