Thursday, February 19, 2015

Anouk Wipprecht's Provoking Spider Bodice

Designed by Anouk Wipprecht, this arachnid inspired bodice has been blowing up the 3d printing scene.  With the assistance of Intel technology, the spider dress has the ability to sense if someone or something is too close, which causes it’s “legs” to reach out in warning.  Wipperecht has created a fascinating interactive wearable that is truly thought provoking.

The design is armor-like, an exoskeleton, which is very reminiscent of comic book heroines such as the likes of  Sara Pezzini from Withblade or Sarah Kerrigan from Starcraft. 

Looking at the piece you get a sense of its intention right away, in no way does this costume look friendly.  The extended limbs already give the viewer a sense of preservation, to proceed with caution.  I can imagine how jarring it could be when realizing that these limbs are not static architectural pieces, but instead, react to your presence.   

It creates a uniquely silent conversation between wearer and viewer; by action you are told you are invading the wearer’s personal space.  I often run into the difficulty of getting bumped or shoved, having someone lean to close to me on the bus, uncomfortable, but rather mundane encounters with other people whilst going about my day by day.  Now imagine a world where this outfit was the norm, having a clothing device that wards off another person; A veil of protection.  In that regard this seems to be a very isolating piece, which makes the curved line use around the abdomen less sensual and a little more reserved, even stand off-ish. 

Overall I really enjoy the roles that play out when viewing the piece.  The initial uneasiness that the design invokes, to the sudden unexpected movement of the spider’s legs, and that leads to the nervous laughter given off by viewers as they slink back to a safer distance. It’s a brilliant tug of tension through a simple flinch mechanic that we see so often in ourselves and nature, but it’s completely unexpected in our clothing choices. 

Video is youtube channel gdgtsbuzz
Starcraft Screenshot: Blizzard
Sara Pezzini: Top Cow Comics
Frontal Shot: Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET
Black Dress: