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Waterbomb was a study of the kinectic properties of soft origami created in collaboration with Mahvish Nagda. Kinetic wearables are often bulky, with incredibly complex mechanical systems driving them. We wanted to create a simpler lightweight system without sacrificing the drama of global movement, by capitalizing  on the innate transformative qualities of the waterbomb fold and its variations.

We developed several methods of creating tessellations that cut normal folding time in half, and were simple to create in bulk and at a huge scale. These included scoring with a laser cutter, creating stencils to use the fabric itself as a flexible hinge, and heat setting synthetics between origami molds. We also examined the folds themselves, writing scripts in Processing to generate crease patterns that either focused on kinetic properties or being able to control the curve and shape of the final form.

These studies culminated in a dress that took advantage of the innate kinetic properties of the waterbomb fold to display global movement over the entire skirt structure with a relatively lightweight mechanical system. The dress moves in tandem with a breath sensor, mimicking the expanding/contracting movements of the wearer.

[folding patterns were created for the laser cutter using processing, and tested using Tactom‘s freeform origami simulator]

[Global movement was controlled using a lilypad arduino, and several hobby servos hacked for continuous rotation. The thermochromatic ink used for the construction of the skirt served as a breath sensor when combined with a light sensor on the collar of the dress. The ink turns translucent when heated by the wearer’s breath, allowing light to shine through and triggering movement in the skirt.]

[monofilament was threaded through eyelets connected to the peaks of the waterbomb fold that compromised the skirt]

(for the full writeup check out the iacd blog)

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  • laser cut patterns generated in processing

    laser cut patterns generated in processing

  • variations in the pattern tested in an origami simulator

    variations in the pattern tested in an origami simulator

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  • lilypad arduino and underlying mechanics

    lilypad arduino and underlying mechanics