Anouk Wipprecht stopped by Autodesk Research in Toronto to talk about her work in "hi tech couture" - combining fashion design with high tech gear including microcontrollers, robotics, sensors and fabrication tools. She showed off her newest dress which mixes drinks.
Anouk started designing clothes at age fourteen and felt confined by the materials; they weren't expressive enough. At sixteen she started to explore robotics and microcontrollers to work emotion into her designs.
The dress below was inspired by a scared octopus squirting ink. In this case the dress emits peppermint scented smoke.
This dress is inspired by a spider and reacts to people entering the space of the wearer. Space is defined by four levels: intimate, personal, social and public.
What was really interesting in the discussion with Anouk was her approach to supporting and inspiring others. She spends time in makerspaces and has written a tutorial for people to make their own version of the spider dress with Lego on Instructables.com.
Even more impressive than sharing her designs, Anouk has started to explore how her designs can help people with medical needs. She has done work on prosthetics and how to help people deal with autism. Agent Unicorn is a project to build a wearable device with EEG sensors that is easy for the wearer to put on and respects their needs for space and privacy.
If you would like to know more about Anouk, her designs and her approach, you can see the presentation she gave last year at Autodesk's Pier 9 in San Francisco.