Our Lab focuses on the invention of culturally-inspired materials, processes, and tools for crafting technology on the body surface. Designing across scales, we explore how body scale interfaces can enhance our relations with everyday products and both natural and man-made environments. We conduct research at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, Wearable Computing, Digital Fabrication, Fashion Design, and Body Art. We synthesizing this knowledge to contribute a culturally-sensitive lens to the future of designs that interface the body and the environment .Our current investigations include:
Wearable Technology & On-Skin Interfaces
We develop novel wearable interfaces and fabrication processes, which a focus on skin-conformable or textile-based form factors. By hybridizing miniaturized robotics, machines, and materials with cultural body decoration practices, we investigate how technology can be situated as a culturally meaningful material for crafting our identities.
Designing Skins Across Scales
‘Many different types of machines that were parts of architecture have become parts of our bodies.’ --Bill Mitchell, Me++
We design “skins” that can be adapted across scales, from the architectural to the body scale. We investigate the interactions of a wearer’s body-borne interface with its surrounding ecology. This includes its interaction with other people, objects, to environments. We are also intersted in developing skins that can be deployed across scales -- from body to architectural.
Understanding Social Perpections Towards On-Body Technologies
Wearable devices have evolved towards intrinsic human augmentation, unlocking the human skin as an interface for seamless interaction. However, the non-traditional form factor of these on-skin interfaces may raise concerns for public wear. These perceptions will influence whether a new form of technology will eventually be accepted, or rejected by society. We investigate the cultural and social concerns that need to be considered when generating on-body technologies for inclusive design.
The Hybrid Body Lab is housed in R256 in Cornell University’s Human Ecology Building. The lab houses facilities ranging from hardware prototyping, digital fabrication, textile production, to weblab facilties to enable our interdiciplinary work.