Researcher and Designer, Curtin University of Technology, PhD Candidate
Garment forms and body interactions as a response to insecure situations. Designed and photographed by Eunjeon Jeong.
Eunjeong Jeon is currently undertaking a PhD Aesthetic Experience and Comfort: ‘Object Playing with Movement’: A source of Comfort and Enjoyment
PhD Research Outline
The purpose of this research is to investigate the comfort factors of users’ aesthetic experience, in particular, the kinaesthetic aspects of human activities and perceptions. The main aim of the research is to develop concepts and design principles of movement-based interaction for inducing emotion, focusing on wool clothing as an interactive object.
This research examines emotional and aesthetic experiences that enhance wearability.
The research examines the body in relation to movement and space. More specific aims are to
- explore maximum potential wearability
- understand how people perceive the function of clothing in relation to their spatial interactions
- document emotionally expressive actions in order to record how people hold and wrap their bodies in relation to their interaction with garments, and
- to understand the interplay between object manipulation and movement.
This research project adapts design concepts and methods developed in conceptual clothing design and builds on the work of the anthropologist, Marc Augé, the psychologist, James Jerome Gibson, and designers Jane Harris, Jayne Wallace, Hussein Chalayan and Issey Miyake.
The research uses design prototypes, in combination with interviews and participant observation, with a group of women participants. The design concept being explored is called ‘emotionally expressive action with garment’. The research utilizes the technique of scenarios; when participants’ experience themselves being in (in)secure space. In particular, the research looks at areas of transitional space – airports, roads, and underground railways – places where we experience excessive amounts of temperature change, noise, pollution, and even stress and crime. The body needs to adapt body movement and make use of external functional and emotional to feel comfortable when inhabiting those spaces.
Garment's unit structure, left image is called inside form, middle is outside form when it turns inside form over, and right image is when unit is fabricated. 'Transe-For-M-otion. is able to simulate a myriad of responses. For example, the shape changeable 3D form may support the nexk, shoulder, or back with the trapped air unit structure. This creates a garment that feels like a cushion. It helps people protect their body from hazardous environments. Designed and photographed by Eunjeon Jeong.
The participants’ perception of the emotional experience will be recorded through interviews and observation. The next stage of the research is to record scenarios representing these experiences in a motion laboratory. This will provide data for interpreting responses but will also reveal their use of imagination and their creative responses.
Prototype garments have been developed for the participants to wear and their responses will be recorded. This is a development of the concept ‘shape change’, described as ‘Transe-For-M-otion.’ This concept is proposed as a tool to enhance and explore self-expression and self therapy. The idea can help people to accommodate the form for their needs – for body movements and for adapting space. In other words, for the individual, this could be used as form of self-therapy and aid in self-awareness. It can be used expressively by highlighting an emotional state so that behaviour can be adapted accordingly.
The intermediate outcome revealed that, when wearing clothing in the context of comfort, the participant used her clothing to wrap or hold her body for the purpose of “protecting,” “hiding,” and “disguising” in insecure situations (feelings associated with relief and security), and conversely, for “self-expression” in secure situations (feelings associated with pleasure and enjoyment). The participant was more aware of garment forms when she imagined herself being in an insecure situation. In addition, the participant seemed to have her own ideas and gained full of enjoyment through manipulating the garment in an interactive way with her body. The sense of movement, which refers to trace or the positional history of human motion, is closely related to space.
This study of movement provides a valuable example of procedures for design practice as a creative strategy, combined with a research tool. Ongoing research will be carried out to investigate participants’ behaviour and document the sensing, adapting, and reacting capabilities of their body movements with prototype garments.
Work in Progress –Further Project Development
As a response to a participant being more aware of garment forms when she imagined herself being in fearful and insecure situation, I have developed another design concept: ‘disguise body like a ghost with garment’. The aim is to examine: how do feelings of fear or threat in insecure situations turn into comfortable, enjoyable, and playful emotions?
The prototype garment used in this experimentation is based on the same unit structure as the first prototype but it is combined with attachable or detachable electronic-light bulbs which are fixed in inside pockets. The purpose of the garment, combined with this technology, is to explore the kinetic behaviour of a garment in its moving form and its trace of being moved in space when the performance (body movement) interacts with the garment.
The photographic images based on the elicitation of sequential body movement are recorded by a digital camera. The data is gathered by observation.
Garment in a segmentation process of movement that translates as the trace or positional history of human motion in response to experiences in insecure situations. The use of the garment is for protecting the body, reclaiming private space. Designed and photographed by Eunjeon Jeong.
This research has highlighted the potential of design practice as a trans-disciplinary design approach. This enhances the interrelatedness of design elements in relation to human behaviour and spatial cognition. This research is linked to an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project "Innovative Solutions for Wool Garment Comfort through Design" (ID: LP0775433), supported by DAFWA (Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia).
‘Object Playing with Movement’: A Source of Comfort and Enjoyment EJ_Jeon_IASDR09.2009.pdf 240 K
Aesthetic Experience and Comfort: The relationship between semantic form and body movement for the design of wool clothing Eunjeong Jeon and Suzette Worden EJ_Jeon_Doctoral Colloquium_IASDR09.pdf 56 K
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