Downloadable Fashion

6 months ago

A wearable display of 1004 addressable RGB LEDs controlled wirelessly via server-side software.

CONCEPT

I developed this project to explore the concept of downloadable fashion. The skirt is minimally designed is intended to be a blank canvas – a "little black dress" – that only comes to life through software. I wanted to design a garment that appears to be made of light and was reminiscent of aurora borealis. The dress has a computer with LED drivers and wifi while an application running on a separate computer writes the graphics in real-time.  

SOFTWARE

I used the Processing programming language to play videos and generate particle physics animations. The pixel data was sent to the server with the Open Pixel Control protocol and the graphics are displayed on the dress in real time.

Code, LED grid and final result on dress

HARDWARE

The LEDs are controlled with the Fadecandy LED driver, which was chosen specifically for its hardware-driven dithering and color correction capabilities. A Raspberry Pi runs the server software and communicates with the host computer over wifi.

Wearable computer

CONSTRUCTION

The dress was made by hand using couture dressmaking techniques. The skirt is quite heavy with the LED strips, copper wiring, battery and circuit boards, so I constructed a bustier with a waist stay to hold it on the body. Multiple layers of fabric obfuscate the individual diodes and represent the nighttime sky.

JUST FOR FUN

I wove an artificial leather top and painted it with a gradient effect to compliment the skirt.

All the parts and materials laid out prior to assembly

Hunter Futo

Published 6 months ago