At the true core of design lies innovation, the desire to lead, to push boundaries, to convince others to follow where you want them to go.
The fashion world never halts—runway by runway across the globe, designers display their latest creations, setting the newest trends and crafting couture to astonish all. At the true core of design lies innovation, the desire to lead, to push boundaries, to convince others to follow where you want them to go.
With Paris Fashion Week just around the corner (February 28 – March 8, 2017), we’d like to nod to one designer who takes fashion to amazing new heights. Fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, in his spring 2017 fashion line entitled “Room Tone,” combined art and technology to create biosensing accessories that translate the wearer’s stress levels into moving images projected onto the wall.
And one of our very own undergraduates worked with Chalayan and his team of fashion technology designers to build this wearable tech.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Sarika Bajaj—an undergraduate junior in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) who is currently redesigning her own independent major of study by combining ECE, mechanical engineering, and industrial design—had a summer internship in the summer of 2016, working with Intel’s fashion technology group to design elements of Chalayan’s “Room Tone” line.
Bajaj worked with Intel’s Innovation Engineer Karolina Cengija and her team to design Chalayan’s biosensing accessories. Bajaj consulted with the team to help design a pair of sunglasses that took readings like heartbeat, breathing rate, and blood pressure to monitor and interpret the model’s physiological responses to stress. These sunglasses used Bluetooth to send this information to a belt the model was wearing—a belt which then used an internal projector to display an artistic image on the wall that corresponded in real-time to the sunglasses’ biofeedback.
In addition to helping create the sunglasses, Bajaj was one of the main designers of the projection belt’s projector and lighting systems, mechanical designs, and electronic integration. In images of moving scenes such as a rope being pulled in a game of tug-o-war, a bustling crowd, and roses opening and closing in rhythm with the model’s heartbeat, the belt displayed the model’s tension using metaphorical projections on the wall as they walked down the runway.