Ever feel like someone is checking you out or staring you down? Well, Behnaz Farahi, a University of Southern California PhD candidate and established art designer, has created a 3D printed garment that will show you if someone is doing exactly that. Farahi’s ‘Caress of the Gaze’ is an interactive top that is able to sense when someone is looking at you, and alters in form in response to this attention.
Her project connects the world of technology and fashion together in a natural, yet modernistic way, using cameras to sense not only where the gazer is gazing, but also makes an educated guess at the age and gender of the person looking at the Caress of the Gaze garment. The contracting and expanding that takes place within its design seems to physically resemble to the reactions of our body language that take place when we interact with other human beings.
Farahi designed the project as a part of her Artist in Residence at the Autodesk, Pier 9, a digital fabrication workshop in San Francisco for up-and-coming designers and artists, and is also being sponsored by the Martin Architecture and Design Workshop (MADWORKSHOP), an architecture and design workshop that focuses on implementing technology into those fields. Farahi herself is an architect and designer whose interest in the interaction between environments and the human body seems to have led to the creation of the Caress of the Gaze top.
In order to make the project design come to fruition, Farahi turned to 3D printing and motion sensing cameras. She used an Objet Connex500 Printer, manufactured by Stratasys, because of its ability to fabricate prints in various states of flexibility and density, along with the ability to combine material properties into a single print (up to 14 materials in one print job, according to Stratasys’ website). The motion camera is then implanted subtly within the 3D printed top, once it senses the intensity and information behind the incoming gaze, the Caress of the Gaze piece will mutate with a ripple effect that almost resembles a mating dance of some sort.
Farahi has designed and produced similar conceptual garments, such as Ruff, which also explored the relationship between the body and its environment. The Caress of the Gaze, however, seems to be the most conceptually intriguing and aesthetically sound of her projects, thus far. Farahi is doing an exceptional job acting as a bridge between technology, design, and fashion, and her use of 3D printing is certainly acting as a support structure for this. If this wearable 3D printed garment doesn’t get people telling you how you look, you might be able to tell just from their eyes.