In this project called Touch, Angeline Young in the USA together with my classmates and I in Singapore were performing dance in live broadcast. What makes Touch different from other performances is Touch allowed performers in different geographical regions to perform together by ‘placing’ us in the digital world called the third space. The third space is created by Randall Parker, using Adobe Connect and other digital softwares, and to the audience, they would see an ‘unseparated screen’ having both the performers in Singapore and USA.

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For this project, I played a role as a warrior in the narrative of the performance. She breaks the stereotype of warriors, who are usually males, and together with her troops, she defeats the evil.

However, I was not just performing a choreography. I was involved in the making of the movements as well as designing, and making my costume from scratch.

As the Touch plans were introduced to us, we were first assigned to write our own concept, or how we saw Touch in the form of a story. My concept was The Touch of Destruction, inspired from the idea of human’s optimism and pessimism as well as David and Goliath. In my narrative overview, a touch from the tiniest man could destroy the biggest enemy as long as he has the will. From these narratives, our teachers decided our roles, and I became the warrior. Hence, I designed my costume based on Japanese warriors – that is my own preference to choose Japanese culture – create the war-ready choreography together with Angeline. When the choreography and costume were ready, we had several full-dress rehearsal. In addition, , I am proud that during our process, the whole class once did an online workshop for a symposium in London.

A lot of researches have been done for Touch. Prior to this, we ought to learn and analyze the essence of digital performances and arts such as The Big Kiss by Annie Abraham, RIOT by Mark Napier, and Motion Control. From these, I learned how a manipulated visual, even glitch we saw the screen could affect the feeling of the viewer and could be a source of amazing creativity. It gives me the overview on how to ‘interact’ with the camera when I was performing.

For the preparation of costume, we learned, through our researches (biometrics, sensing garments and smart textiles) how fashion is actually more than just a wearable. It is a breeding ground of innovations; fashion is not just to make you look good. As a result, my costume has technology in it: LED lights. However, the technology is not as innovative as the researches as I am still a newbie at doing fashion and technology at the same time.

Made of plastic bags and with lights underneath. The lights would fade or blink at different timings.

Uniquely, our, or at least my choreography, is not derived from an existing dance movements but myself. The movements were harvested from my natural maneuver when I express myself, tell stories and react to something/someone. What is really beneficial from making a choreography this way is it becomes easy to remember and immerse yourself in the character.

Well, however Touch is, seriously, not easy to produced. The first issue that I personally face is the making of the costume. How to turn on and prepare the sewing machine? How to turn these fabrics into my desired costume? How to code a Lilypad Arduino in order to make turn lights on? Lastly, how to arrange an electrical circuit on a piece of clothing without breaking them while dancing? To be honest, the costume-making is a gigantic challenge because I started from a big zero.

Another issue that we faced together is the interaction between us, the camera and Angeline. Different lighting and angles would affect what was shown on the screen. Different blend modes could either make or destroy the look and performance. Countless trials and errors were done to get the desired mode and mood of the screen. Sometimes, unfortunate technical faulty and delay would affect our tight schedules as well.

First rehearsing with the music
First rehearsing with the music

Eventually, we managed to examine and solve our challenges. We made challenges into priceless learnings.

In fact, this module is an Open Source Studio (OSS) class, where a lot of gradings, documentation and even teaching-and-learning activities were done via the internet. We posts our assignments: researches, essays, and projects on the school’s OSS site so that both teachers and fellow classmates can read and learn from each other’s work. And I am indeed surprised by how useful this learning process by reading other people’s work. I remember I learned how to write a good research ‘blogpost’ from Yuhao and Charlene’s, how to create unique colors on the LED lights from Tiffany’s, and how to boil fabrics from Gladys’ and Xin Hong’s. It was so surprising that “hey, our friends are so resourceful, awesome! I don’t have to google on myself anymore” as the useful contents in their posts are already ‘filtered’, and hence trust-worthy. So, yes OSS, if one knows how to make use of it, would learn a lot more things in a shorter time as well as form a stronger bond with other users. In fact, OSS somehow ‘taught’ me how to manage a blog/website, which is a fantastic bonus skill.

In conclusion, I had a lot of excitements, hardships, fun and lessons from this one module. There are still rooms for improvement for the class but it is definitely one of the most resourceful class I have ever taken.

To end this hyperessay, I would like to say my gratitude towards Randall Parker, Galina Mihaleva, Angeline Young, Naga, Alvin, Cameron and Cooper for making this opportunity an unforgettable and precious experience. I am so addicted to fashion-making now!

M&P-7-2 M&P-11

Research Critique: Sensing Garments & Smart Textiles

Sensing Garments


These garments are made to gather information on posture and movement of the user. The current project discussed in this essay is about upper limb kinesthetic garment (ULKG) which is aimed to aid rehabilitation process for post-stroke patients.

ULKG use electricity conductive silicon rubber and graphite smeared on the fabric, hence allowing the garments to conduct electricity to the sensors on the ULKG and the glove. No external wire or cable connected to external electrical components is needed, hence making the garment to be wearable and comfortable.

Moreover, with sensors accurately located on specific muscles and joints, ULKG is able to calculate the just-right amount of movement, hence movements made by ULKG on the limbs of the user will be natural and smooth. This will allow post-stroke patients to have natural muscle memory. And, as ULKG automatically adjusts the current, pressure and movements on the patient, no physician is needed to monitor the rehabilitation process. Rehabilitation can be carried out more conveniently anytime.

Smart Textiles


Smart textiles are often called electronic textiles or e-textiles. These are textiles with electronic and interconnections woven into them, making them intrinsics to the fabric, hence no external component is needed for them to function.

E-textile is divided into three subgroups:

  1. passive smart textiles: only sense the environ
    ment/user using sensors.
  2. active smart textiles: sense and react to external stimuli.
  3. very smart textiles: sense, react and adapt to the c
    hanging circumstances.

Hopefully, with the development of e-textiles, our future everyday clothing can serve as intelligent personal assistants that can be brought anywhere anytime.

This essay also explains pretty detailed explanation on how to create e-textile, hence showing the plausibility of commercializing it. For e.g., basic chemistry method such as electroplating is mentioned to be able to create a smart material called treated conducive fibers.



The first essay has a more specific topic than the second one. The first essay talks only about sensing garment and its direct application to ULKG and the glove. In the other hand, the second essay’s focus is about the possible manufacturing process of e-textile without explaining clearly the direct application of different e-textiles.

Both essays complement each other: e-textiles, which comprise sensing garment, are feasible to be made and have potential to be commercialized because they can be applied to make clothes with high functionality in the medical, artistic, sports and any other fields. 

Research Critique – Biometrics

Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes and policies – new ways of living – that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.

Hence, for a wearable to re-contextualize biomimicry, it has to have a quality imitated from natural processes and able to solve a human problem. And the project that suits this concept almost perfectly is the Aero Sports Bra by Karolina Cengija and Becca McCharen.


The Aero Sports Bra (worn under the dress) will detect the level of perspiration, respiration and body temperature and respond accordingly. For example, when the user is panting and sweating or even angry, the bra will open slightly to cool the upper body parts.

We used shape memory alloys with the goal to give it a more organic transition.

The bra is of biomimicry context because they are made to imitate the smoothness of how our body naturally changes temperature, heart rate and perspiration (article) so that our body will stay in the best comfort physically and emotionally.

However, the technology used is not yet ready to be commercialized, hence it won’t hit the market in the short run.

She is keen to emphasise, however, that these are not yet garments for sale. They are experiments that will help uncover what’s possible for future wearable technology.

In the other hand, the price of producing such high-end technology will be likely to be costly. In my opinion, this wearable will cater only to a smaller market: the upper class ones. It might be a sustainable wearable technology, but it might not help everyone for not everyone would be able to afford it in the short run.