Featured Artist

Behnaz Farahi – Wearable Technology

Behnaz Farahi is a fashion designer, architect, and interaction designer who is currently working towards a PhD in Interdisciplinary Media Arts and Practices at the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts. Her work frequently focuses on utilizing design systems based in nature to amplify the relationship between people and the built environment.

In March of 2015, Farahi collaborated with fashion designer, Pauline van Dongen, to create “Ruff.” Inspired by collars of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, the 3D-printed accessory is a responsive wearable that essentially acts as an extension of the body. “Ruff” reacts to both its wearer and to external stimuli, changing shape as the wearer’s body bends and stretches, and as its surroundings shift and change.

Last spring, Farahi took her fascination with movement response a step further to an interactive environment with a kinetic ceiling installation at the University of Southern California called “Aurora.” The ceiling features five floating motion discs and four stationary discs, and spans 15 feet by 15 feet. A camera captures human movement, and the discs respond accordingly, shifting and rotating in all directions. Additionally, lights switch on and off based on the path of the person walking beneath the installation.

Another one of Farahi’s projects entitled, “Caress of the Gaze,” features a “wearable tech” cape that responds differently depending on who is looking at it. Unlike “Ruff,” “Caress of the Gaze” not only imitates human skin, but goes beyond its capacities. A camera and micro-controller are integrated into the cape’s design and use an algorithm to detect the age and gender of the gazer.

More information on Farahi’s work can be found at behnazfarahi.com.

About the author

Emma Jones

Emma Jones is an intern for Creative Arts Advocate. Originally from Longmeadow, MA, she is currently a sophomore at Vassar College with a women's studies major and an art history correlate. She is particularly interested in female artists and the portrayal of women in art, and the intersection of art, activism, and everyday life. In addition to writing and editing, she enjoys photography, digital art, and drawing.

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