Fast Forward is a new permanent exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. The exhibition showcases 12 innovators who are exploring how our future lives are being shaped today. Two of the innovators happen to be CuteCircuit‘s Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz.
On display are CuteCircuit’ Hug Shirt that allows a mobile phone to deliver a virtual hug to a friend as well a new project titled the “Galaxy Dress.” The Galaxy dress is a white garment fitted with 24,000 RGB LEDs and is capable of displaying any image. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a single image of the Galaxy Dress anywhere. If anyone lives in the Chicago area, please check out the exhibition and report back us. Also check out the podcast interview with Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz below. MSI-003_FFwd_CuteCircuit.mov In the interview, both creators assert that the promise of wearable technology is to get people to feel connected to each other. They feel that their work is continuously altering the wearers relationship to their own clothing and each other. Their design mantra is “No boxes. No wires.” This means that all of the technologies are integrated into the fibers using smart textiles. The themes behind their work are to entertain, communicate, sense the environment and transform. Unfortunately, I feel that this could be said about most physical computing concepts that integrate sensors and technology. What I really want to know is what they think is the significance and the consequences of having these technologies become such an intimate part of our lives. The interview concludes with Ryan sharing the following adage from one of his mentors: “Design the thing right. Design the right thing.” The significance of this saying questions the assumptions not only of how to make something but also, and more importantly, why.