The SKIN probe project examines the future integration of sensitive materials in the area of emotional sensing – the shift from ‘intelligent’ to ‘sensitive’ products and technologies.

As part of SKIN, we have developed a ‘Soft Technology’ outfit to identify the future for high tech materials and Electronic Textile Development in the area’s of skin and emotional sensing.

The dress show emotive technology and how the body and the near environment can use pattern and color change to interact and predict the emotional state.

Far-future design concepts
SKIN: Dresses is a Probe, a far-future design concept. It is not intended as a production prototype nor will it be sold as a Philips product. Like past Probe design concepts that have stimulated discussion around a range of issues, this concept is testing a possible future – not prescribing one.

A marvellously intricate wearable prototype Bubbelle is a dress surrounded by a delicate ‘bubble’ illuminated by patterns that changed dependent on skin contact. 

Bubbelle was one of a series of dynamic garments developed by Philips Design as part of their on-going SKIN exploration research into the area known as emotional sensing. Nancy Tilbury was the Fashion Director of Probes, part of a pioneering interdisciplinary design team at Philips Design.







exploring light as a material for transformative fashions

What if we could make clothes out of immaterial things? With LEDs diffused through layers of fabric and knit, softness and warmth are paralleled in material and effect, imparting the sense that one can touch and hold light.
For more photos and info

There have been many garments made using LEDs by now, yet most all work with LEDs in clothing have focused on making “clothes with LEDs”, not “clothes with light”. This distinction is important, as it has totally different priorities. 

Dozens of bright white LEDs are embedded in each garment, using a custom developing wiring system for an invisible finish. 

All pieces use removable battery components. Custom made Lithium Poly battery packs provide up to 10 hours of continuous light. Standard AAA batteries can also be used.



09/2013 MER KA BA Exhibition, The Jewish Museum (New York City)

A Ready-to-wear collection by the design collective threeASFOUR.

“It reveals the varied visual aspects of Nature and its inherent sacred geometries through a topographic approach. Within the collection, surface shapes, elevations and textures relate to each other as well as to the terrain of the human body.””The archetypal language of sacred geometry, which is inherent in nature’s design, is a key in understanding the universe from the microcosm (which is within), to the macrocosm (which includes everything that surrounds us)’. The New York based trio of fashion designers Gabriel Asfour, Adi Gil, and Angela Donhauser, have created a collection of 3D printed, laser cut silk and origami folded dresses that reflect their origins from Lebanon, Israel and Tajikistan, respectively. When put together, are symbolic of the energy fields that the body transitions through as it ascends to a higher plane.’


Lasercut, 3D printer, fabric, origami folding, mirrored structure and projections.


A collection of 3D printed, laser cut silk and origami folded dresses that reflect the origins of their homelands. The trio explored new mediums in mirrored structures and projections. The structures reflects on itself and forms a multi-dimensional pointed star, aka a hexagram. The installation represents material and spiritual worlds, symbolic for the energy of the human body.


The geometric patterns make us feel connected to the dimensions of all things created. The installation invites visitors into a moody and textural space, this space represents the geometrics in the sacred synagogues and mosques. The clothes are both wearable art and a platform for their free-spirited philosophy.

They combine something rather new, innovative, and techy with old spiritual believes and ancient cultures.




The Smoke Dress triggers attention with its flirty, blinking LEDs and then covers the wearer with fog as soon as people approach. The Smoke Dress functions as a protective shield, the designer says, “just like an octopus in self-defense” envelops itself in clouds of ink.

“Look Solutions’ 630-gram TINY CX is fundamental to the Smoke Dress,” Wipprecht reports. “I needed a wireless, wearable smoke system that could cover the dress with fog when people came close to it. TINY CX met all the requirements for size, ease of use and top performance.”

TINY CX has a warm-up time of less than one second and is easy to handle. At its heart, a microprocessor controls and supervises all important functions for continuous and safe running. The fluid tank is fitted to the housing and filled with original Tiny-fluid, which ensures a dense fog output. The internal battery supplies energy only when necessary greatly increasing operating time. It can produce 10-15 minutes of continuous output or up to 150 puffs of five seconds each.

TINY CX can easily be triggered with one hand: The start button is placed in the device’s lid and can be pressed with the thumb. It can also be operated by cable or radio remote control; with a DMX converter it can be triggered via DMX 512. A timer can program in fog and fog-free sequences.

Wipprecht is considered a rising star in the emerging field of “fashionable technology” or “technological couture,” which combines fashion know-how and style with engineering smarts. Her creations act as “host” systems on the body moving, breathing and reacting to the environment around them. She often displays the nuts-and-bolts of garments on the outside so viewers can witness the unique interactions where technology creates the aesthetics.


luminex sportsbraDespite the allure of flashing lights, one of the most interesting aspects of wearable technology is the innovation going on at the material level. Smart textiles will transform the way we think of clothes, what they do and what they are.
Textiles will change everything. For example, one of the main hurdles for 3D printed clothes is that 3D printers right now are having a hard time creating a material that is a thin and supple as wool — so printing clothing has to wait for appropriate materials to be developed. While wearable electronics are gaining in popularity, tons of research is going on to ensure that wearable electronics are more than just shirts with gadgets stuck to them.
A few of the intriguing areas of research are textiles that plug clothing into the larger Internet of Things, textiles that turn clothing into power sources, and, perhaps most interesting, textiles that use new technologies to mimic the natural world.
Clothing already communicates. It communicates who we are, who we want to be perceived as being, our group affiliations. But down the line there’s a strong possibility that our clothing (or some people’s clothing, at least) will communicate with its surrounding environment. According to Tom Martin, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and co-director of the E-Textiles Lab at Virginia Tech,
“The most exciting development is the potential for textiles to sense and respond to their environments and situations,” Martin says. “In particular, integrating sensors and computational devices into fabrics will enable the fabrics to provide a much richer set of capabilities than is currently possible. These electronic textiles (e-textiles) will allow us to build smart garments, as well as home and office furnishings that look and feel like their everyday counterparts while being able to sense our presence, monitor our health, and dynamically adapt to our individual needs.”
One example of this are textile sensors developed by researchers at the University of Arkansas, which monitor wearers’ cardiac signs and communicate them to doctors and hospitals, no matter the location. Sports brands are leading the way in mainstreaming this tech. Stella McCartney’s Performance Sports Bra, designed for Adidas, uses “conductive sensing fibers” to monitor runners’ biorhythms. After the success of Nike+, sports brands have been quick to get into quantified-self products, and are the first to really be promoting smart textiles.
The quantified self is great, but what’s really interesting is products like this bracelet, which control a building’s environmental conditions. Clothing that does this is probably really far down the line, but will be fascinating in the ways it blurs the line between the individual and space, surface and surrounding, etc.