Coming up with an idea for the final project was a difficult task because making something that is easily wearable that also has social meaning is harder then it sounds. I went back and forth around the idea of body image and how you could some how show that with led’s on a piece of clothing but decided that it wasn’t obvious enough. I came to realization sometime a few hours before we presented Kim with our concepts that I should focus on mastectomy patients and how they may feel being uneven after having a mastectomy.
My dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer almost 2 years ago and has been through two battles fighting breast cancer. When they found the second cancerous tumor 6 months after her first battle was supposedly “over” they decided to do a mastectomy on her left breast. For a woman to go through losing a breast and a nipple is an extremely traumatic event for her self image. I decided to focus on making the light be a simple of what or how being uneven may feel like.
After deciding that I was going to do something revolving around this concept Kim and I had many discussions as to how to best convey this. We had some very fun concepts come out of our discussions but sadly time was an issue with getting the project completed. I would have loved to do both sides of the bra and make it very apparent that one side had a nipple and one did not. Kim also mentioned making one side blow up and one side not. I also thought about doing a light that was temperature sensitive since heat is a sign of cancer as well as part of radiation. These were all fantastic ideas but timing was an issue.
I settled on putting a red “x” on the left breast and then doing a ribbon on the right breast in pink. When I went to start coding it dawned on me that I may not have enough room to stitch both sides of the bra. Since none of your circuits can touch and bras don’t exactly have the biggest band it was difficult to map out were each line was going to run to the Lilypad. During a workshop at Kim’s house we had trouble getting my code to work in the fashion I liked. I wanted the “x” to dim on and then stay off for a few seconds and then come back on. Max was thankfully there to help with the code and we eventually got the code to work correctly.
In the end I presented a bra with a red “x” on the left breast that would fade on, off, and then pause for 2 seconds before turning back on. My code can be found here.