Touch Memory Dresses

20 Apr

TEOUCH MEMORY held by XSLab experiment in memory rich garments consists of dresses that explore touch, embodied intimacy, and the technical implementation and construction of visually reactive substrates for manipulating use data on a textile. The conceptual framework consists of the gathering and displaying of intimate touch events but also explores social choreographies that emerge when bodies actively inhabit identical reactive costumes.

Wearable artifacts, by virtue of the fact that they are worn on the body, are a very intimate technology. Social and cultural changes are implicit in any new technology. These dresses explore the idea of wearable technologies that encourage physical touch and contribute to create embodied as opposed to virtual proximity between people.


The Finger Dress is a non-interactive illustration of touch memory. It shows an intimacy map of the body, recording and displaying where a person has been touched.

The dress was entirely printed out on a textile printer (the sewing pattern and the decorative pattern printed out at one time) and stitched together. This technology allows for quick personal fabrication of “memory” enhanced garments.


The Spotty dresses are constructed out of thin, light cotton, overprinted with an irregular pattern of thermochromic spots. The spots form a pattern based on animal camouflage, which encourages dancers to act out social choreographies based on animal behavior. There is a very immediate and literal aspect to the interaction. The direct touch memory is displayed when one user touches another and affects the color of the spots using body heat. Body contact – whether touching, rubbing, pressing the fabric against their bodies or the bodies of other – makes the inks change color and effectively disappear.

Increased physical intimacy makes your spots blend into your skin, it erases your camouflage patterns. You become nude, revealed.


The feathery dresses explore touch memory based on the idea of intimacy maps on the body. There are three touch sensors (soft, conductive textile switches) that record touch events on the body. These events are the inputs into the simple program running on a microcontroller, and the touch history is displayed through a pattern of illuminated feathers embroidered on the dress. The use of a microcontroller allows us to use much less conductive material in the body of the dresses and reduces failure rates due to broken connection.


I love the idea of recording and displaying where a person has been touched. For the Finger Dress, it will be a private memorable thing which carries the owner’s emotion and the past experience. while the other two dresses is interactive with the touch from human body. there are a lot technologies applied into these dresses, which make me excited and possibly  useful to my final project. But as mentioned in their description that these dresses explore to encourage physical touch between people, I think it has just a limited affect in terms of this. Since the meaning of the dress isn’t obvious in itself so that strange people surrounding the wearer won’t be influenced. These dresses are more like artistic work or experimental thought.


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