The Articulated Body Covering
Prompt: For this project, we were asked to create a body covering in relation to the human body with a specific purpose. The piece had to be articulated, which, by definition, means having two or more sections connected by a flexible joint. The body covering needed moveable joined parts and had to cover a part or parts of the body, not only adorn it. The design also had to change or transform in response to the body’s movement.
The Articulated Body Covering is inspired by natural and artificial exoskeletons as well as lattice structures found in nature, specifically honeycombs. The definition of an exoskeleton is a rigid external covering for the body providing both support and protection. I wanted to play off of this and create, in essence, a complete human exoskeleton. I chose to execute my design using a lattice because it is flexible and allows for extended body movement. In order to have the piece change and transform in response to the body’s movement, I included armbands so that when the arm moves, the entire piece moves with it. I chose to use chipboard because it is stiff enough to be protective yet pliable enough to allow for mobility. I also played around with using strips of different lengths to add contrast and allow for additional movement. Researching natural and artificial exoskeletons helped to inform my design decisions and pushed me to think outside the box to consider new garment construction methods. Even though the chipboard is stiff and rigid, the dress still has movement and looks fluid in motion. The Articulated Body Covering embraces and embodies the protection of an exoskeleton while still maintaining versatility and flexibility.