Prompt: "Students will explore the idea of body transformation and will develop a "functional" Body Extension. Students will be focusing on the voluminosity of the forms, the interaction between the body, its extension, and the surrounding."
To begin the process of this project, I completed extensive research on the transformation of armor throughout history. Additionally, I visited the Met to study East Asian armor up close. With my notes and sketches from the research period, I was able to conjure up a multi-medium armor design from my newly gained knowledge. My design is heavily inspired by the ancient Chinese armor-making techniques, more specifically the “lamellar” which consists of small metal plates laced together in rows. The piece also features intricate oriental patterns branded into the leather straps, and chains that act as a decorative fringe. Although the piece does not cover the whole body, it offers protection in the chest and shoulder area. Symbolically, the heart must be hidden as it is the most vital organ. The meticulous combination of flexible rigid materials is intended to create an aesthetic yet idealistic experience. Armor is not a clothing choice people make on an average day, therefore my design promotes a more contemporary style in the overall shape and construction choices. This project also serves as commentary on the effects of the male gaze in the objectification of women in war video games. I’m hoping that by creating an armor from a feminine point of view, I can take back power.