Xintong Pei

Exoskeleton--Connection between Inner and Outer World

Class of: 2027

Major: Fashion Design BFA

Medium: Cotton Sash Cord, Bead, Wire

Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem

Prompt: We as a community are being closed, and we are standing on the outside of their shells. We are asked to shelter in the space available to us and stay within. A cell inside our body might have been invaded by a parasite manipulating our cell production. Our inner world of thoughts and feelings has been invaded and impacted by new realities outside our bodies. This project investigates relationships between the inner world and the outer world. In our new daily reality, each of us experiences the inside and outside of spaces in entirely new ways. In terms of physical spaces, we found a temporary home. In this project, students are tasked with developing a body part cover inspired by exoskeletons’ anatomy, and it explores ways of protecting ourselves from the world. How is this shell a metaphor for our state of mind? Our emotions? Our physical being?

In my project, I well-matched my results with my ideas about the relationship between the inner and outer worlds. The corset I made corresponds to my belief in the inner world: Buddhism. This is my greatest support and reliance in my inner world. I show it in the form of beads and colors in this corset. In the outer world, through my own body, the most vulnerable part is my waist. Due to the long-term effects of drawing and sitting in front of the desk, which make my waist particularly prone to pain, I chose to combine Buddhist elements, which represent the inner world, and the corset, which represents the outer world, for this project and make it a corset. What I learned about my content through this medium exploration was about the relationship between us and the world we live in. I have felt the differences and impulses through studying and researching the communication between the inner and outer worlds. I was surprised by these conflicts and differences, and even more surprised that I hadn’t actively explored them before. Through the project, I recognized the delicate balance between the individual and our surroundings. We can draw inspiration from nature, just as the exoskeleton does.