‘Proximity Dress’ Designed for Social Distancing Expands When Someone Gets Too Close

 

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A post shared by Anouk Wipprecht (@anoukwipprecht)

In a world where social distancing is the “new normal,” it can be frustrating (and potentially dangerous) when others ignore the rules. But protecting personal space is an issue many people face every day, with or without a pandemic. That’s why Dutch FashionTech designer Anouk Wipprecht created the Proximity Dress. The futuristic garment features a thermal sensor that triggers the silhouette to expand and create a physical barrier between the wearer and anyone who gets too close.

The dress features a 3D-printed resin neck piece that holds the thermal sensor. When it detects strangers within the intimate, personal, social, and public space around the wearer, the dress extends at the sides using a built-in, robotic 3D printed hip mechanism. Since the fabric of the dress is soft and net-like, it won’t hurt those that it touches. It simply gives a gentle nudge (and reminder) to step back. Additionally, Wipprecht’s sensors make virtually no noise, and can’t record any videos of imagery, allowing the public to stay anonymous.

Wipprecht’s Proximity Dress isn’t the first of her designs to explore protecting personal space. The designer previously created the robotic Spider Dress, where sensors triggered spider-like arms on the dress to move.

Both the Spider Dress and the Proximity Dress are inspired by the Proxemics Theory of American anthropologist Edward T. Hall. He studied the human use of space within the context of culture. Wipprecht says, “Whereas Hall had to measure the space between people using a wooden stick, I have been working since 2007 to translate these concepts into the digital domain, in order to measure the spaces between people up to a range of 25 feet.”

Check out the Proximity Dress below and find more of Wipprecht’s fascinating fashion tech designs on her website and Instagram.

FashionTech Designer Anouk Wipprecht created the Proximity Dress, a futuristic garment featuring a sensor that triggers the silhouette to expand and protect the wearer’s personal space.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Anouk Wipprecht (@anoukwipprecht)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Anouk Wipprecht (@anoukwipprecht)

Wipprecht also created the Spider Dress, where sensors trigger spider-like arms to move and scare away anyone that gets too close.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Anouk Wipprecht (@anoukwipprecht)

Anouk Wipprecht: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Vimeo
h/t: [NPR]

All images via Anouk Wipprecht.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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