Spark, 2016, Adafruit Feather 32u4 Bluefruit, NeoPixels, MicroSD breakout board, Peltier Thermo-Electric Cooler, pushbuttons, canvas and cotton, zipper, dimensions variable.
Spark prototypes a unisex, multipurpose scarf designed to increase awareness of sexual harassment. Those who commonly experience sexual harassment can wear the scarf to discreetly mark locations where they were harassed, adding to a collection of data points of troubling locations. They can then pass on Spark to a friend who does not typically experience sexual harassment. When the friend wears Spark near a previously marked location, Spark lights up and literally sends a chill down their spine, making them feel more visible and uncomfortable. Spark gives a material form to the narrative of one’s experiences with sexual harassment, allowing others who may not directly experience similar incidents to build empathy. In designing Spark, our team chose to make a scarf because of its everyday use, ability to be easily worn by multiple people, and its closeness to the wearer. Our design and fabrication process included user research, electronics wiring, work with software, and hands-on elements like laser-cutting and sewing hardware into the scarf’s fabric.
Spark Team: Ethan Chiou, Christine Dierk, Maggie George, Shana Hu, and Siqi Wang
Christine Dierk, PhD Computer Science
Maggie George, B.A. Integrative Biology (2016)
Shana Hu, B.A. Computer Science (2016)
Siqi Wang, M.A. Architecture (2017)