Spirituality means something different to everyone. To some it could be an immortal being, the concept of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality, to others, an inner path enabling them to discover the essence of their being. Simply the feeling of being free to express our feelings or maintaining a set of values and meanings by which to live.
Belonging to a group and following a preached belief has it’s own dress codes. This appears to be common with any following and the similarities of dress help distinguish followers within their group. Through intrigue, Project DNA chose to focus mainly on Shamanism and it’s relationship with nature.
Shamanism, by Nevill Drury, describes how the Shaman’s practice an equal balance between giving and receiving. If you receive, you must give. This influenced my thoughts on creating a link between the themes where one can give a part of it’s outfit to the other. For example, the feather shoulder can pass one of it’s feathers to the reflective outfit and the reflective outfit can build a frame and pass it back to the shoulder piece.
The idea behind Shamanism embodies the metamorphosis design process, demonstrating the ability for change. Metamorphosis in nature is a complete structural and hormonal change an original form involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in an animal’s body structure through cell growth and differentiation. It usually is not applied to general aspects of cell growth but the ideas of transformation influenced the development of ideas of evolution. To many, the visual metamorphosis change, as seen in butterflies, is one of most extreme processes for changing an identity, or perceived identity.
There is no area on the body that speaks of our identity quite like the face. Babies are pre programmed to recognize faces long before any other senses develop.
The development process for metamorphosis sections the main areas relating to our identity on both the face and torso and uses this method of sectioning to design a mask or body part with interchangeable pieces.
Designing into sectioned body parts with interchangeable pieces will provide necessary flexibility for the wearer to change their identity. The design of these pieces will be influenced by parts of other animals or insects, representing the process of metamorphosis. For example, being able to change between hair and antler horns, human eyes or those of a butterfly. The parts can be designed so that they can be used and applied to all here outfits.
Using the Metamorphosis process in this project demonstrates how the identity of this concept can change and also how it adapts to the needs of the designer and wearer. It demonstrates in a simple manner the extent with which this concept can be taken.
During the development, I varied the use of a true self and symmetrical self on the premise that any commercial venture would require a symmetrical product for an asymmetric body. Cross-referencing both options allowed me to analyze the possibilities of either a tailored product or mass-production.
For the ‘morphed’ body parts to stay true to the project concept, each product designed was sliced, following pre-mapped sections of the body, and attached to a single join or series of joins (DNA components).
All the products produced are symmetrical and they fit an asymmetric body like a second skin.