LUMOSCURA SMOG MASK
Inspired by shimmering white peacock feathers under the sun and luminescent bodies in the depths of the sea, Lumoscura is a smart mask that challenges the aesthetic and function of normal smog masks seen today. Masks have always been associated with disease, fear and negativity. Some wear it in public to hide their identities, in reality it attracts attention and can generate fear and stress amongst those in their immediate surroundings. As air pollution becomes more and more of an issue in many countries, people have begun to surrender to wearing a mask for the sake of their health, however there are still a lot of people who do not wear masks for many reasons- the top three being unattractive, uncomfortable and repelling people. Given that air quality cannot be changed in a short amount of time and breathing polluted air can cause numerous diseases, even death. How can we redesign the mask so that it not only makes the wearer physically and emotionally more comfortable, but also give off a friendly, harmless vibe to those around so to encourage more to wear one? Lumoscura attempts to provide a solution to the problem through an understanding of user experience and emotional design.
Augmented Body Studio, RISD Wintersession 2015
Professors: Catherine Andreozzi, Brian Kane, Ludovico Lombardi and Francis Bitonti
The project started off as an exploration of wearable devices on the head and face Why do we wear these objects and what is the functional purpose?
The first concept came about while brainstorming human needs in relation to senses and looking at what parts of the face does a mask cover: how can the functional aspect be maximized in the area. The concept was designed around a set of molded clear panels that heated up to protect the face from extreme weather conditions. When not in use, the panels fold back to the top of the head and the product can be used as a regular pair of headphones. An air purification system can be added to the product to combat pm 2.5 pollutants in the air. Clear masks are less intimidating and the distance from the wearers face gives wearers the freedom to communicate and express emotions.
Experimenting with folding, 3D scanning, Lilypad Arduino and headphone dismantling.
At this point I took a turn and decided to look into the aesthetic and conceptual side of mask design. There are many cultures in the world that practice head and face covering for the purpose of guarding a woman's chastity. In these instances, the face can no longer be recognized however the eyes still draw attention. In a way, masks are also an object of seduction playing on people's curiosity for what cannot be seen.
I began to look at masks as fashion adornments that are mysterious, elegant or daring. I also looked at creatures in nature that attract attention in various ways for reasons such as mating, communication, luring prey and self defense. The white peacock and the luminescent jellyfish then became my inspiration for the next concept.
Experimenting with fiber optics to create feathering effect and creating sketch models for form, then reducing complexity of form for practicality.
Concept changed from rotating panels on a headphone structure to a simple mask that has a sound component going into the ear.
FINAL CONCEPT SKETCH MODEL
Model created to determine size and fit of mask. Decided that the side panel material would be a soft silicone so it can better fit the curves of faces. This allows the panels to be 3D printed flat and casted later. The fiber optics were arranged and bundled so that they shoot of in desired direction.
Modeling in Rhino for 3D printing and Maya for visual reference
Side panels 3D printed on Makerbot and casted using silicone. Mask was vacuum formed, molded and casted also using silicone. Fiber optics attached to mask using tubing and connected to two Lilypad battery holders. Explored laser cutting for side panel options.
Lights Off Shoot
Lights On Shoot
At this point in time, the mask was purely aesthetic-focused and conceptual. Apart from attaching PM2.5 filters to the mask, sensors could be connected to the fiber optics that would provide real time feedback on local air quality. The position of the mask also has many potentials in terms of functions relating to sensory feedback that would benefit the user as well as those around. These include (and not limited to)
SMELL- Air filter system with a pleasant scent diffused within the mask and circulated out
FEEL- Haptic feedback system for user to become more aware of their surrounding or people/new information they care about
SEE- Virtual display projection that is less intrusive than glasses
HEAR- On demand feed-back from air quality sensor data , music playing option with balanced ambient noise during outdoor commutes