Discomfort

by

Sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch: the five senses are how we experience design.  All of the senses are important, but I believe the most important sense is touch.  People and see and hear spaces and smell and taste the air all from a distance.  But you have to be in the space, experiencing it from a closer perspective to understand all of the textures in the room. 

The sensory experience of discomfort is universal throughout the human race.  Some people can deal with tremendous amounts or pain, others with irritating noises, and some with extreme environmental factors.  However, physical discomfort without pain sparks irritation in everyone.  This discomfort is easily, and often, remedied but it is rarely enhanced and pushed further through design.  Most of these devices are meant for exercise, not for fashion or appeal.  I wanted to change this and make a device that pushed the boundaries of discomfort while creating a visually appealing piece.

My design captures and heightens physical discomfort.  From the feel of the garment against the skin to the tremendous weight, my design intensifies suffering.  Made from a rigid fabric, the piece is fitted to the body as it hugs the small of the back and wraps around to form to the stomach.  The front of the garment grows up in a corset like manner and prohibits the wearer from bending at the waist, instead the structure forces the wearer to stand up straight.  Stemming from the fitted back, a huge bustle covers the buttocks and extends to the upper thighs.  With its multiple bouncing layers, the bustle adds weight and mass to the region and pulls the front section closer to the body, allowing even less forward movement.   The bustle is stiff and is not uncomfortable to press against, so the wearer is unable to sit down and relieve fatigue.   Discomfort is prevalent throughout my design and it functions to make the wearer as physically uncomfortable as possible.

Although my design does serve the purpose to further pain and suffering that does not mean that it cannot be pretty.  With symmetrical front stemming from a uniform pattern restricting movement, to the balanced bustle with an almost random organization of modules, the design screams girly and feminine.   There is nothing masculine about this design.   My design allows for beauty and suffering to coexist and be joined in an object. 

Within a space the garment restricts the wearer to walking or standing in the room.  The wearer is unable to relax in the space, but it might allow the wearer to experience the space in a new way.  Rooms are often viewed at a passing glance or at taken in slowly, but with this garment the rooms could be seen an entirely new way, taking everything in while meandering around to take the users mind of off the discomfort they are feeling.

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