A model shows the feather details of the accessory.

BioWear – Kinetic Accessory

Design Approach

A kinetic accessory that communicates emotions through wearable technology.

Humans are uniquely able to cloak emotional responses, outwardly projecting messages that contradict our inner state. But what if we had tails, feathers or fur that signaled our true responses through biometric data? BioWear kinetic accessories collect the wearer’s physical data and use that information to manipulate their outward appearance, revealing the person’s interior condition.

As designers and artists, we are concerned with both aesthetics and the human condition. We designed BioWear kinetic accessories as beautiful adornments that bring us closer to one another through authentic emotional communication. As an extension of our physical bodies, BioWear raises questions about the future and the boundaries of communication through fashion, design and technology. The desirability of laying bare human emotion poses many provocative issues that this ongoing project explores.

What we did

  • Research & concept creation
  • Design & prototyping
  • Hardware & software development
  • Film & museum/gallery installation

Clients / Collaborators

model shows the right side and back views of accessory
model shows the front and left side views of accessory

Design Approach

When we first started to explore the idea of a wearable technology art piece that would express pure human emotions, we wanted to approach it from the perspective of a designer. We wanted a beautiful object that the wearer would want to put on their body, something desirable with magnetism, something sexy.

The object had to be something that the wearer would want to put on regardless of the technology inside. So often, wearable technology is designed from a functional point of view instead of an aesthetic one. We wanted the technology to support the aesthetics, not the other way around.


Fashion Art Film captures BioWear kinetic accessory in action, including its impact on both viewer and wearer.

A close up shows an electronic detail of the accessory.
A designers sews technology onto feathered fabric.
A team works on a photoshoot
Designers fit the accessory on a dress form.

Final Prototype

The final piece is both physically beautiful and has a subtle and somewhat abstract movement to the feathers. It is not readily apparent to the viewer that the wearer is displaying emotion, but the movement provokes a pause, a thought and perhaps a questioning stance in the viewer.

It is a physical signal that there is something happening within the wearer that creates interest, something that piques the viewer’s curiosity. As they “get to know” the wearer, the connection between the movement of the feathers and their meaning becomes more apparent.