Fabrika Split

Fabrika Split is a speculative design project that explored the impact of wearable displays on societal relationships within our everyday lives. Through the development of iWear, an electronic t-shirt that allows people to interact with social media content on their body, we raised concerns on how technological advancements and dependencies change our daily routines. This project was done in collaboration with Sandy Claes, Pika Novak, and Sjors Timmer at the 2013 UrbanIxD Summer School (atelier leader: Gordan Savicic).

We shape our environment, and it in turn shapes us

In the year 2063, with the growing evolution of emerging technologies and their ubiquitous integration into the mundane moments of our daily lives, the hybrid space of Split’s digital and physical world has become over-saturated with a perpetual flow of superfluous content. With the advancement of pikotechnology, mobile devices have been replaced by revolutionary high tech and high touch wearables allowing unrestricted display of personal and communal content. No longer are Splitonians tied to an obtrusive handheld device, but free to wear their heart on their sleeve. Since Splitonians are dependent on these digital and physical networks to be interesting, productive, and functional members of society, they have lost their ability to operate as a community within the urban context. As the advanced wearables track and collect information about their actions and the surrounding environment, a gradual everyday buildup of irrelevant cat videos, fake friend requests, and pervasively personalized advertisements manifests on the clothing – infiltrating the fabric of their lives. As this data saturation and dependency persists, a new daily cycle emerges with the invention of specialized clothing lines, enabling Splitonians to air out their dirty laundry – a new organic form of data dumping and defragmentation. Every night, as the wearables are charged on the clothesline, while the recycle bin empties with the natural dripping of data, important life moments are infinitely preserved through their prominent public display. Within this cycle of accumulating and absolving, new public rituals emerge – intimate communication, dances of discovery, shameful exposure, and accidental receipt.

iWEAR can by purchased with software clearner Čistač by Fabrika Split, a product that helps you clean your wearable technology when it becomes over saturated.

Fabrika Split is a result of the 2013 UrbanIxD Summer School, a 10 day course in Split, Croatia. The theme of the program was ground in urban interaction design, investigating data-rich urban environments with a focus on the Networked City of the near future. Throughout the course, in between guest lecture and brainstorms, we immersed ourselves with the city and societal infrastructures, conducting ethnographic research and citizen interviews. Within small groups we advanced forward speculative design fictions that were exhibited at the end of the program.