The choice of garment is not just a way of communicating who someone is as a person and which station he or she holds, but is also a tool which can be directly manipulated, as to how a member of society wishes to establish its identity.
Clothing acts as an extension and expression of the self and communicates a wide array of meanings, encompassing not just identity, gender and political and social standing but also temporary mood and attitude, as well as the moral and aesthetic standards of both the individual and society .
The use of clothing as a vehicle for communication is as old as the garment itself.
Over the last centuries the way clothes have been used in public has undergone extreme changes.Up until the seventeenth century, garments were used to mark the place a member held in society and consisted of a system of clearly understandable and discernible signs.With the advent of mechanization, clothing became standardized and people became indistinguishable from each other.Increasing privatization of society, has led to nearly half of its population suffering from debilitating loneliness.Positioned within Positive Computing, this paper examines the possibilities of non screen-based digital personal artifacts, in the form of Soft User Interfaces, to enhance social dynamics.
Keywords: Photonic displays, smart fashion, embedded electronics, wearable networks, interactive technology, Soft User Interface, physical computing, soft computation, social dynamics, public sphere, positive computing, non-verbal signaling, proximity, artifactics.Author: Raune Frankjær University of Applied Sciences Trier, Department of Design, Trier, Germany Clothing has been described as the first public display, both in terms of the individual, but also in the history of humanity as a whole.This paper provides a case study on the use of non-verbal signaling as the foundation for soft computation deployed in the public sphere.The proposed technology is aimed at strengthening social capital, by freeing up situated user attention and facilitate the formation of wearable networks upon establishment of mutual sympathy during chance encounters in public space.Whilst theories diverge, recent studies imply that clothing developed from adornments as a medium of communication, most likely for ritual or prestigious purposes .The communication and signaling that emerge from personal objects, such as dress or fashion accessories, is described as artifactics and plays an important part of dress even today.