The 26-foot hydraulically activated “Hand of Man” and the Cosplay Contest will get their share of attention at this weekend’s World Maker Faire in Queens. Attendees may also be surprised to find the Future of Fashion Show, showcasing 3-D printed clothing, wearables and pioneering clothing.
As the East Coast’s largest showcase for tech and innovation, the event will have 600-plus projects on display at the New York Hall of Science Saturday and Sunday. The style-minded will find models hitting the stage in the main NYSCI auditorium Saturday at 5 p.m.
Presented by ThreeForm Fashion, a label that specializes in 3-D scanning and 3-D printing, the show will feature an assortment of on-the-rise companies. Katya Lee & the Space Force; Heisel; Tracy Belben; SciChic; Stephania Stefanakou; Zoa Chimerum; Emiko Shinozaki; Adrienne Sack; Erin Winick; WearWorks; and Spring & Wonder jewelry are among the labels that will be in the show. Several of the participants have been upstarts in different fields.
Designer Lee, for example, was the lead singer for the pop band Hi-Fi and later Fabrika. As a solo artist she is blending AI, fashion design and music. For this weekend’s runway, she has created “clothes and space suits for those who travel through galaxies.”
A former premed student, the DUMBO-based Shinozaki said some of her jewelry designs are inspired by hexagons — a figurative form in organic chemical structure. She expects to have five or six of her designs on the runway. In business for three years, she has also incorporated some of the skills that she learned as a classically trained musician. Shinozaki infuses some compositional techniques in her jewelry such as repetition and inversion. Her jewelry will also be sold at the BUST Craftacular, during this weekend’s fair. She prefers live events to reach consumers and meets with clients in her design studio for direct sales. Shinozaki said that all of her pieces are hand-soldered and are based on tubular structures with the more elaborate styles taking three days of work to complete.
For a summer residency at the Museum of Arts and Design, she created a sensorized belt and metallic tattoos that when touched trigger music from a speaker system. “So I am very much in the Maker Faire mentality even though that’s not going to be part of BUST Craftacular.” she said. A member of the hacker collective NYC Resistor, Shinozaki said she hopes to meld her jewelry career and wearables for future projects.
Another innovative wearable headed for this weekend’s runway is WearWorks’ Wayband, a haptic navigation device designed to guide users, including those who have blindness, to their destinations using nonintrusive tactile feedback. Three years in development, a prototype of the device was used by a blind entrant in last year’s New York City Marathon. Founders Keith Kirkland, Kevin Yoo and Yangyang Wang hope to introduce the product at retail in the next six to eight months.
As a graduate student, Kirkland dedicated his thesis to trying to create a suit that would enable the wearer to learn kung-fu instructions, using tactile feedback through vibration motors to position body parts. While the technology existed, the biggest challenge was developing a language that could give the wearer specific instructions, Kirkland said. Inadvertently, that led to his team recognizing the need to develop a haptic language to communicate information through touch, he said.