In my previous article, Design challenge 1: ideation part II, I mentioned that I was designing a camouflage wearable for the Na’vi people, Pandora inhabitants. Thanks to Jane advice, I decided to make a jewelry piece to that blinds with the environment and at the same protect the Na’vi by scaring off predators and humans.
The new concept
The concept inspiration is from insects mimicry and camouflage technique, mainly butterflies. These insects mimic predators through shape or colour to ward off attackers and other predators.
From the sacrificial concept, we learned that the Na’vi are a tribal in nature. Meaning few of their elements resembles our own human tribal societies. I decided to look into ethnic jewelry that are worn by tribes in Africa and the pacific to get basic understanding of role of jewelry pieces’ in their life. The main points that I noticed were the usage of jewelry as a protective element to ward off evil and demons. Some societies gift their children some pieces or amulets to guard them against evil or malicious spirit. Secondly, the usage of material gathered from available resources and the environment. Taking those points into consideration, I made a rough sketch of my concept, a necklace and a hair pin, and presented it to my team.
The insight and feedbacks that they provided made me reflect on the design and possible material to use. Actually, my team mate Nicole suggested that I focus on the biggest predator in Pandora that feared by all animals and inhabitants. I decided to go with Pandora T-Rex like predator, the Thanator.
While studying the thanator, I liked its teeth and eyes which can be used in the jewelry.
Low-fi (paper) Prototype
To materialize my concept and see how it fits as a physical form, I used papers and tapes to create the first prototype.
The prototype might not look fancy but it worked well
Prototype (Plant Installation)
I made a research about the Na’vi society to understand what material they use in their pieces and from where they gather them. The warbonnet is leafs are used as feathers, the palm tree as source of threads and the dandetiger provides resin-glue adhesive material. This information would help me with material choices for the design.
Since the Na’vi are connected to their environment and living beings, I decided to try and incorporate that in the jewelry piece. The idea now was to create a plant installation jewelry that uses the plants bioluminescent trait of Pandora to illuminate during the night.
My idea is to create a plant installation that uses plants and grass to emit light.
To test the feasibility of my idea by I started growing some plants. I used different types of plants and tested to see which 1) one grows fast and 2) fit in the burlap.
After weeks of waiting, the sprouts bloomed and the plants grew. The red clover seemed the best one to fit my needs and it has the potential to cover the burlap. I sew the second piece that would be the necklace and planted the seeds.
Unfortunately, my second attempt didn’t work properly. The seeds refused to grow as fast as the first experiment, maybe because of the cold temperature, and the burlap became mushy which makes it uncomfortable to wear. I also dropped the idea of a head piece because children are active, such piece would hinder their movement and it can be uncomfortable to them.
In my next post I’ll talk about my further modifications and new material used.