RESHAPE19 | Cognified matter
Wearable technology category

Designer: Emilia Pucci



“In the end I find I can’t separate brain from body. Consciousness isn’t just in the head. Nor is it a question of the power of the mind over the body…because they’re flip sides of the same thing. Mind doesn’t dominate body, it becomes body.”

Candace Pert, Phd “The Body is th Subconscious Mind” This 21st century marks an era of profound transformation for what it means to be human on this planet (and beyond): we can augment our senses, transcend our bodies to live increasingly virtual lives, we are able to manipulate our DNA to alter our own biological fabric and use AI to exponentially increase our decision making abilities. Much of this evolution has contributed to a narrative of separation between the body and the mind, giving the latter the responsibility to deal with our “imperfect container”, finding strategies and technologies to improve, increase, augment and better it.
In my experience as an individual and as a designer in this era of technological development, I have found myself witnessing, in myself and many others, a state of jarring separation between the body and the mind, of being increasingly disembodied as our work and social interactions take place behind screens, in environments where the body feels like a clumsy afterthought, a bulky extension of an otherwise infinite mind.

It’s in this illusory divorce between body and mind, one that our Western myth of Creation fosters at its core, that disfunction can prosper: I have a set of expectations for my life, a to do list for the day, I start multitasking, things get chaotic, unforeseen roadblocks hinder my progress, I’m about to miss my deadline, stress ensues, injecting cortisol in my body. And this is all normal, but the moment many of us experience stress or anxiety we don’t just stop and start listening to our body, giving it the opportunity to express its discomfort, and catch up with our demanding mind. We start judging our body, trying to use a top-down cognitive approach to “solve” a “problem” that in reality is not a problem, but a messenger, one begging us to re-embody and connect with where we are, the present moment inside our wondrous
feeling physical self.
IO<3 addresses the issue of disembodiment leading to stress and anxiety with a simple, feeling vs thinking approach that treats the body as our subconscious mind, as PhD Candace Pert, the creator of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) defined in her work.


“Being a subconscious system, it deals in symbolism through layers of meaning and physical experience is shaped by thought and belief. Past experiences, conditioning, habits are all stored in the body at the cellular level, providing a framework through which we relate to the world.”
“Gaining an awareness of this framework, the lens through which we experience the world, grants us the capacity to widen the frame. The more closely we can be present with somatic experiences of emotion, the more attuned we can be to the messages of the subconscious mind. By practicing awareness and attending, we can release and let go.” (Dr. Diana Quinn)
IO<3 started as a project carried out during Fabricademy 2017. Its second version Durga was named after the invincible Hindu goddess called the Demon Slayer.
Durga is an interactive garment that allows people who are suffering from a situation of emotional distress to connect to their body and their heart. When in a state of anxiety or stress Durga enables us to calm ourselves down by activating a vibration massage when pressing on key acupressure points. The vibration is activated as long as the user keeps the sensor pressed, functioning as an enhancer of traditional acupressure enabled by touch, technology and breathing.
Soft sensors and circuitry allow Durga to become a second skin, a membrane responsive to our own touch augmenting our action of re-embodiment into our selves whenever we need it.
Durga’s modular design allows it to become a platform that can be laid beneath different types of garments, depending on the users’ preference.
In the current prototype the use of parametric design and laser cutting enabled the fabrication of a piece that can be partially designed and built by the user, enabling the spread of mass customization and minimal resource waste by building the garments on demand.

The total price for this prototype was $250, including neoprene, fabric, electronic parts, conductive fabric, 3D printed massage modules and tools.
Furthering the concept of self awareness and embodied self care, Durga will be able to record the occasions when the wearers pressed on the acupressure sensors to re-embody themselves, how long they pressed them for and which acupressure points were most used. This data could provide insight on how the garment is used to help the wearer in situations where they need self-soothing and how it can further be improved to improve the restoration of their embodied well-being.