RESHAPE17 | programmable skins
ReSensing Rain RSR

Designers: Ana Goidea, Magdalena Haslinger


ReSensing Rain RSR

Our constructed boundaries, from building envelopes to our clothes, are designed to shelter, to protect. This was necessary across our history to guard from the wild nature, creating an abrupt division between the outside and the inside. But contemporary urban life presents no dangers against which stands the need for a shield.

However, the persistent rain in the Scandinavian regions -with an average of 11 to 17 rainy days each month in Copenhagen- does require some degree of filtering out.

In this framework we propose an alter way of living in a rainy climate. In a context where daily activities are not interrupted nor hindered by the manifestation of such natural phenomena, but instead enhanced by it.

Central to the project is an awareness of our current state of resource consumption. This is why the RSR functions with clean energy, harvesting it from the environment using a customized smart material setup. On the surface of the raincoat there is a distributed system of crystals, connected with a 3D printed conductive network. The crystals are grown from a special type of solution, and once in crystallized form they present piezoelectric properties. This means that they harvest the kinetic energy found in the falling drops and convert it into electrical energy – which is collected, stored then redistributed. When the reverse process is applied and the crystals are subjected to small impulses of alternate current, they vibrate at a frequency matching the electrical input. This is used by the aggregation of crystals placed in strategic harvesting and actuating points to massage the user. In this way, the user can program the areas, intensity and duration of the massage.


When we imagine a future of cities in sync with a sustainable infrastructure, biking is a wonderful option for transportation. The more it spreads as a viable alternative to cars, the more we need to think of ways of making it appealing in all weather conditions.

However, using the RSR coat has implications extending beyond the practicalities of cycling. The demands of urban everyday, rushing from one place to another, from one task to another increases the stress levels – these need to be released otherwise they can cause potential long term damages. Massage therapy can help with anxiety, improve overall mood, sleep quality, mental health and well-being. The RSR helps relax and enjoy the journey and the rain in a different way – to be more anchored in the present, focused on the senses and aware.

Using a composite materiality in between technology and smart materials, the RSR regulates the sensorial relation between our bodies and the environment. It is a second skin for augmenting our relation with nature, through a programmable tactility.