The Social Body Lab

The Social Body Lab takes the human body as a starting point from which to consider how humans interface with and relate to the world around them. Beyond the basic functionality of incorporating technology into clothing, the Social Body Lab focuses on meaningful and provocative interactions, questioning the relationship between humans and technology through working prototypes and fully manifested projects.

Topics & Themes

  • Material Research
    For example: conductive fabrics, threads, yarns, inks, paints, wools; thermochromic inks; shape-memory alloy
  • Tools & Techniques
    Research existing and develop new platforms (both hardware and software) for body-centric interactions, methods for utilizing and adapting traditional electronic components, approaches to working with emerging materials
  • Body as Interface
    Interfaces designed to live both on or around the body, promoting physically expressive engagement
  • Sensing Studies
    Research and testing of sensors appropriate for human physical interactions including manufactured sensors (flex sensors, accelerometers, biometric, etc.) as well as those constructed from conductive and semi-resistive materials
  • Body-Based Displays
    Tools and methods for displaying information to the wearer and/or the observer
  • Communication & Networks
    Determining capacities and methods for processing, transmitting, and receiving data
  • Closeness over Distance
    Impact of proxemics on networked physicality, both technically and conceptually

Focus & Approach

  • Critical engagement with technology – not just asking how but why
  • Interdisciplinary practices – intersection of art, design, technology
  • Meaningful Interactions – moving beyond the “cool” factor
  • Distribution of knowledge – documentation, online publication, tutorials, DIY, open source
  • Collaboration – both internal & external


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