Wearable artefacts as research vehicles | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1477-965X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9533


The wearable technology field, including terms and areas such as wearable computing and fashionable technology, has been evolving at the cross-section of various disciplines including science, technology, arts, augmented reality, design, cybernetics, ergonomics and fashion. As an example, the research community in wearable computing has been carrying out profound work in understanding and defining many key principles in the field. According to these researchers, the wearable computer is understood as a kind of extension of the body, which enables it to perform tasks that would not otherwise be possible, such as being in several places at the same time.1 This is an example of one of the approaches currently existing in this multifaceted field. The field also contains other detectable approaches, each with their own distinct aim. These approaches vary from developing solutions to engineering problems to developments in fashion and design and further to more conceptual approaches in addressing the field with what the author refers to as a playful attitude. When one investigates various projects in the wearable field more closely one can detect at least three clearly distinct approaches. The first approach is to follow the general guidelines for wearable computing development and objectives defined during the 1990s. The second approach sometimes called fashionable technology, to some extent follows similar directives as the first approach, but, in addition, it is strongly related to traditions and expectations in the areas of fashion and textile. The third approach has self-defined aims, which are partially contradictory to the general goals prevailing in the field. This third approach has been left almost without a notice in publications emerging from the field as well as in other theoretical writings concerned of art and technology. Until now the wearable technology field has been discussed primarily as one unified area striving towards similar goals.

This article investigates this third approach. It asks how and why some of the projects in the field seem to differ from the general goals persisting in the field, and examines what the possible motivations and intentions behind this alternative approach are. Lastly, the article introduces the Hybronaut as a concept related to the author's practice and research.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): art; functionality; Hybronaut; instruments; technology; wearable technology
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