Studio Contrechoc

design & textile & technology entries

The art of saying “no” in a friendly way

Clothes are meant to protect you, to take care of you, to save you from the environment…

Smart textiles are extending these possibilities. These smart tissues will accompany you, comforting, coaching, telling you when to stop working (hopefully!).

These smart and soft textiles also provide new ways of performing “difficult” tasks.
For instance telling our friends that sometimes you cannot help them at the moment! Friends are sometimes so impatient. They won’t accept “no” from you. Maybe they can accept a temporarily no from soft clothing?

How to do the refusing in a not-too-rude way is very, very difficult, because good friends are rare and saying no to good friends is “not done”.


But sometimes we get an overload of requests, and maybe they could solve their problems themselves, or even try first??


This headgear might provide a solution for this cumbersome obligation of protecting yourself against a landslide of friendly questions for help.


First of all it provides my interface (o sorry, my face) with a soft protective layer, and secondly this layer brings over a clear message “… x no x … “, in a gentle way.


It is headgear, but not a mask – a mask could frighten my friends away, the tissue is soft so the message it brings over should be as velvet as possible. The softly blinking LED’s in a 5×5 grid make the answer to the request for help clear. And again the rude message is civilized, the LED’s are blinking “no” as friendly as possible in a subtle red light reflected on the cloth. In daylight the message is communicated almost unconsciously, because the light of the LED’s is not really visible.

The headgear is shown here on “the life jacket” (see another post). It has a resemblance in some of the pictures in the blog to the caricatures of alien robotic very bad dictators of SF movies, but the textile gives it such a warmth and pliable nature!

My friends can be at ease, I’ll help them whenever I can!!!


Only sometimes I ask my clothes for helping me against being suffocated.



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