Øjenfryd

NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT FOR VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSETS

The project

Creating a portable extension of digital sales rooms to highlight new collections to buyers, using Virtual Reality headsets as a new product research, made from innovative sustainable materials and with fashionable aesthetics. 3D-designed VR headsets with materials/tactile and VR training content to reduce waste in the design room. The headset can also be used as a marketing and consumer-engagement wearable installation in shops or at trade show events. The idea is to play with the human-centred design and decorate the headsets with jewellery or fashion accessories using sustainable materials.

Emilie Burkal Cohrt (Denmark)

EMILIE BURKAL COHRT founder of Studio Cohrt, a highly value-driven, multidisciplinary design studio that specialises in using human-centred design practices to create meaningful interpersonal connections through wearable technologies that are both fashionable and socially innovative.

Bushra Burge Studio Ltd (United Kingdom)

Bushra Burge Studio Ltd. creative technology company, which focuses on engaging ways to tell stories using a considered and innovative user-centred design process to harness successfully the newest technology.

STORYTELLING

THE IDEA:

Bushra Burge, BB Studio Ltd, London & Emilie Cohrt, Studio Cohrt, Copenhagen.
Bushra Burge has been challenging aesthetics of VR related wearables since 2016, with elaborate textile manipulation covering headsets in her award-winning VR-couture piece Dark Matter and EU funded GhostNet to enable another narrative layer of immersion and internationally demonstrating, exhibiting, presenting and publishing papers on this. Emilie had embedded technology within conceptual ergonomic leather accessories and worked on several luxury craft award winning wearables and experiential projects as well as with projects with Bushra. While working on other projects together, the idea arose of combining Bushra’s many years of experience creating and demonstrating VR-haptic-costume experiences and demonstrating with Emilie’s high couture leathercraft and fashion accessory design skills.
Our own experiences of using VR and finding headsets ill-fitting and uncomfortable were echoed by many others, especially women and POC. Furthermore, we both thought the hard-plastic casings of headsets could be made more eco-friendly and visually appealing in a way that would strengthen user experiences of VR. These thoughts and ideas solidified into a desire to create more a comfortable wearable appropriate for a larger, more diverse user demographic added to previous findings from Bushra’s experience of adapting VR headsets to be more narrative driven and artistically expressive objects. Using sustainable luxury materials (like fish leathers from Iceland) was always one of our top priorities in terms of moving away from the plastic casings of current VR headsets. Material sustainability is something we have both been focused on in previous projects, so it was a very important element for us to incorporate as current headset materials aren’t exactly eco-friendly. It also provided us with a way of visually disrupting headset design and putting something very new and innovative out there – something which can generate attention and interest in our concept and mission to make VR more accessible and sustainable.

THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:

At the heart of the project has been the research and direct user feedback regarding VR headsets gathered by Bushra throughout her many years of working with VR and implementing creative technologies embedded in sustainable couture and demonstrating and exhibiting internationally. This feedback came from demographically diverse user groups, both in terms of gender, ethnicity, and body type, and when quantified it painted a very clear picture of current headsets, both HTC and Oculus, being uncomfortable and a poor fit for many. This was especially true for many women including ourselves. Further research into headset design revealed that the basic headset design has not altered in any significant way since its development in the 1960s and is still very much a design by and for white men within the gaming sphere. This creates a barrier for other demographics to not only experience VR in a gaming context, but also to benefit from VR in its other uses (e.g. cultural, medical, artistical). The challenge is creating something which can be used with existing headsets as it has not been within the scope of this project to do a complete redesign of VR headset hardware.
The piece therefore needs to fit around existing headsets and meet the desired criteria for comfort, adjustability, a modular construction, improved aesthetics that support narrative concepts, and sustainable materials.

THE CREATIVE PROCESS:

Since redesigning a headset from scratch was never a possible scope for this project, as we have neither the engineering expertise or the funding available to big headset manufacturers, we focused on adapting a selected headset model, the Oculus Quest. To make it a strong proof of concept to represent our goals and belong in a gallery setting, we chose to centre the first piece around Nordic culture and materials. The choice seemed a very natural one to make since the Nordic countries are known for high gender equality, technical innovation, and for promoting sustainable agendas. And, since Emilie is Danish and familiar with Danish cultural institutions, it was the choice which would allow us to create the strongest project within the given timeframe. Once the cultural framework was in place, the development was an iterative loop between traditional materials, Norse myths and legends, Nordic aesthetics, and bringing all these into something digital, modern, and innovative.
The challenge was always to make the existing headsets look and feel less dehumanising and more familiar while telling a story of female empowerment and the old Norse legend of Kráka. As will resonate with many women today, she is asked to be opposing things at the same time: neither dressed nor undressed, neither fasting nor eating, and neither alone nor in company. She embodies contradictions and juxtapositions, and for this reason the ancient legend seemed fitting for a project which seeks to make the digital, synthetic, and dehumanising look natural, handcrafted, and inviting. Taking place on a beach, this legend also fit well with using sustainably processed fish leathers as the primary materials for the headset cover.
Our main challenge in throughout the development process was the length of the project. As we both have other fulltime work, having the project stretched out over a full year meant occasionally losing momentum. In spite of checking in with each other regularly, it has been challenging to keep long term focus on the development of the project. A shorter timeframe would likely have resulted in a much more streamlined development process without compromising the end result.

THE COLLABORATION:

Although both partners are creative disruptors, we have quite different backgrounds, skills, and
approaches. These differences, however, have been instrumental to bringing together both
technical, narrative, and material aspects of the project into one finished product and concept. We have each contributed individual knowledge and experience to inform the realisation of the concept and the context/market within which it will exist.

THE FUTURE:

The global landscape of 2020 is very different from anything we anticipated when we began this project. Due to the CoVid19 pandemic and the immense consequences this will have on the global economy as well as perceptions of hygiene in social spaces – such as the galleries we intended to showcase the concept it – there is much we need to rethink and adapt. It was always our intention that this first concept be just one example of the kind of bespoke solutions we can offer in terms of both materials, cover design, and VR story. In this regard, there is no need to make changes for this target consumer group. However, the showcase and gallery settings will require unforeseen hygiene measures which will require further research and development. As will adapting the concept for a larger audience, perhaps through a subscription or extended service business model. That said, this is a project we will keep working on as we still believe it fills a gap in the market and can benefit many who would otherwise be hesitant to adopt VR.

THE MESSAGE:

 Having such a cultural mix between partners has been incredibly useful in especially the aesthetics and narrative choices we have made throughout. We both have very creative ways to work, but this was only strengthened by collaborating and by working with a cultural heritage narrative. Beyond the cultural, there was a very high degree of skill sharing involved in achieving our set objectives for the project. This allowed us to divide tasks and avoid situations in which we were both working on the same aspects of the project. The finished project has definitely become much stronger and more representative of our backgrounds and skills because of this, and we have both expanded our knowledge within each other’s fields of expertise.

PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS

eMonsters

eMonsters

Tagenea

Tagenea

Seamless

Seamless

Common Sands 2.0

Common Sands 2.0

Maretech

Maretech

Minois

Minois

STEM a garment production brand

STEM a garment production brand

Storytelling Garment Project

Storytelling Garment Project

Mapu Preto

Mapu Preto

Minta

Minta

NO/thing – from nothing to everything

NO/thing – from nothing to everything

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

In the Circle

In the Circle

Clotho

Clotho

Make Your Bed

Make Your Bed

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

WeAr Design

WeAr Design

Fresko

Fresko

ALMA

ALMA

Bubble Façade

Bubble Façade

Crossing Parallels

Crossing Parallels

EnaOna

EnaOna

Sense of nature

Sense of nature

Rethinking the Bra

Rethinking the Bra

Manual bag

Manual bag

Nova Underwear

Nova Underwear

Sensing Color

Sensing Color

Dimmenso

Dimmenso

Beaggie

Beaggie

Soft touch of industrial waste

Soft touch of industrial waste

Time of your Light

Time of your Light

H|H

H|H

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Edge Chair

Edge Chair

Marbled Salts

Marbled Salts

Moseanic

Moseanic

Kombucha Tsugi: Bag Collection

Kombucha Tsugi: Bag Collection

LiLO

LiLO

The Eastern Side of Riviera

The Eastern Side of Riviera

Future Wardrobe

Future Wardrobe

Ventri

Ventri

Bi-Circular Urban-Outdoor Fabric

Bi-Circular Urban-Outdoor Fabric

Step Smart

Step Smart

Re-Print Ceramics

Re-Print Ceramics

Vivid

Vivid

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

Burning For

Burning For

Circular workwear collection

Circular workwear collection

Jute Wool

Jute Wool

Tista

Tista

W03_109

W03_109

Velluto

Velluto

New Matters

New Matters

Reminder Bracelet

Reminder Bracelet

Agogic – Be prepared for more

Agogic – Be prepared for more

Smartcoat

Smartcoat

Mocha Split

Mocha Split

Reframd

Reframd

Zerobarracento

Zerobarracento

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

Wearable Play

Wearable Play

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Gelatex x NO/AN

Gelatex x NO/AN

Luxury Bag Collection

Luxury Bag Collection

Amalgama

Amalgama

TTorch

TTorch

From the ground

From the ground

Ultra

Ultra

Capsule coat project

Capsule coat project

Mayya x WORTH

Mayya x WORTH

The Space Between

The Space Between

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Fish_Fish

Fish_Fish

Common Sands

Common Sands

UCQC Inclusive

UCQC Inclusive

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Mowo

Mowo

i-Morfé

i-Morfé

Iguaneye

Iguaneye

Ruumy

Ruumy

Fugazi Fugazi

Fugazi Fugazi

Serisole

Serisole

Hi-Lamp

Hi-Lamp

The Hemp Chair

The Hemp Chair

Senss

Senss

Walkytalkies

Walkytalkies

Sole sustainability

Sole sustainability

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

The “Bib” chair

The “Bib” chair

Materia Bruta

Materia Bruta

3D knitwear on demand

3D knitwear on demand

Lit Lace Interface

Lit Lace Interface

iluTex

iluTex

Sukka 

Sukka 

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

Unmoist Raincoat

Unmoist Raincoat

IOT Jacket & Robot

IOT Jacket & Robot

Stars Collection

Stars Collection

Words that shimmer

Words that shimmer

Persona

Persona

NO1R

NO1R

Identity 560

Identity 560

Øjenfryd

Øjenfryd

The Ghost Bag

The Ghost Bag

Diluci bags

Diluci bags

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Oceanwear

Oceanwear

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

Curve

Curve

Baltabalta Multifunctional Textiles

Baltabalta Multifunctional Textiles

Fashion Designing for an Inclusive World

Fashion Designing for an Inclusive World

‘Parameter’ Table

‘Parameter’ Table

Occay

Occay

Make and Create

Make and Create

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

PreemieCme

PreemieCme

Second Life Bag

Second Life Bag

Clayer

Clayer

Lulu V2

Lulu V2

Fishskinlab

Fishskinlab

Dynaback

Dynaback

Esther Hates PVC

Esther Hates PVC

Gardin

Gardin

Foldable High Heels

Foldable High Heels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Edbora Collection

Edbora Collection

Smart Heated Vest

Smart Heated Vest

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Fragments Garments

Fragments Garments

Hollow: A Lie Story

Hollow: A Lie Story

FWN: Family Wear Nature

FWN: Family Wear Nature

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Spellbound

Spellbound

Wear Pure

Wear Pure

Connextyle

Connextyle

Unlimited in 1

Unlimited in 1

Paramatrix

Paramatrix

Feel More Knitwear

Feel More Knitwear

Skarabeos 2

Skarabeos 2

Twill

Twill

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair