Caress of the Gaze: Clothing that responds to your eyes

Behnaz Fahari imagines a garment, inspired by feathers and scales, that responds to the gaze of another.

From the Series

Artist Behnaz Fahari has designed a 3D-printed garment, worn like a collar or cape, that responds to another person’s gaze. Through the garment she imagines possible future interactions between body and environment.

“Our skin is constantly in motion,” says Fahari on her website. “It expands, contracts and changes its shape based on various internal or external stimuli including not only temperature and moisture but also feelings, such as fear, excitement and anger.”

Inspired by the feathers and scales of animals, the “Caress of the Gaze” project looks into a future where clothing is like a second skin that responds to the viewer. Fahari speculates that the garment could use image-sensing technologies to detect gender, age and the direction and position of the gaze. Undulating like a living thing, the garment’s quill-like structure shifts and reacts when it knows it is being watched.

The garment imagines how our clothing could enable us to interact with other people, creating a completely new kind of body language. Although it employs advanced technology, the garment expresses something very instinctual: the emotional (and possibly erotic) experience of being looked at. Humans are very adept at internalising their thoughts, but with “Caress of the Gaze” these feelings are made visible.

The project also explores how the latest 3D printing technologies will affect the fashion industry. Behnaz Farahi is currently an Artist in Resident at Pier9, Autodesk in San Francisco.