Fashion and Wearables
Snowflakes: A Prototyping Tool for Computational Jewelry


Smart-jewelry design has many layers such as comfort, ergonomics, fashionability, interactivity and functionality that create a complex design process, making the form exploration challenging. Various wearable prototyping tools were developed to overcome this challenge; however, they are usually textile-based and do not target smart jewelry design. To bridge this gap, we developed Snowflakes that differentiates from existing tools by 1) allowing designers to explore different jewelry forms, 2) incorporating external materials such as leather, 3) creating form factors that fit body parts with flexible connectors. In this paper, we explain the design process of Snowflakes which is inspired by 7 design parameters (limbs, materials, grip, fastener, decoration, placement, form) extracted through the examination of non-smart jewelry. We also demonstrate three reimplementations and design concepts implemented with Snowflakes. Our exploration with Snowflakes contributes to the wearable community in terms of smart-jewelry visual expressions, interaction modalities, and merger of traditional and computational materials.


Role: Concept Co-Creator, Product Designer, Design Researcher, Main Co-Author

Type: Full Paper

Conference: Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems [acceptance rate: %27, h5-index: 101]

Date: 2018

Co-Authors: Çağlar Genç, İhsan Ozan Yıldırım, Mehmet Cengiz Onbaşlı, Oğuzhan Özcan


Exploring computational materials for fashion: Recommendations for designing fashionable wearables


Fashion is becoming an inevitable part of the wearable devices. Yet, it is not clear how the cross-pollination between computational and fashion materials might suggest directions for wearables. We believe exploring this territory is important for providing actionable directions to the designers and engineers. Therefore, we followed a two-pillared research through design method: (1) a design workshop with 14 fashion design and 6 engineering students where they created 7 artifacts by exploring computational and fashion materials and (2) semi-structured interviews with 10 wearable design experts from different countries, in which discussed our analysis on the workshop outcomes. After we refined our findings with the feedbacks of the experts we came up with 5 design recommendations for designers along with the strategies that they can follow for applying them. This kind of recommendations, achieved through an examinations that bridges fashion design and computational materials by also considering expert opinions, was not implemented before. In this respect, our recommendations are shaped up as follows: (1) Giving information through fabric augmentation, (2) defining bi-directional interaction between the contexts and garments, (3) controlling the form of the garments, (4) treating surfaces, and (5) supporting the three dimensional shape of the garment with computational materials.


Role: Concept Creator, Design Researcher, Main Co-Author

Type: Journal Paper

Journal: International Journal of Design [impact factor: 1.938, h5-index: 21]

Date: 2018

Co-Authors: Çağlar Genç, Sejda İnal Yılmaz, Kemal Can, Oğuzhan Özcan (Advisor)


Snowflakes: A Design Speculation for a Modular Prototyping Tool for Rapidly Designing Smart Wearables


Aesthetics qualities are critical aspects for smart jewelry as they are worn and considered as expressive artefacts. However, current tools for prototyping smart jewelry do not put aesthetic considerations as a primary concern. Therefore, we created Snowflakes, a design speculation for a modular, “snap-on-off”, prototyping tool for designing smart jewelry. The design requirements of Snowflakes were determined after studying non-smart jewelry and extracting 7 parameters for them (limb, material, grip, fastener type, decoration, decoration placement and form). Drawing upon these parameters, Snowflakes were proposed as a tool that would allow prototyping smart jewelry by synthesizing conventional jewelry’s form language with smart jewelry which is adorned with technology. This paper explores using this product as a design tool to experiment on designs blending aesthetics and function.


Role: Concept Creator, Product Designer, Main Co-Author

Type: Extended Abstract (Poster)

Conference: Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems [acceptance rate: %40, h5-index: 85]

Date: 2018

Co-Authors: Selin İnsel, Mehmet Cengiz Onbaşlı, Oğuzhan Özcan (Advisor)


Forming Visual Expressions with Augmented Fashion


Wearable devices have a crucial impact on our bodies since they directly affect our appearance. However, wearable design practitioners focus more on the practical functionalities of the technology, leaving more investigation needed on what kind of visual expressions the technology might enable on wearable devices. With a critical approach on this functional perspective, the authors conducted a design workshop with fashion design and engineering students in which they first created art expressions and then wearable devices by using technological components. This practitioner’s essay reflects on the resulting hands-on design experiences in new visual expressions that would not have been possible with just traditional materials.


Role: Main Co-Author, Concept Creator, Design Researcher

Type: Practitioner's Essay

Journal: Visual Communication [impact factor: 0.773, h5-index: 16]

Date: 2017

Co-Authors: Çağlar Genç, Sejda İnal Yılmaz, Kemal Can, Oğuzhan Özcan (Advisor)