Design process for wearable technologies and urban ecology, AirQ Jacket
Maria Paulina Gutierrez Arango and Julian Jaramillo Arango / Colombia
Universidad de Caldas, Grupo DICOVI
This paper reports the creation and research process of the AirQ jacket, a wearable device that conveys temperature and air quality data through embedded electronic devices emitting light and sound. The project is oriented to enhance environmental awareness to the local passerby, since the proximity of Manizales (Colombia) to an active volcano brings the topic of air contamination to the everyday life city concerns. While the research process is introduced, some topics will be discussed such as the policies and actions taken by governmental institutions in monitoring air pollution or some wearable technology projects and approaches facing similar challenges. The paper will also describe in detail the prototyping process, on the one hand, by discussing high-level topics such as the perceptualization of scientific data. On the other, by addressing low-level topics related to the assemblage and electronic components embedding, such as portability or washability. Our systematic method of design research will be presented, outlining the dilemmas we faced and solutions we followed in the four stages of the research process.