In the beginning, I had decided that I was going to make a series of wearables that told others when I was turned on... but there was a brief period of time when I had no idea what that actually meant, in a practical sense.
I invited my close friend over to discuss ways I might sense what my body was experiencing, and further more, how I could express that information in a way that was relateable and visually on-point.
I filled up several sheets of paper over the course of the evening with doodles, words, and phrases we had spoken while brain storming... and this amalgam of ideas was precisely what my head contained when I fell asleep that night.
I laid in bed the next morning half awake, allowing my subconscious to surf over itself, while my brain unpacked all the discourse. During this process, my mind uttered to itself:
"I could use a pussy-whisperer right now..."
I didn't ignore it like Sarah usually would. I heard it, acknowledged my mind's request, and as the abstract slowly stripped away and became literal, I said it to myself again: pussy. whisper.
I laughed out loud and leaped out of bed to fetch a set of calipers. I rushed to measure my pelvic bone: the swath of mound between my legs that I always found abrupt and un-femanine. Once I wrote down the numbers and noted the protrusion's slope, I got straight to work.
That morning I designed an enclosure which would house a speaker and heart-rate sensor directly above where my labia folds over my clitoris. It would sense how fast my heart was beating and play sound into my lady-pieces at an equal volume, inaudible to those near by, but able to be felt for all its subtly on my skin non-the-less.
This would become my first SHE BON device: the "Beat Box".
During the development phase of this augment, I had to address matters of aesthetic for the first time. Yes: I had set my sights on building a suit of wearables that carried out a specific function, but what would they collectively come together to look-like. What would be their visual appeal?
In my heart, I knew beyond doubt that this project was my manifestation of the "cyber punk" style which had inspired me when I was growing up. SHE BON is my way of actively carving out the reality I wished to be a part of. So- I embraced this intention and moved forward.
The enclosure started taking on the appearance of something specific, which I didn't see at first until it was pointed out to me.
My partner asked one day, "Is it suppose to look like a fillet of fish?"
Truthfully, I hadn't. But once the words were spoken, I couldn't unsee it. At this point, the unintentional became very much intentional.
This is cheesy! A visual trope? I'm not sure, but it represent my sense of humor none-the-less. If I was making a fish-fillet-shaped box, for my "box"... I was going to double down.
When I created the discrete controller for this system, I designed it to look like a cross section of salmon and called it the "Fillet-o".
This was an important point in the project because I decided that the whole experience: the subconscious action, the realization, the humor and acceptance that eventually resulted in the Beat Box augment, was precisely how I wanted the work flow to take place for the rest of the SHE BON project.
So, there it was:
- pay attention to yourself
- notice what you're feeling
- aknowledge what you're feeling (accept it)
- pay attention to how this effects what you do
- meditate on this relation between feeling and doing
My primary design rule: Be honest with yourself and allow that honesty to take on its own beauty.