Design Guidelines

This post is part instruction to the concept artists involved in this project and part reminder to myself about what is and is not important when it comes to the overall design. It will be iterated on in later thesis instalments on this blog.

Modern day constraints

It is important to keep in mind that this is a modern day device. Although the aesthetics will be deeply rooted in a great deal of our current sci-fi and cyberpunk art the final outcome needs to function outdoors today.

Sketches should have at least some inspiration from the everyday and mundane. As some examples:

  • Public transit
  • Restaurants
  • Rain
  • Running
  • Bumping into things
  • Coming into physical contact with others

To elaborate, if I end up hugging someone it shouldn’t end in blood. If I trip I shouldn’t have chunks of plastic everywhere. Although the latter is upto my material exploration and not so much the concept art it is still something that can influence the shape.


The main outcome that needs to come from the concept artwork for this thesis is a set of reusable, modular and visually striking elements. These elements include:

  • Textures and patterns
  • Key shapes
  • The colour scheme
  • Repeaters and Rhythm

The last being something akin to ‘wool before acrylic but only after solid gold’, repeatable material/shape patterns that can become immediate areas of recognition. (The ‘oh yeah thats a piece of that project!’)

The illustrations shown are not intended as blueprints for the final physical result. Instead, they represent various stages of thought reflecting the iterative design process that is informing my development process.

General Notes

The following few points are some general constraints. These are intended to say what this project won’t have in the end and not what shouldn’t be considered during this stage.

  • Nothing that covers the face. (I am not planning to tackle that area of wearable tech, and there are plenty of projects that can already be worn on one’s head to compliment the final outcome.)
  • Nothing on the feet. (From an early stage I realized what kind of nightmare it would be to prototype something in a short time that will stay intact on ones feet)
  • Generally placing things above the waist.

Again these are for ease of development, and the artwork can go into these areas as long as it helps further the general reusable and repeatable patterns and ideas.

A note about the sources of inspiration:

As a great deal of artwork that exists today in the sci-fi and cyberpunk genres is of military, violent or menacing nature it is one of the challenges in this project to extract the aspects that make that art inspiring while detaching these negative connotations.

To put together the main goals of this concept art stage:

The outcome should be a visually inspiring, modular and practical (but only to the extent of not constricting movement and damaging innocent bystanders) set of wearables on the body.

Finally I want to attach my early moodboard concept from a few months ago: