Portable Forest

Portable Forest is an attempt to create a portable natural space; one the wearer can raise around themselves wherever they are.

Portable Forest embeds bird songs and the sound of water into a jacket. As you zip up the jacket, bird calls begin to echo around you. You start at a trailhead, a few birds nearby—just able to make out the sound of a nearby brook—and progress down a riverine path until reaching a waterfall when the jacket is fully zipped up.

photograph of the author wearing jacket in unzipped and zipped states

Auditory locations of unzipped and fully-zipped jacket

electronics embedded in jacket

Conductive thread an pockets sewn into jacket

I gathered audio on a series of hikes in Southern California to set the tone for the walk. For the final tracks, I also used bird sounds from ASU and a water sound from freesound.org.

Rebecca Fenton helped with photography and gave sewing advice. I also referred to a great article on making potetiometers from zippers and conductive thread posted on ITP.

Video demonstration of jacket

This prototype jacket was made with Arduino. Small pockets of green fabric were sewn in to an existing jacket—one in which I have taken many hikes through the woods—to hold speakers that responded to the zipping and unzipping of the jacket.

Source code for controlling the embedded MP3 players from Arduino is available on github. Process photos can be seen on flickr.

piles of books falling from the sky

I Wish I Could Read Faster



lines between home and here

Distance and Common Desires