Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Story Hat's Story

Within The Story Hat project, I wanted to create a portable conversation starter in the form of a wearable zoetrope. A zeotrope is an old fashion stop motion viewing machine, that I concealed inside of a hat. The wearer can draw out short stories in an animation then play them in this hat at social gatherings, with friends, or strangers out in public. It would give a chance for the viewer to be creative in inventing new animations and ways to interpret a story or idea, while allowing them to start up conversations and meet new people.
I have always liked old technologies like the zeotrope. These technologies have a certain feel of Victorian novelty, so much time was been put in to building them to be elegant and decorative just for the sake of entertainment. These things were also built for leisurely time and were experienced by groups of people. There was also manual labor involved to start these machines; a crank here a pedal there. Now a days we have machines that are more complex bringing us an experience right away without any work. In the case of an i-pod these new technologies may also isolate us in our leisure time rather than bring us together. We put on our head phones and bury our face into that little screen leaving the world around us. The Story Hat is the exact opposite of this experience there is work for the wearer to draw the animations and to crank the zoetrope to view the animation in action. The wearer is also not cranking the animation for themselves but for others creating an experience for a group and not just the individual.
So please download the instructions to build your own Story Hat today!

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