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Movimiento: An interactive costume for amplified embodied performance

Movimiento is a hybrid piece, a combination between a garment, an interactive costume and a performance. This project combines and integrates traditional textile techniques with digital fabrication technologies, e-textiles and programming to design a costume pieces that enhance the movements of the human body, amplifying the potential of scenic expression of the performer, making visible the ephemeral and intangible.

Eqquiped with a motion sensor and light, this interactive costume uses the movement of the performer's body to come to life. For this project, light characteristics such as intensity and brightness are used to enhance different qualities of motion.

_“Costumes reveal themselves as a tangible and critical nexus of human interaction in the making and in the experiencing of performance (…). As a material, performed-in object, costume renders ideas physical and embodies thoughts”

“From the material gestuality and the tactile communication of its stiches and folds, to the structural links that trace the wide-ranging contours of concepts (…), the journey of costume from the cutting table to the stage is reflected in the makings, wearings, and readings of it. In this, hands that make, limbs that wear, and eyes that watch implicate the body as its central shared core, as costume becomes an object in movement –from material into embodiment on stage- in the affective communication between performers and audience.”_ Costume in Performance

Costumes give meaning to movement, amplifying it, creating sphimeral spaces, which are constantly being assembled and disassembled. This costume was designed by studying the relationship between the space, the body and their movements.


  • As a way to merge, materialize and apply all the transdisciplinary knowledge and tools seen in Fabricademy
  • To take advantage of the new possibilities that technology gives us to enhance the transformation capabilities of bodies through costumes.
  • To connect the multiple disciplines that are brought together in the performing and scenic arts.
  • To use digital fabrication to make customized solutions, for specific bodies and specific performance with innovative material, technologies and techniques.


For this project, I worked with a dancer, Daniela Olivera, as my intention was to work with people whose body is their main means of expression.


Drawing from diverse inspirations and previous works by multiple designers and artists , during the past two months, an arduous research was carried out, which covered everything from handmade paper pleating techniques, the incorporation of laser cutting to design pleating patterns, a broad research on different types of pleats, on various fabrics, and in various scales as well as experimentation with light and a research in motion sensors, circuits and programming. The complete documentation of the process can be found here


  • Background search: projects and works of artists and designers related to the subject.
  • Search of bibliography related to the theme.
  • Form research: investigation in different types of pattern and textile resources that amplify the movement.
  • Research in e-textiles: Investigatation in different types of sensors used to capture movement, and in how to incorporate them into a textile circuit; investigation in diverse outputs

Development, design and production

  • Contact with a performer.
  • Costume design
  • Prototyping with digital manufacturing
  • Testing
  • Correction and adjustment
  • Realization of the final costume

Part of the project consists of integrating this interactive costume with other elements that are part of a performance in the scenic arts, such as lighting and visuals. Thus, using a web cam, a projector and a software specialized in designing visuals, experiments were carried out on the different projection possibilities on the performance.


How does this project continue? In the future, a wireless data transmission component could be integrated to the circuit of the costume, and thus use the accelerometer information to generate the visuals, using data visualization programs, such as processing, and even to generate sound.

Last update: April 13, 2021