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Under the Umbrella



Hand-Sewn Interactive Wireless Umbrella
2021
Microbit . JavaScript
Faux fur . sheer fabric . polyester fiber . plywood













The umbrella brings you into an exclusive little world.







inspiration



My Neighbor Totoro

となりのトトロ
My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten.

I watched the film at a very young age and I then always wished that on a rainy day Totoro and cat bus would come borrow me an umbrella and ride me to somewhere.





My deepest impression of this story is Totoro holding the umbrella. Here umbrella becomes a tool that build the connection between these two strangers, and created an unique shared little world and experience that is exclusive to these two.







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each constructs an unique little world


Photo credit: Alex Block
Photo credit: Alex Block

There is a little world under each umbrella, which isolates people from the rain, even the outer environment. The umbrella not only creates a personal zone, but also gives diverse characteristics to the “liittle world” underneath.







process



· doodling ·






· making ·

Upcycling plus Reassembling


Upcycling of garments and materials selected for each world. Hand-sewn to create the regenerated form.

Umbrella [01] is made from upcycled faux fur from a discarded coat. The outer furry side is reversed inside. The lining is reversed to become the top water proof surface of the umbrella. Creates a fluffy, soft, and warm zone. 

Umbrella [02] is composed by two types of materials. The top surface is made of a recycled plastic shopping bag, that was given by the store to carry the purchased fabric which was then made into the bottom part of the umbrella. This one-of-a-kind umbrella creates a cool, chill, and gentle world underneath.






· interaction ·

rain, rain, rain


Just like how the weather works, the rain would randomly come. When it is raining(rain sound playing), pick and hold up the umbrella to get protected under the umbrella.





︎  The compass sensor of micro:bit detects how the umbrella is placed.
︎   Rain sound randomly triggered when umbrella is not held upwards.
︎  Rain sound stops when umbrella is picked up.
︎  Bringing the person into the little world under the umbrella that is isolated from the outer world.





micro:bit code and logic








umbrella · 01 ·



Faux fur, polyester fiber, plywood, approx. 21” x 21” x 20”
Director Lu Jia. Model Lu Jia. Photographer Alice Niu





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sharing your world under the umbrella with another




Lu Jia and Ziwei Ji under one umbrella.



Director Lu Jia. Model Xintong Wang. Photographer Bowen Li








umbrella · 02 ·






approx. 22” x 22” x 24”
Model Alice Niu. Photographer Lu Jia







merchandising










· event ticket ·








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~  more to come  ~

available for customization







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