defensive communication

︎ Project Timeframe

14 Weeks (Feb 2020 - June 2020)

︎ What I did

- CAD Simulation & 3D Printing
- Physical Prototyping
- Arduino Coding
- Research & Field study

︎ Deliverables

2 Interactive wearables
5 Interactive prototypes
Presentation with Hyundai Motor Group & RISD

︎ Team

Felicita Devlin
Miguel Lastra
Mooa Seongah Kang
Yuta Yang


 This project is part of the
 Hyundai Motor Group X RISD
 Collaborative Research 

The goal of this project is to use sensory technology to reveal the unconsciously hidden emotions. The research explores how other species transmits information, and prototyped a series of supportive device for expressing the emotion non-verbally.


Target Users

︎ Alexithymia - Individuals who have difficulty recognizing and expressing feelings.
︎ People who are struggling to identify their emotions in the first place.
︎ Sensitive people who are scared of vulnerability.
︎ People working in certain situations that can’t express emotion publicly. 
︎ People with verbal communication difficulties.

The first several weeks during the research period was mainly focus on studying how other species behave when find mates, establish dominance, defend territory, coordinate group behavior, and care for young. The research goal was to figure out signals, which includes visual; auditory, or sound-based; chemical, involving pheromones; or tactile, touch-based, cues, etc. 


Dactyloptena orientalis

︎Establishing dominance 

When threatened the fins are expanded to startle potential predators which may include sea breams and mackerel.

Frilled-neck lizard

︎Defending territory 

When territory being threatened the lizard spreads out its reddish frill, opens its mouth wide and hisses aggressively at the threat.

Spiky Caterpillars


The spiky structure around caterpillars release venom and provides a 360 degree protection


︎Coordinating group behavior

The long tentacles on the jellyfish can produce sting. research boards


Miro research boards

Field Study

The duration of the field study lasted 5 days in southern Rhode Island and mid-Massachusets. With the support from RISD Nature Lab, we were able to expand our research to micro level using microscope and slowmotion cameras.

Joint Simulation

Research presentation


Initial Prototyping

The initial prototype aimed to use 3d printed flexible materials (TPU) to examine body change when humans are under various emotional stages. For example, when the body is stressed, muscles tense up. Muscle tension is practically a reflex reaction to stress. The initial prototypes investigate the physical body change of emotional change. The results were collected for supporting the 2nd prototype.

2nd PrototypingMaterials, sensors and connection prototyping.

Final prototyping

Scenario hypothesis

Scenario hypothesis


Adaptive Ecologies Exhibition in Providence, RI

SNAG Exhibition during SNAG Conference in Providence, RI

Mutualism VR Exhibition reviewed with Hyundai & KIA Motor Group and faculty leads