Self – Reflection & Future Possibility


Photo_0622_1aIn this project, at first I research sneakerheads’ behavior and compare the difference of behavior between the ordinary people and the sneakerhead. Due to their special emotion of shoes, I considered to pay more attention on the foot and sneakers, therefore recreating the new iconic behavior for them. At the same time, I tried to make a connection among the new behavior, the private information exchanging and the social platform.

As so far, although it works successfully, it still exist some issues. Hitting sneakers is a new iconic behavior for them and it is valuable to use. On the other hand, the random order of the sneaker information should be considered and recoded. This module can be repeatedly used on other context, such as the payment of the sneaker. Finally, the form of accessories might be multiple, customized fashion accessory might be another option, and moreover more materials can be tested if got the enough time, such as  the acrylic or the rasin.


The technical Research

The technical part mainly consists of two part. The first one is node-red, that is a tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways. The second part is finished by the corporation  between arduino coding and the RFID tag.

In the node-red part, the serial is an important function, because it work as a input and receive the information from the arduino, and then output or publish these information on the social websites such as the twitter. It communicates on digital pins 0 (RX) and 1 (TX) as well as with the computer via USB.

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For the arduino part, I coded the useful sneaker information in a random order, and also it will connect the arduino with the RFID reader and tag.When the users use the RFID reader and the tag to touch with each other, it will collect these information from RFID tag and send them to the arduino. By doing this ,these information from arduino collecting are the input of  the serial function of node-red. Once it finished collecting information, it will automatically publish it on the social website or personal page.

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Prototype Stage – Physical & Prototype

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As so far, I am still working on the possibility of this new method, although I had proven some evidence for the wearable jacket, there are some technical issues need to be tested.

For example, the Chlorophyll is stored inside of the wearable jacket, and when the photosynthesis take place, it interacts with the sun and result in energy. How the energy be absorbed by the wearer is a problem remains to be solved from the biological and technical perspective. So, I presented my speculative idea with a non-functional prototype for the audience to get the idea.


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Video available at :

The way of wearing accessory



As the sneakerheads  hit shoulder with each other as a special way of say hello, at first I considered the a accessory which was similar  with Bracers may be an appropriate way for this tribe. As I mentioned before, when people meet with each other, they hit shoulder to say hello,  so my consideration is that making a connection between this action and the information sharing or exchanging. The more hitting, the more information exchanging.

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Another point worthy mentioning is that when the sneakerheads join their social event and meet others, they pay more attention on the shoes and therefore the feet may be another better solution for the interactive touching.


Meanwhile, the material and the structure are essential to consider. In terms of the material, due to it serve for human’s body, it should be soft and stretchy material.  This is why I bought a soft bandage as media, and add the arduino and the RFID card on it.  The magic straps will be appropriate cause its flexible feature, and it is easy to wear and also help to keep the stable.


Explore the Offline Social Behaviors



hit shoulder

Normally, when people firstly meet with each other, they do a handshake to say hello to each other. Oppositely, I found that the sneaker head prefer to use a special way to say hello with each other, which  clasps hands or hits shoulder .

According to the IDEO cards, observing users are more useful than directly using them, because observing is more easier to get the real information. After staying with them for 5 days, I found this unique  behavior of this tribe. There is do doubt that it inspired me a lot, and also due to the fact that this tribe pay more attention on the foot and the sneakers, I plan to create a new iconic  behavior for them to communicate with each other, that is hitting sneakers.

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The relationship between different people depends on the times they hit shoulders, the first touch they just say hello to each other by sent a twitter, the second touch means users can exchange more valuable information of the sneakers. If users are interested with each other, they can go through the third touch and show their own whole collection of sneakers, which means more private information can be shared with each other.


Social Tribe –Relationship between different Users

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This stage, I spend a lot of time on the collectors’ social platform, mostly focusing on observe their ways of online communication and how and what do they want to share with each other. The Facebook as a useful tool help them to share the sneakers information, meet new friends, especially the group function is one of the most favorite functions they prefer to use. Comparing with the Facebook, the Sneakernews pay more attention on the new release date of the coming sneakers as well as the technical testing of the sneakers.

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Crepe City is a lifestyle, footwear and fashion festival that showcases leading street wear brands from across Europe and is host to the world’s largest market of exclusive and hard to find sneakers. Aside from running events, Crepe City have supported the growth of the UK Sneaker Community through our Facebook and Instagram pages which are the UK’s largest and most active.

Crepe City is mainly aimed to be the social platform of the sneaker events.

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This is the original relationship between different members of this social tribe, they share data or information with each other by using these social websites or platforms, as well as communicate with each other.


SOCIAL TRIBE- First Research Stage

The origin and the development of the sneaker culture
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The birth of sneakerhead culture came in the 1980s in the United States due to the popularity of basketball and the success of the Michael Jordan. The sneakerhead culture has emerged in European nations such as the Great Britain and France in the last decade.

The social media provides different types of platforms for these people to meet, communicate, share as well as trade with each other, thus driving this kind of subculture as a fast speed. They participate in some sneaker flea market as a diary routine which are supported by the sports companies such as the Footlocker or Nike.

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The definition of Sneakerhead

A sneakerhead is a person who collects, trades or admires sneakers as a hobby. According to Suzy Martin, who is a sneaker expert,these collectors love sneakers as much as a Star Trek fan loves dressing up as a Klingon and trekking to conventions. Sneakerheads have been around for decades, but there have been changes in the values of sneaker geeks of the late 80s and 90s, to those that have sprouted in just the past 3 years.

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The sneakers not only means a pair of shoes for them, but also the stories beyond them, the technology used in the products and an important element in their fashion attitude.



‘Sneaker Collecting’ available at :

Martin.S (April, 2016)       ‘Characteristics of a True Sneakerhead’ 

available at:


Prototype Stage-Material Tests

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Meanwhile, I tested more than 5 materials such as PVC plastic, conductive fabric and Pressure-Sensitive Conductive fabric, in order to nd an appropriate smart material for the wearable jacket. Even nally I did not get too much useful technical knowledge to make it work.

In this process, one of them, Velostat, that is a Pressure-Sensitive Conductive fabric, which brings me a deep impression. It is also called anti-static, ex-static, carbon based plastic,This is an improvement on the Flexible Fabric Touchpad Instructable, the pressure-sensitive feature make it possible to interact with human body.

Prototype Stage Experiments

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Because of the fact that in the photosynthesis process, the large surface or stoma on the leaves of plants are essential for the Chlorophyll and sunlight to react with each other, these large surface or stoma should be the features of the wearable medium.

Also, due to the living condition of the Chlorophyll, that is the temperature and life time (24 hours), a replaceable storage part is essential on the wearable medium.

As a result, these features should be the parts of the Wearable Jacket.