Weather or Not

Interaction Design / Experimental Design / Speculative Design
2015 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Chuan Khoo

Unuseless: “Not exactly useful, but somehow not altogether useless.”

That’s the idea behind the art of Chindōgu. The term, originally coined by Kenji Kawakami, means “unusual tool,” and is a form of Japanese art.

Weather or Not is a speculative design concept created as a playful, knee-jerk reaction to the unpredictable weather that I encountered in the city of Melbourne.

The hat allows the user to have basic protection from harsh sunlight and rain. As a wearer of spectacles, I often lost the ability to see clearly when it rained as droplets began to cling to the lenses.
Wearing the hat I received several comments from people ranging from “hey that seems useful” to “you’re a madman” and attempts at steering clear of my path.

The hat reacts to the weather, automatically raising and lowering the hat shade in response to the level of sunlight around and using a fan to dry the user’s spectacles when it rains.

The electronics were prototyped using a breadboard before being mounted to a hat. The hat receives power through a power pack hidden in the wearer’s pocket.

Let there be light
Shade mechanism in action

Circuit diagram
Wiring diagram used for the prototype

Funny looks
The final prototype