Toria Ya Tuo’s graduation work ”HUG ME” explores the theme of touch, through prototyping with inflatable structures combined with traditional textiles to explore the potential for future wearable devices. The COVID-19 pandemic has made social distancing necessary leading to a reduction in emotional support due to the lack of physical contact. She reflected on the loss of communication caused by busyness and unconsciousness in life. She’s work acting as a remi- nder of a sense of care for people - delivering a vital sense of touch or the sensation of a hug.

Inspired by biomimicry, she used it as a strategy to recreate the physical sensation of hugging through moving inflata- ble textile structures. She chose sea creature, represented by starfish, because of the way they adsorbed on the rock is similar to hugging. Besides on the function, there is also aesthetic value. Their bright color and shining skin together with the environment around are very inspired on my material and pattern development.The prototypes are designed with different structures to move, expand and display different effects. Inflated samples made of polyester yarn and reflective yarn, the reflective patterns would appear when ambient light changes, imitating the mysterious under water world.

In terms of model inside , heat-Sealing is effective way used in lab and industry for making the seamless inflatable. She used hand-stitch and mini iron melt way to close the air path at home. For the textile covered outside, She used water soluble embroidery. There is freedom to transfer threads into fabric which can be used indepandently. It also has the ability to connect separated pieces naturally without stitch seam, which avoids the waste caused by cutting and stitching somehow. Combine knitting and embroidery to get the visual contrast in one piece, the point is make sure that the embroidery covers every loop of the knitted edge.