Category Archives: Crew Diving Suit by HEMASU

Final Exhibition – Summaery – Open Lab Night

Dear All,

we present to you: our final exhibition!

The designers always come up with these crazy ideas that are a lot of effort. I guess in the end it was worth it. We presented the project – costumes, mock- ups, prototypes, pictures and movie in the entrance hall of Bauhausstraße 11. We tried to make it an overall experience so that the visitor understands the project´s goal. The visitor had to pass shelves filled with prototypes and inspirational material. The video that was shot during the design acting weekend gave a perfect introduction to our project´s idea and storyline.

We created a small dark nook to present the costumes with their interactive properties. The visitor really had to enter a “different” world – the Nautilus perhaps?

See here some impressions of set up and opening of our successful exhibition!



Design Acting – Final Workshop – Diver Costume´s First Time in Action

Our final Design Acting Workshop took place one week before the final grand university exhibition called Summaery!

It´s been an exhausting time, since the workshop meant to have the costumes ready to be worn by actual real actors. We only had two days to plan, try out and actually develop and shoot a short performance with all three costumes in action. Friday we spent the day planning the performance/ scene. It meant getting an overview on each character, their presumed “personality traits” and technical features that will enhance those characteristics.


Next step was, to develop a short scene where all characters/ costumes would interact with one another — Where all technical and character traits would also become clear.

Scene we came up with:

Captain Nemo and his right- hand Crew Member exit the Nautilus for an exploratory mission to the bottom of the sea. While exploring they get too close to the dwelling space of the octopus. They bother him a little too much, so the octopus gets excited and finally angry when the Crew Member tries to attack it. The octopus is stronger and tries to drag the Crew Member aka Diver into his dwelling place. Finally Captain Nemo comes back to rescue his comrade.

We planned to film the entire day with the goal to observe the actors, how the costumes are fit for their character, etc. To get some facts, we developed a catalogue of questions in form of an interview. We have some film footage of interviewing the single actors. Plan is to evaluate and judge our work with the collected information.

IMG_0857 kopieren

We all were really stressed out and nervous on that important day when the actors came in. Really we thought it would be disastrous since none of our costumes was working quite right. We had a lot of technical problems to deal with. In the end though, it worked out fine! The actors fit into the costumes perfectly. Not just size wise, but also character wise. It was so good to see them “using” the costumes in that way.

Here are some impressions:



Diver´s helmet – Nautilus shape

The helmet is worth it´s own post!

Here you can see the first mock- ups we built. It´s been a long process and it´s far from being developed enough!

From our first idea of a Nautilus shaped helmet that you can fold and unfold into the realy implementation we had to build a paper model, then a cardboard one, then a plastic one and finally the real prototype from clear plastic and metal sheet. It´s been such a tedious process because each section of the helmet has a slightly different length, that doesn´t change consitently. That means there was quite a few try and error going on. There is probably a method of how to solve this mathematically, but I am such a hands on person… so I didn´t try to hard to do the math.

side view finished vest and helmet (protective coat still on); basic wire frame structure for O² pack, that holds up helmet
side view finished vest and helmet (protective coat still on); basic wire frame structure for O² pack, that holds up helmet

I attached two bend metal parts – the first and the last – to give the helmet enough rigidity to hold it´s shape on it´s own. It´s put together only with two M5 bolts and nuts, plus counter nuts and washers. Not quite the prettiest solution yet. One side though will be hidden in the end, since we are planning to attach an oxygen hose to it.

The helmet looks great! It´s really big, but that also means the actor´s head can move freely. The only problem really is that it is quite fragile. It likes to pop open if the actor isn´t careful with it. Since the single parts of the helmet just lock into to next bigger one by being trapped – the sometimes slip apart. Wich is not so great during a play. What it actually means is that I´d like to built the helmet again. Much more acurate and precise with a locking system. I´ll post my solution ideas soon.


Sewing lessons – diver´s vest

dear all! we´ve been starting to sew! Completely new territory for me. But with Wiebke´s help it´ll become a decent prototype of a costume – hopefully.

We started out with a basic vest. It overlaps and closes on the side. The collar is really tall and will be the junction of suit and helmet. It´s made from textile that we had laying around. Our final version will be made from the black rubbery textile.


basic diver´s vest
basic diver´s vest

The backpack/oxygen tank straps will be attached on the inside of the vest, so that the straps won´t be visible.

size/ dimension test
size/ dimension test

We added gill like folds to the vest to give it a futuristic/ organic look.


On the inside of the folds we attached some plastic sheet. It makes the vest much more rigid and adds interesting texture.


The plastic sheet distributes the light from the el wire very nicely as you can see here. All the folds on each side will be lit with blue and white el wire.


This might be a solution of how to attach the el wire inside the folds. Shrink tube or small rubber bands might be another solution.


Finally we´ve jused the real material for the first real diver vest prototype! The fabric we bought is usually made for upholstery puposes. We turned it inside out for the right “fish leather” effect, since the now ouside is covered with this rubbery, almost sticky surface texture. Our sewing machines hate that fabric though! It doesn´t transport very well and is quite thick. It´s impossible to iron into shape as well. More difficulties that we had to deal with.

Also: We love stand-up collars, if you haven´t noticed.

After the gills were added, Susann and Marco came into the textile workshop to add the electroluminescent wire to the vest!

Technical Details on how the EL wire is connected to battery pack, Arduino, buttons, see post here.

Oxygen display is done

The final version of the oxygen display (as far as building is concerned) is done. Also the pattern code is ready only the delays have to be adjusted.

In the video you can see the basic animation. The display counts down until only the red led is on. Then  the code cycles between red led on/off until the button gets pressed. The button press initiates the refill animation.

The picture below shows the actual version of the display ready for integration.

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