Synesthesia Muse


  • Design Harry Umen
  • Scientist Angela Chang
  • Technologist Howard Eglowstein
  • Dress Design Deborah Caldwell of Isabelle & Me
  • Sound Design Conor O'Sullivan

    D: Harry Umen

    I am a practicing artist and designer. I am a graduate of the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Indiana University, Bloomington.

    I have been working with digital media in some form for over twenty years. Currently I am Involved with experimental photography involving light, fabricated and natural surfaces as well as the
    human form. The convergence of art, fashion and technology
    Is of particular interest to me.

    I have worked with technology and art throughout my professional career. My aesthetic as a visual artist and designer has been shaped by my interest in Russian Constructivism and Bauhaus artists. I explore and produce works engaged with systems, materials and generative processes.

    Collaboration is something I enjoy immensely; the process of working with another creative person with a different perspective frees the ego opens the door to new possibilities.

    I am currently the Co-ordinator of the Graphic Design and Media Arts Program at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire.

    S: Angela Chang
    Dr. Angela Chang is a practicing artist and designer researching the relationship between human communication through embodied senses. Her current focus is representing touch interaction through responsive environments. She creates textiles, devices and systems that engage people’s touch to improve communication, education, and artistic expression.

    Before attending the Media Lab, Angela received an SB in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, helped design and develop haptic technology behind the award-winning phones at Motorola. She continues to design tactile experience prototypes for futuristic communication scenarios. She is an inventor on several tactile interface patents and has spoken at conferences in Europe and the United States about sensorial interaction. She is interested in uniting traditional textile techniques with electronics to create novel human interactions. She is currently working on developing storytelling tools to foster collaboration and creativity between parents and their children.

    Project Overview:
    Lights radiate off soft green dupioni silk, a coded pattern hints at the sensual textures and mutual compatibility of potential soul mates. This luminous firefly dress synthesizes our ideas on how body gesture, light, and sound enhance personal expression and identity. It represents Angela’s research in sensorial interpersonal communication and Harry’s explorations of natural forms (such as flowers and insects) in architecture. The wearer is endowed with the properties of a firefly, synaesthetically able to express herself through light or camouflage herself among her surroundings.
    The “Luminous Firefly Dress” creation exemplifies how the experience of nature entices art and science into inquiry and experimentation. Our creation strives to emulate and theatricize on the runway the magic of the many interactions in the the natural world that Involve communication with light, color and sound.
    Watch our video at
  • Specialties

    • photography
    • lighting
    • haptics
    • sensory interaction
    • psychophysics
    • product design