Industrial Designer Mehnaz Aydemir shares Toronto: 'The City of Love’

Showcasing with us at ‘Make, Create and Innovate ’ at the Tech Art Fair was Industrial Designer Mehnaz Aydemir. A dynamic and fun spirited person, Mehnaz shared with visitors her love of Toronto and design through her ‘Toronto; The City of Love’ wearable.

Can you tell me your name and what you designed?

My name is Mehnaz Aydemir and I’m an Industrial Designer. I have here a project that was done at OCAD University. It was part of a competition and I had a partner, Frank Chai. The project represents if Toronto can be ‘The City of Love’, like Paris or Rome.

We created this wearable garment. Three people are wearing three different t-shirts. The main t-shirt contains microcontrollers and arduino lily pads. The other t-shirts have connective fabrics as the switches. As people hug each other, they create a light show which is going to be projected on the Toronto buildings. This can be used as a cause or for many events. It can bring more awareness, as in, when we accumulate more love. we get more connected. So each person with a different color shirt, as they hug the main person, you can see the light show in the form of circles. So yellow circles with a yellow person and blue circles with blue person. The circles get together as more people are added to the project. We just thought about if technology can be a part of communicating love. Instead of technology separating people, which is the biggest topic right now, we can use it to connect people

What’s your initial impression of this event?

Art-tech is amazing because it is opening people's visions. Technology is not the scary thing and it can be seen from children's points of view. Even nowadays, young children are learning to code and connect it with arts and emotions. So many children are here and they are enjoying it as well as their parents. They are growing with the idea of using technology and also creating instead of just being users.

What made you decide to pursue fashion tech?

I'm coming from a Bauhaus based industrial design education. I came to a point where I realized that industrial design needs digital communication technology. Classic industrial design came to a point where the world doesn't need that many objects anymore unless they have extremely unique purposes and functionalities, or if they're designed specifically for certain needs. So we can’t all get away from digital tech. Industrial design, I think, is going to be a lost occupation if it is not developed with digital technology. I decided to go back to school all those years after and I did my thesis on digital futures because I thought I had to teach myself further. Everything we have physically right now has some certain connectivity, and in the future they will be purely connected to the digital world.

So it sounds like you’re predicting a lot of changes. On a scale of one to ten, how excited are you about life right now?

I'm excited, but I'm also very fearful. We don't know what to expect. Things are changing rapidly in digital technology, and I'm just super fearful of losing human touch. That why I'm also pursuing physical developments in industrial design and the design of everyday things. As long as we keep the human touch, we won't lose as much. My fear level is bigger than my excitement level. I'm excited... let's say as 6 to 7, but my fear level is 8-9 lately. It takes a lot of effort to take to keep the human connection, emotions, and everything that makes us human.