The Prosthetic Technologies of Being project is a collaboration between the Social Body Lab at OCAD University and Jamie Sherman, funded by Intel Research.

This project explores ways in which technologies can feel like an extension of self. Through the development of a series of three prototypes we have explored how technology can extend our ability to sense our surroundings and express our emotions in a visceral way.


Two of the prototypes, entitled Monarch and Nautilus, speculate on how a body-based technology might augment how we express our emotional state to those around us, and how the behavior of wearable garments could be controlled through the movement of our bodies.

The third prototype, entitled Cardinal, investigates how a body-centric technology might enhance our sense of directional awareness and connectedness.

These prototypes are provocative stipulations on the nature of body-centric technol- ogies that extend the capabilities of our bodies. They have been designed as playful and surprising forms to engage the imagination of viewers. Through this work we have striven to bring a sense of magic and play into our interaction with technology.

Prosthetic Technologies of Being Project Sample
Image of the Monarch prototype
Image of the Nautilus prototype
Image of the Cardinal prototype
Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 7:00pm


Monarch is a wearable and muscle-activated kinetic textile. It consists of textile forms attached to the shoulders that expand and contract in response to the movement of the wearer's muscles. By physically extending natural body language, Monarch explores how wearable technologies can be used as a form of personal expression, as well as how and when they can begin to feel like a visceral extension of self.

The first version of Monarch was created as part of the Prosthetic Technologies of Being project, a collaboration between the Social Body Lab at OCAD University and Jamie Sherman, funded by Intel Research. Version 2 includes revisions to the hardware, mechanics, design, and styling so that it is better able to be worn in everyday life.

The second version was adjusted in order to be more comfortable to wear and to be more technically stable to allow for sustained use of the Monarch.

Design and Styling

In designing the harness and pleated structure we took in to account personalization. With a much reduced leather base to house the electronics we set out to make a run of six Monarchs, one personalized to each member of the Social Body Lab. Each is personalized in, leather colour and surface design, wing coverings, as well as, interior colouring and pattern. This personalization was enabled through our use of digital fabricated such as, digitally printed textile and lazer cut leather.

Should you feel your current wings are illsuited for an occasion the new design allows for each wing to be removed and replaced with an alternate pair.


Hardware and Mechanism

The Monarch board was consolidated into one printed circuit board to ensure solid connections when worn on the boady as well as to diminish the overall space taken by the electrical components on the harness.

The monarch's servo mount was made and printed so as to simplify the mechanics of moving the Monarch wings and reduce strain on the servo.

Friday, February 27, 2015 - 8:00pm