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Climate Dress 2009

The Climate Dress tells us disturbing stories wrapped into a comfortable and reassuring cocoon de luxe.

The Climate Dress is made of conductive embroidery, over hundred of tiny LED lights inserted into the embroidery, a CO2 sensor and an Arduino Lilypad microprocessor. The LEDs visualise the level of CO2 in the nearby surroundings and are powered trough the embroidery.

For The Climate Dress we used soft conductive thread that has a similar consistence to the kind of thread used for traditional and industrial embroidery production. This way it is possible to make embroidery that becomes more than an aesthetical element in clothing and interior textiles.


Industrial Innovation Project

Environmental Awareness

The climate dress is an interactive dress that is reacting on CO2-changes in the nearby surroundings. The dress senses the CO2 concentration in the air, then accordingly creates diverse light patterns by the use of over hundred LEDs – varying from slow, regular light pulsations to short and hectic. The Climate Dress is a statement that, trough an aesthetic representation of environmental data, contributes to the ongoing debate about environmental issues.

How Haute Couture and interaction design blend

The Climate Dress uses soft conductive thread that has a similar consistence to the kind of thread used for traditional and industrial embroidery. This way the embroidery becomes more than an esthetic element – it has a crucial function conveying electricity and computer information, thereby giving ‘power to the dress’. Several microcontrollers are connected together via conductive threads, gathering data from the CO2 sensor and transforming the information into light patterns.

The dress does not rely on wiring, soldering or crimping typically impairing the textile aspect of ‘smart textile’ products. All functional elements are blended into the embroidery, proudly exposed to the eye. Ornamental design and functionality are no longer antagonists. 

A unique collaboration

To realise The Climate Dress Diffus Design brought together experts from diverse fields of knowledge like microelectronics, wireless communication, embroidery, fashion design and interaction design. Establishing common ground for these radically different fields creates a base for unique and innovative product designs also for the future. The Climate Dress were thereby realised as a joint effort between Danish design studio Diffus Design, Danish designer Tine M. Jensen, Swiss embroidery experts Forster Rohner, The Danish School of Design and the Danish research institute Alexandra Institute

Design and concept: Hanne-Louise Johannesen and Michel Guglielmi (Diffus Design)
Fashion Design: Tine M. Jensen
Programming and engineering: Jesper Nielsen and Jerker Hammarberg (Alexandra Institute)
Project partner: Forster Rohner and Alexandra Institute
Photography: Annie Norddahl – #anninorddahl –

Sponsored by Carlsberg’s Idé-legat and Alexandra Institute’s Research Fond.