Lightning Bug

Lightning Bug is an interdisciplinary design research project, investigating the application of light in the extension of interpersonal communication.


The project is part of a collaboration between the Departments of Intermedia and Fashion Design, Trier University of Applied Sciences. Subject is the investigation of the communicative possibilities of light emitting materials in clothing.

Aim of the project is to counteract the growing detachment and disengagement observed with the emergence of mobile technologies. By integrating animated light into reactive every-day clothing interpersonal communication is encouraged and stimulated.


The dresses are constructed as 1:2 scale models, and can, when attached to mobile structures, be manipulated in space and will emit varying light-patterns depending on their positioning to each other, as well as to the heart-beat of the interacting visitor.

The name Lightning Bug is inspired by the complex light patterns deployed for communication purposes by some species of the Lampyridae Family.


For more in-depth information on the Lightning Bug project, please read: Wearable Networks, Creating Hybrid Spaces with Soft Circuits.

Artist: Raune Frankjær

Year produced: 2014

Exhibitions: Haptic Interface Dec 2014, Kow Loon Minh Gallery Hong Kong. Illuminale Trier, Sept 2014. Luminale Frankfurt, May 2014.

Acknowledgements: The research was conducted under the supervision of professor Daniel Gilgen (Intermedia Design) and professor Dirk Wolfes (Fashion Design).