If you’ve ever been on a subway during rush hour, you know how incredibly awkward the packed train can get. Noses in armpits, backs to backs and sometimes even worse scenarios riders endure for who knows how many stops more.

But a designer recently unveiled an invention to protect personal space, and though the idea is not entirely practical, it gets the point across.

“The Personal Space Dress” was designed by Kathleen McDermott with two sensors that monitor the distance of another person. When someone gets too close, plastic arms in the dress expand, forcing the unwanted person to take a step back.

Image source: Vimeo

Image source: Vimeo

Image source: Vimeo

Image source: Vimeo

Watch the invention at work:

The dress itself is part of a line of DIY clothing called Urban Armor that allows women to “assert control over their personal space in public.”

Other statement-making designs on the open-source website include an “Auto Filter” scarf, which senses pollution, including cigarette smoke and car exhaust, and pulls up the cloth to cover the wearer’s face, protecting it from the offensive odor. Another design is the “Miss-My-Face” mask, which obscures the wearer’s face from surveillance cameras.

On the Urban Armor website, McDermott admits that the designs “tread the boundaries of the ridiculous,” but they do “offer band aid solutions to complex societal problems, without addressing the conditions that have necessitated their use.”

The Urban Armor project website goes on to state that it will be collaborating with other women and women’s groups to “to help address their unique experiences of public space.”

(H/T: The Verge)

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