I chose to study the spotted skunk after learning about its humorous solution to threats. When a spotted skunk feels threatened, it does a handstand in order to ward of enemies before resorting to spraying. This comical solution to a tense situation resonated with me, and I wanted to focus my project around this thought.
Although the skunk has fur, I wanted to explore the cultural stigma around skunks through rough and uncomfortable materials.
In order to draw from the spotted skunk’s handstand reaction to threats, I mapped out various threats that humans deal with on a daily basis and possible ways of protecting from them.
The final design took the form of a soft, non-threatening hat that can be transformed into an isolated space for the user. When needed, the hat acts as a shelter from social interactions and as a signal to others that the user needs a moment alone; the metaphorical handstand before the spray.