new levels of self-care with the ‘vol.’ collar by maria rybina


Designed by Maria Rybina, ‘Vol.’ is a smart, high-neck collar that helps reinforce personal space, encourage self-care, and keep users warm during cold weather. The oddly intriguing piece of clothing looks at the growing stress epidemic that plagues cities yearly at alarmingly high rates. It also responds to how Covid-19 has impacted the perception of a mask; covering part of the face has become the new normal. Rybina notes: ‘With the help of VOL. we do not create a new routine but use an already formed habit.’

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built-in tech designed for privacy + tracking mental health


The partial facial closure provides the feeling of personal space in a public setting. Covering the mouth allows one to speak or make facial expressions freely without the fear of affecting those around. Personal space helps alleviate stress,’ continues the designer


Made of high-quality material, the collar creates a sound barrier that absorbs most of the user’s voice and the integrated electronics make it easy to connect to your phone. Personal conversations can now be held comfortably in public spaces without fear of being heard. The application of ‘Vol.’ is much broader, though: users can wear it to engage in private conversations (with a therapist or in a coworking space) without disturbing nearby people. 

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The collar consists of four parts: Microphone (to communicate or record), Dynamics (to listen), V-Lap Fabric (a nonwoven fabric with vertically oriented polyester fibers to absorb speech), and Control Center (turns on/off Bluetooth, connects to the phone, and adjusts the sound). Thanks to its insulating properties, ‘Vol.’ is capable of lowering sound to 12 dB. As a result, people at a distance of three feet cannot make out the user’s words. Nevertheless, their speech could be transmitted to the other end loud and clear thanks to the sensitive inlaid microphone. The device can also mute speech for a more ‘private’ expression of emotions, especially when out in public. 

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Once synchronized with a mobile app, the collar will begin measuring users’ daily voice tones to track their mood and mental health. ‘It does not have the image of a healing device and, as a result, helps to avoid any stigmatization,’ concludes Maria Rybina. 

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project info:


name: Vol. 
design: Maria Rybina

features: Microphone, Dynamics, V-Lap Fabric, Control Center



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom