In the 21st century, cutting-edge technology, such as nano-technology, is dropping into our design and clothing, without a second through on the social and ethical consequences. The discourse and values of the fashion industry clash with those of the electronic giants, and we find ourselves in a situation where new manufacturing protocols are required. Below, several design projects are described that spark the discussion on these new manufacturing protocols, before the industry can sneak such developments into our everyday lives.
It was through the publication Fashioning the Future - Tomorrows wardrobe (Thames & Hudson, 2005) that Suzanne Lee, senior research fellow in fashion at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London, made a landmark contribution to the awareness of the influence of technology on today’s fashion design. By providing an overview of the technological developments that continue to influence contemporary fashion design and by exemplifying new technologies that are about to leave the experimental phase and enter our everyday lives, Lee’s book is not only an excellent overview of past and new technological developments in fashion design, but also a critical signal of things to come.
Taking this critical signal as a starting point to spark discussion on new manufacturing protocols, a selection of the most exciting and critical projects that adopt new technologies for fashion, art, and design were presented at an event titled FLESHING OUT Wearable Interfaces, Smart Materials, Living Fabrics, at V2_ Rotterdam, in November 2006. Some of the most exciting (and sometimes confronting and shocking) projects presented during the FLESHING OUT seminar, were those that adopt biotechnology to grow material into a design. After a history of successively wearing animal skin, creating cotton, and creating nylon, it seems that a new era has started, in which materials will be grown into wearable products. The projects BioCouture, Victimless Leather, and Biojewellery, presented at FLESHING OUT, all adopt biotechnology to allow control over the growth of natural materials and the manipulation of these processes for design purposes at a nano-scale.
Read also the reports Fleshing Out: Day 1 by Leonieke Verhoog and Fleshing Out: Day 2 by Sabine Seymour.
FLESHING OUT: Seminar
Thursday 9th November
10 am - 6 pm, at V2_ in Rotterdam
This seminar brings together leading and critical initiatives in the field of wearable technology and smart materials and presents them to a wide audience of artists, designers, scientists and students from a variety of disciplines.
10:00 - 10:10 Opening by Suzanne Lee and Anne Nigten
Presentation session I
10:10 - 10:50 Fashioning The Future: tomorrows wardrobe Suzanne Lee
10:50 - 11:30 Of Seams and Scars: Tracing technological boundaries and points of attachment Anne Galloway
11:30 - 12:10 Biojewellery: Designing rings with bio-engineered bone tissue Tobie Kerridge
12:10 - 13:00 Lunch break
13:00 - 13:30 move.me, wear.me, hold.me Thecla Schiphorst
13:30 - 14:00 XS Labs: Electronic garments that consume the body Joanna Berzowska
14:00 - 14:30 A Naive Understanding of Electronics Kristina Andersen
14:30 - 15:00 BioCouture Suzanne Lee
15:00 - 15:30 Coffee break
Presentation session II
15:30 - 16:10 Creative R&D, Profi table business Ger Brinks
16:10 - 16:50 The Victimless Utopia Ionat Zurr
16:50 - 18:00 Closing debate lead by Suzanne Lee and Anne Nigten
Admission seminar: 40 Euro (students: 20 Euro)
FLESHING OUT: Scenario Workshops
Friday 10th November
10 am - 6 pm, Pakhuis De Zwijger, Amsterdam
The workshop provides a more intimate setting for a selected group
of speakers from the seminar and several invited Dutch experts. They
come together in this workshop to analyse best practices in the
interdisciplinary field of wearable technology, come up with scenarios,
and research the possibilities of setting up new innovative projects in
the Netherlands. The workshop will be held on Friday 10th of November
at the Zwijger in Amsterdam. The Fleshing Out workshop is by invitation
10.00 - 10.30 Registration and opening
10.30 - 11.00 Welcome by moderator Emilie Randoe
Introduction by Sabine Seymour - European collaborations and Innovations in Fashionable Technology
11.00 - 12.00 Synopsis of the findings from the seminar by Anne Nigten
Introduction themes: Critical Intervention by Kristina Andersen
Material Science by Michiel Scheffer
Grow Your Own by Tobie Kerridge
Bridging Bodies by Thecla Schiphorst
12.00 - 12.15 Coffee break
12.15 - 12.55 Introducing the participants in groups
12.55 - 13.15 Brief on the afternoon workshop session
13.15 - 14.00 Lunch break
14.00 - 16.00 Afternoon workshop session
16.00 - 16.15 Coffee break
16.15 - 17.00 Determining results and defining future steps
Admission scenario workshops: 75 Euro (students: 35 Euro)
You can register via our online registration form: www.virtueelplatform.nl/registrationform
Fleshing Out kindly acknowledges the financial support of: Mondriaan Foundation and Saxion Universities
FLESHING OUT: Seminar stream
Test_Lab: Fleshing Out part 1 (2006) from V2_ on Vimeo.
Test_Lab: Fleshing Out part 2 (2006) from V2_ on Vimeo.
Test_Lab: Fleshing Out part 3 (2006) from V2_ on Vimeo.