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Fashion and ‘the digital’

 

As designers and design researchers, we learned a lot through making Phem. We learned, for example, that we didn’t need to wait for the perfect app or device to be developed in order for us to play with augmented reality or animated fabrics–we could make it work without needing to find a programmer. We also discovered a fascinating design space where we could explore the interplay of digital and physical fabrics–blending, for example, animations with furry fabrics and other textures (it can be truly magical with transparent materials).

There’s still so much to explore in terms of designing with ‘the digital’ as an expressive material. Phem feels like just a small step. Here are some more questions we’re only beginning to understand:

  • Is adding a digital layer to our clothing actually a good idea in terms of sustainability?

  • How is femininity expressed through technological/digital aesthetics?

  • How are other fashion designers using digital materials in their process? Here are just a few examples we love: Amber Jae Slooten, Kailu Guan, Marga Weimans, Atacac, Magic Fabric Blog and Normals Apparel

  • What words best describe these fabrics and the digital phenomena we’re working with?

  • Do wearing garments with a virtual component bring us closer or further away from each other?….closer or further away from the delights of fashion?

 
 

What do you think? If you’re interested in continuing this conversation, please reach out!

Contact us at hello@phem.design

 

Also, we’ve written some things…

Below is a list of related academic publications surrounding the design explorations for Phem. Phem was produced as part of a larger design research initiative exploring dynamic and responsive materials at Philips Lighting Research and the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands from 2015-2019. It is part of ArcInTexETN, funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions grant agreement No. 642328

2019

Wearing Digital Shimmers: A fashion-centric approach to wearable technology

Mackey, A., Wensveen, S., Wakkary, R., Hupfeld, A., & Tomico, O. (2019). Wearing Digital Shimmers: A fashion-centric approach to wearable technology. In Proceedings of the Conference on Research Through Design.  Delft, Netherlands: Delft University of Technology. Available: https://figshare.com/articles/Wearing_Digital_Shimmers_A_fashion-centric_approach_to_wearable_technology/7855862

2017

“Can I Wear This?” Blending Clothing and Digital Expression

Mackey, A., Wakkary, R., Wensveen, S., & Tomico, O. 2017 Dec 18. “Can I Wear This?” Blending Clothing and Digital Expression by Wearing Dynamic Fabric. International Journal of Design [Online] 11:3. Available: http://www.ijdesign.org/index.php/IJDesign/article/view/2872 

Day-­to-­day speculation: Designing and wearing dynamic fabric.

Mackey, A., Wakkary, R., Wensveen, S., Tomico, O., & Hengeveld, B. (2017). Day-­to-­day speculation: Designing and wearing dynamic fabric. In Proceedings of the Conference on Research Through Design (pp. 439-454).  Edinburgh, Scotland: University of Edinburgh. Available: https://research.tue.nl/nl/publications/day-to-day-speculation-designing-and-wearing-dynamic-fabric

2016

Futuring fashion from everyday life

Harrison, L., & Mackey, A. (2016). Futuring fashion from everyday life. In N. Spurling & L. Kuijer (Eds.), Everyday futures: Essay collection (pp. 16-22). Lancaster, UK: Institute for Social Futures, Lancaster University. Available: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/everydayfutures/files/2016/08/harrison_mackey.pdf