How would our future look like, if we start to use a holistic approach towards the design of our surroundings? Fusing architecture, spatial and interior design with our personal space and the scale of the body?
When working and creating on the scale of the body it is often referred to as “fashion”. Which immediately shifts the focus from desirable, handmade, valuable and collectable objects to disposable, devalued products. How can we change this narrative and create a long-term beneficial relationship between bodily object, wearer and spectator? With the hypothesis that this has to do with the scale and positioning of the work, we started a collaboration with the Amsterdam University of Applied Science to explore this notion. Fusing new technologies and manufacturing techniques with textile craftsmanship. Creating objects in the space and on the body to investigate the relation between Spatial design, garment design, collectable objects and the values this triggers. Translating into the development of a demonstrator of an artefact to inspire societal discussion. “help map today’s world, imagine new worlds, and view phenomena and problems differently”.
During Dutch Design Week 2022 we did our first “user testing”. Gathering responses and reactions on the value we feel towards spatial objects and objects on the scale of the body. Sustainable angle: focus on longevity, building a long-term relationship with the objects we surround ourselves with.
Rapid change is currently occurring in the fashion and textile industry; New EU sustainability regulations ask for new design and manufacturing methods, as well as new technological developments which create new possibilities for creation. This asks for a wave of new-generation designers that are trained and literate in new digital technologies and sustainable thinking. While at the same time taking the heritage and knowledge of traditional textile craftsmanship into regard.
In today’s industry and education systems, the huge focus on sustainability is growing. Questioning essential, practical and comprehensive issues that need to fundamentally and systematically change. Of course, this is an important topic for which development will be critical and shape future innovation. However, we also see the downside of the focus on these huge existential issues. It absorbs creative work toward a pragmatic domain which leaves the philosophical dialogue regarding art, expression and interaction unaccounted for.
The balance between philosophical questioning and existential pragmatic thinking combined with the balance of new digital manufacturing techniques and traditional craftsmanship creates an extremely interesting field that needs further exploration.
As we value user input we develop several aesthetic explorations on the scale of the body as well as spatial objects. Opening the discussion and conversation around; aesthetic expression, art, social dynamics, material use, values towards objects and their relation to sustainability.
As this is an ongoing research project we use the input we have collected during Dutch Design Week 2022 to move into the next phase. The project will develop over the next few months so stay tuned to see how this evolves into interactive dynamic wall pieces that are partly wearable.