Clothing as Conversation
This summer Emily Carr University researchers Associate Professor Hélène Day-Fraser (MAA ’08) and her colleague Keith Doyle will be locating experiential explorations in clothing and wearable technologies in the rural west coast landscape of BC, Canada and urban Italy. From mid-June to mid-July, an international research team lead by Hélène and Keith will be setting up a pop up studio at the Point Gallery on Salt Spring Island. The studio and planned design interventions are the culmination of a 3-year long research project titled ‘cloTHING(s) as conversation’. Fifteen designers, academic collaborators and research assistants will be participating in a design charrette at the Point Gallery from June 13 to 15. An open house for the Salt Spring Community is planned for June 19.
In July, members of the team will be resituating their work at Emily Carr’s Liminal Lab at the XXI International Exhibition of the Triennale di Milano. Some of the participating mentors of the project include Kate Fletcher, a sustainable fashion researcher, author and design activist from the UK, Kristi Kuusk, a designer and researcher specializing in new technologies for sustainability in Fashion based out of Tallinn, Estonia, Joanna Berzowska, researcher and head of Electronic Textiles, OMsignal in Montreal, Quebec and Sid Fels a UBC Human Computer Interaction researcher in Vancouver, BC.
The researchers and designers will investigate issues around the social meaning of clothing and experiment with a basic woven shape that can become multiple types of clothing forms through the use of fasteners that are both found and printed using a 3D printer. Since the fall of 2011 the ‘cloTHING(s) as conversation’ team has been seeking means to revise common assumptions about how we should and can interface with the textile-based products around us. The project has lead to critical designs, visual images, complex stories of use, and provocative questions about design in in the 21st century. The project is funded by SSHRC, and supported by Emily Carr University, the Salt Spring Island Artist In Residence Program, and the Point Gallery.