The Fashion Professorship aims to rethink the cracks in the fashion system and the role that fashion plays – and could potentially play – in relation to urgent social, cultural, environmental and political developments in contemporary society. We envision an alternative and more engaged future of fashion in which we do more justice to fashion’s human dimension. Through research, design and critical thinking, we analyse and develop alternative approaches, systems, vocabularies and strategies. In doing so, we aim to activate the power of fashion to reimagine future bodies, future materials and future makers to contribute to resilient futures and inclusive societies.
An Interdisciplinary Research Project on Fashion and Technology
Crafting Wearables was a cooperation between Radboud University Nijmegen, University of Technology Eindhoven and ArtEZ University of the Arts funded by the Creative Industries program of The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).
The interdisciplinary research project Crafting Wearables was completed in 2019. In this project a new crossover field of innovation has been investigated: the integration of fashion and technology. For years designers have been experimenting with wearable technology and what it could bring us in the future, however, it had not yet been successfully adopted into the fashion industry. These wearables rarely leave the lab or catwalk since the aesthetics of the design is not integrated in the technology or they remain a gadget without taking the wearer’s body and identity into account.
The aim of this research project was to design wearables that are commercially, socially and culturally feasible in a clothing production process. Therefore, the Crafting Wearables consortium consisted of a multidisciplinary collective, bringing together artistic, design and scientific research. Crafting Wearables aimed to analyse the influence of fashion technology on identity and embodiment of the wearer, its social-cultural impact, bringing technology closer to fashion design and to create a competitive branch in the local creative industry of the Netherlands.
One of the results of this research projects was the completion of two PhDs by Lianne Toussaint and Pauline van Dongen. Lianne Toussaint’s dissertation (2018) aims to complement and advance scholarly studies of techno-fashion by bridging the fields of cultural studies, fashion studies, and the philosophy of technology. It combines cultural-critical, philosophical, and sociological perspectives, theorizing and evaluating some of the broader socio-cultural implications of techno-fashion. You can read her dissertation here.
Pauline van Dongen’s dissertation: A Designers Material-Aesthetics Reflections on Fashion and Technology (2019) discusses the various opportunities that digital technology offers in clothing and how that enables new relationships with the wearer. Below you can get a preview of what Pauline’s work entails and her publication is available through ArtEZ Press.