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Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion

Local Assembly in Arnhem.

Picture by Thijs Adriaans

By Daniëlle Bruggeman

We are very grateful to have hosted the first local Assembly of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion in Arnhem on Wednesday, June 5, and to have shared this important platform and social movement with our research and educational communities. Thank you to all the participants who have contributed by sharing your visions and personal experiences during the conversations.



During the community gathering, Kate Fletcher led the Assembly using an open space method, which brought in thought-provoking conversations, critical insights, and moreover, a genuine sense of togetherness in developing our critical approach to the 'other ways' fashion and clothing could - should! - play a role in life, living and society. We acutely support and have underwritten of the manifesto the UCRF launched at the beginning of 2019 as it resonates with the urgencies we feel in our research and educational activities. It critically addresses the societal and ecological crises for which fashion holds a responsibility, and is committed to contributing to developing alternative approaches.


In addition, the series of conversations focused on the core themes of the Fashion Professorship – the need for a critical fashion discourse and alternative value systems, the importance of doing more justice to fashion’s human dimension and its embodiment, and a renewed way of engaging with fashion’s materials and materialities.


A special thanks as well to Timo Rissanen and Otto von Busch who joined the community event via Skype to have a conversation with Pascale Gatzen and Judith ter Haar, on sensory aesthetics, materiality, wellbeing, quality of life, and fashion's human dimension, with lovely creative interventions. 


For more information about the Union, the Manifesto and the full content of the Arnhem communique, see

Both Timo Rissanen and Otto von Busch participated in the community event last Wednesday via Skype, because they have made the decision to limit long distance flying to give presentations and workshops. As a back up in case of Skype nightmares, Timo Rissanen prerecorded his responses to three questions from Judith ter Haar. You can find his recordings on his website, please check the link

All pictures and video by Thijs Adriaans. 

  • Alternative Systems
  • New Materialism
  • Human Values

DATE PUBLISHED June 11, 2019