robertogreco + fashion   209

William Gibson on Watches | WatchPaper
“William Gibson is famously credited with predicting the internet. Early works like Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive established him as a major voice in science fiction and the worlds he created still serve as a template for how popular culture views the future. If you’ve seen The Matrix or read any cyberpunk, you’ve seen William Gibson’s influence at work. Equally important, but perhaps less famous are his essays, collected recently in Distrust That Particular Flavour. Highly perceptive and suggestive, they span a range of topics from Singapore’s totalitarianism and Tokyo’s futurism, to the Web and technology’s effect on us all. The volume also contains his glosses on those essays, which were written over a span of 30 years. Brief afterwords, they are his reflections on the content, and on the person who wrote that content at a point and time, and what’s happened since. In his 1997 essay, “My Obsession”, William Gibson chronicled his interest in watches for Wired magazine. [See “My Obsession” https://www.wired.com/1999/01/ebay/ ] The essay is as much about the advent of the internet and sites like eBay as it is about watches, and his afterword to the essay reflects:
People who’ve read this piece often assume that I subsequently became a collector of watches. I didn’t, at least not in my own view. Collections of things, and their collectors, have generally tended to give me the willies. I sometimes, usually only temporarily, accumulate things in some one category, but the real pursuit is in the learning curve. The dive into esoterica. The quest for expertise. This one lasted, in its purest form, for five or six years. None of the eBay purchases documented [in the essay] proved to be “keepers.” Not even close.

Undaunted by his placing this interest squarely in the past, something he got over, I wanted to find out what had survived, physically or intellectually, of his obsession. It turns out, quite a lot. We corresponded via email and William Gibson shared his thoughts on collecting, how he got started, what “keepers” remain in his collection and why. We also talked about the Apple watch and what it means for traditional horology.”

...

"If “old” people, as you mentioned in our recent discussion, are concerned that what they’ve collected will be unwanted, how is that anxiety being manifested? Some watch brands like Patek Philippe use durability, inheritance and legacy as their explicit identity.

I was thinking of someone with dozens of rare military watches. Even if they have children, will the children want their watches? It could be difficult finding the right museum to donate them to, in order to keep the collection intact. I think Patek’s appeal to inheritance and legacy still has some basis, though the wristwatch itself has become a piece of archaic (though still functional) jewelry. You don’t absolutely need one. You do, probably, absolutely need your smartphone, and it also tells the time. Eventually, I assume, virtually everything will also tell the time.

Is there something authentic in collecting we as humans are striving for? What does the impulse represent for you?

I actively enjoy having fewer, preferably better things. So I never deliberately accumulated watches, except as the temporary by-product of a learning curve, as I searched for my own understanding of watches, and for the ones I’d turn out to particularly like. I wanted an education, rather than a collection. But there’s always a residuum: the keepers. (And editing is as satisfying as acquiring, for me.)

Do you think there’s anything intrinsic to watches (their aesthetics, engineering etc.) that make them especially susceptible to our interest?

Mechanical timekeeping devices were among our first complex machines, and became our first ubiquitous complex machines, and the first to be miniaturized. Mechanical wristwatches were utterly commonplace for less than a century. Today, there’s no specific need for a mechanical watch, unless you’re worried about timekeeping in the wake of an Electromagnetic Pulse attack. So we have heritage devices, increasingly archaic in the singularity of their function, their lack of connectivity. But it was exactly that lack that once made them heroic: they kept telling accurate time, regardless of what was going on around them. They were accurate because they were unconnected, unitary.

How do you think the notion of collecting has changed since your preoccupation with watches played itself out? Scarcity (but not true rarity) barely exists any more.

The Internet makes it increasingly easy to assemble a big pile of any category of objects, but has also rationalized the market in every sort of rarity. There’s more stuff, and fewer random treasures. When I discovered military watches, I could see that that was already happening to them, but that there was still a window for informed acquisition. That’s mostly closed now. The world’s attic is now that much more thoroughly sorted and priced!"
watches  williamgibson  ebay  horology  fashion  collecting  collections  learning  howwelearn  2015  esoterica  research  researching  deepdives  expertise  obsessions  cv  immersion  posterity  legacy  analog  mechanical  durability  longevity  inheritance  jewelery  smartphones  understanding  education  self-directed  self-directedlearning  timekeeping  connectivity  scarcity  objects  possessions  ownership  quality  internet  web  online  wristwatches  things  applewatch  pebble  pebblewatch  smartwatches 
august 2019 by robertogreco
BYBORRE - Mastering Knit
"Byborre is an Amsterdam based textile innovation studio working on the frontiers of material development, functionality and aesthetics through engineered knits.

Signature to Byborre are the innovative hand-rendered techniques that, through direct interaction with their circular knitting machines, give the studio full creative freedom to play with patterns, colours, and textures within their fabrics. Designing from the yarn up allows Byborre to discover new possibilities both within their own collections and for leading brands.

Over the past six years Byborre has worked with clients such as Nike, wings+horns, The North Face, and Daniel Arsham. Through consultation and collaboration with other brands, Byborre pushes knit innovation to find creative ways to achieve the project’s goal. The archetypical clothing pieces in the studio’s own label tell an important story about the relationship between material and machine, along with introducing a new approach to fashion where process and product are equally important.

Over the past six years Byborre has worked with clients such as Nike, wings+horns, The North Face, and Daniel Arsham. Through consultation and collaboration with other brands, Byborre pushes knit innovation to find creative ways to achieve the project’s goal. The archetypical clothing pieces in the studio’s own label tell an important story about the relationship between material and machine, along with introducing a new approach to fashion where process and product are equally important."
clothing  uniform  fashion  glvo  projectideas  amsterdam  materials  knits  knitting  design  clothes  wearable  wearables  byborre  textiles 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Opinion | Finding the Beauty in Cultural Appropriation - The New York Times
"“What beautiful cultural appropriation!”

I turned in my seat to look at the fashion editor nodding in approval next to me at Lagos Fashion Week.

By that point, I had seen fashion shows in nearly a dozen countries, and I was used to hearing the term “cultural appropriation” whispered around a runway. In Japan I saw Maasai necklaces paired with cargo shorts; in Namibia I saw models in geisha makeup with chopsticks in their hair; and of course, I’ve seen hundreds of European designers “elevating” African-American street fashion.

But this was the first time I’d heard it used as a compliment.

According to Mary Edoro, the editor of BellaNaija, a fashion publication based in Lagos, Nigeria, we were seeing the appropriation of traditional clothing — Calabar fabrics from southeast Nigeria and red ivie beads from the north — from rural communities once considered out of step in modern Nigeria. But in the past decade, integrating them into high fashion has become a source of pride.

“People did not appreciate these old fabrics and designs,” Ms. Edoro told me. “Cultural appropriation, when done in a good way, makes us appreciate things we might typically ignore.”

I’ve spent the past few years traveling around the world to investigate fashion subcultures. I’ve met Japanese women who dress as 1990s Mexican-Americans from East Los Angeles, white women in cornrows at Jamaican dance halls and African-Americans who call ankara cloth, popular in West Africa, “tribal prints.” Through it all, I’ve come to believe that the impulse to play dress-up in other people’s cultures goes beyond teenagers wearing qipaos to prom, or Coachella girls in feathered headdresses. It’s an impulse that is nearly universal.

In other words, cultural appropriation might cause outrage, but it will not stop. And so the question is why? What do people get out of adopting aesthetics from other cultures? Through my travels, I’ve come to see appropriation as a form of communication: Sometimes what people are trying to say is trivial, hurtful and condescending — a bindi to proclaim that they’re “exotic” for instance, or cornrows to say they’re “cool.” But other times, what is being said is difficult and important.

Last October, I interviewed a Japanese rapper named Mona who’s a self-described “chola,” a member of an urban Mexican-American subculture. Part of it was that she liked the look: bold makeup, hoop earrings.

But Mona’s experimentation coincided with her rebellion against how Japanese society shamed her for her outspokenness. In movies like “Selena” and “Mi Vida Loca,” she saw kindred spirits: women celebrated, not ostracized, for their aggression. Some of what Mona did made me cringe: She used gang symbols without the accompanying realities of gang life; she wore rosaries though she is not religious. And yet cholo culture gave her a way to act, speak and dress — all to communicate that she does not agree with how her own culture insists Japanese women should be.

Or consider the rise of Afropunk style. Among my black American friends and peers, Afropunk — which originated at a Brooklyn music festival celebrating black artists and has expanded around the world — has become a crucial cultural outlet. At its heart is a sense of rebellion against the realities of a racist world. That rebellion manifests in glorious, creative outfits that riff on centuries-old aesthetic legacies from Africa, beloved cultural traditions among African-American communities and a fantastical, futuristic sensibility.

These outfits are also, according to some Africans, inadvertently disrespectful. In Nigeria, I spoke to a stylist who mentioned that Afropunk style — which can mix Kenyan kitenge cloth with Bini coral beads and an Egyptian cobra headband — was one way that the African diaspora has betrayed African people, since it flattens so many individual ethnic communities into one Pan-African look. But, he also told me, he doesn’t begrudge this. He’s connected to a rich variety of African cultures. He recognizes that many black Americans aren’t.

When I asked the Harlem-based costume designer Delta Major about her mix-and-match approach to Afropunk fashion, she told me that she understood her clothing to be appropriation. She knew it wasn’t “authentically African” and so was, in a sense, disrespectful. But “getting it right” wasn’t the point. Her history was stolen from her; she doesn’t know where her family came from, and the purposeful inauthenticity made that very statement.

On some level, it doesn’t feel right to call what Afropunk attendees and Japanese cholas do “cultural appropriation.” The power dynamics at work are complicated; it’s unproductive to argue whether black Americans or Africans — or cholas and ostracized Japanese women — have more or less power, and whether one has contributed to the other’s oppression, the way we do when we talk about white Americans appropriating from marginalized groups. We reach for concepts like cultural appreciation and globalization to take into account that these forms of exchange might be less hurtful, or more thoughtful, even if there’s still harm and ignorance at play.

But of course, it is appropriation. These groups, in different ways, are adorning themselves with symbols from another culture and wearing them for their own purposes.

Now, contrast this appropriation with those notorious headdresses. No one except the most willfully obstinate would defend wearing a war bonnet to Coachella. But I’d argue that’s not only because the object is sacred, and the power dynamic direct and unjust, but also because the intended message — that you’re a free spirit, if only for a weekend — is uninteresting. It contains nothing significant to justify something so obviously hurtful.

Things like power, authenticity, respectfulness and credit are all important considerations to weigh against the damage that’s inherent in cultural appropriation. It’s also crucial to understand the maddening reality for many marginalized American groups whose money, livelihoods and creations are regularly stolen from them. But these litmus tests are not adequate by themselves.

We know because when we’re confronted with more complex messages and muddled power dynamics, we short-circuit. We don’t know what to do, or how to feel. We don’t know who the victims are, or what the crime exactly is — even if feels as if there might be one.

In the end, determining when cultural appropriation is O.K. can feel as if it requires a delicate calculus, more holistic than binary. It’s understandable that as a result, we’ve landed on treating cultural appropriation as a bad habit to be trained out of us; often it feels easier not to engage at all. But this balancing act is worth performing. Because the bad-habit model is not only exhausting; the result is often that people are so afraid of appearing “bad” that they self-censor good-faith impulses to try something new. Ironically, in doing so, they learn less about other cultures.

Reframing fashion-based cultural appropriation not as a bad habit but as a discussion of ideas helps make these calculations easier. We understand how ideas work: Sometimes they’re unnecessarily offensive, and sometimes they’re offensive because they need to be. Sometimes the controversy they generate is silly and piddling; other times, it’s enlightening. As my seatmate in Lagos told me, it can help us see something we would have otherwise missed.

And yes — it can be beautiful too."

[See also:
"In Defense of Cultural Appropriation" by Kenan Malik (2017)
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/opinion/in-defense-of-cultural-appropriation.html

"What Distinguishes Cultural Exchange from Cultural Appropriation?" by Rivka Galchen with Anna Holmes (2017)
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/books/review/bookends-cultural-appropriation.html ]
conniewang  appropriation  culture  culturalappropriation  2019  powr  authenticity  respect  respectfulness  powerdynamics  fashion  japan  gender  race  ethnicity  afropunk  coachella  kenanmalik  annaholmes  rivkagalchen  culturalexchange 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Earth Day 2019: Fashion industry's carbon impact is bigger than airline industry's - CBS News
"• The apparel and footwear industries together account for more than 8 percent of global climate impact, greater than all international airline flights and maritime shipping trips combined.

• The challenge to reduce carbon emissions offers the fashion industry an opportunity for its players do what they do best -- be creative.

• Eco-friendly fashion pioneers from Stella McCartney to Rent the Runway to the RealReal are creating new reuse and resale models of doing business."
fashion  climate  climatechange  carbonemissions  emissions  2019  clothing  reuse  resale  shipping 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Minh-Ha T. Pham on Twitter: "Folks teaching courses on and/or writing about race + beauty, assign/read Thuy Linh N. Tu's latest essay, "White Like Koreans: The Skin of New Vietnam," a beautifully written, smart essay that looks at the significance of whit
"Folks teaching courses on and/or writing about race + beauty, assign/read Thuy Linh N. Tu's latest essay, "White Like Koreans: The Skin of New Vietnam," a beautifully written, smart essay that looks at the significance of whiteness in VN and Asia that DOESN'T CENTRALIZE the West.

Folks teaching courses on and/or writing abt ethical fashion/garment industry, check out @deniseacruz's gorgeous essay "Splitting the Seams: Transnat'l Feminism and ... Filipino Couture." What ethical production really looks like FROM THE PERSPECTIVE of global south workers.

Another one for race + beauty research that doesn't assume or use a western framework --> S. Heijin Lee's "Beauty Between Empires." Also includes a great discussion of how social media helps/hurts Korean feminism.

Another one for ethical fashion/fast fashion/garment industry researchers: Christina Moon's "Times, Tempos, and Rhythm of Fast Fashion in LA & Seoul" - an ethnographic work that dispels major misconceptions abt fast fashion much of it is made in USA + involves design work)

All of these essays are in the newly published book *Fashion and Beauty in the Time of Asia* (@NYUpress).

Also: all these women are my friends, my friends are smart, my friends are beautiful writers. Read them, cite them. (I'm not done reading the book . Will have more later.)

PS. I have a chapter in the same book. Drawing on the China Through the Looking Glass exhibition at the Met, I argue that "cultural inspiration" is more than a personal feeling; it's a cultural economic asset that provides protection, recognition, and profit -- for some."

[See also: "Fashion and Beauty in the Time of Asia, by S. Heijin Lee , Christina H. Moon and Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu
NYU Series in Social and Cultural Analysis"
https://nyupress.org/9781479892846/fashion-and-beauty-in-the-time-of-asia/ ]
race  beauty  fashion  asia  korea  vietnam  whiteness  2019  minh-hapham  sheijinlee  feminism  socialmedia  christinamoon  china  books  thuylinhnguyentu 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Style Files: 10 Looks Inspired by Beautiful Book Covers
"Fashion, like literature, is about building characters and narratives, creating worlds with either words or textiles. Katja Horvat writes in her essay "Fashion & Literature" that the two arts "occupy a fetish for fantasy inside the minds of so many people." But what if instead of bringing characters from your favorite books to life, you could bring the books— the covers themselves works of art—to life? Maybe the dual impulses of writing well and dressing well are all part of the effort to answer the questions of “Who am I?” and “What am I doing here?”

Here, we present the fashion translation of 10 beloved books."
clothing  fashion  books  safiaelhillo  eloisaamezcua  2018 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Akari Tachibana
"​​Born and raised in Japan and moved to San Francisco to learn Fashion Design in 2010. All the clothes are handmade by Akari Tachibana from design to finish in San Francisco. Striving to design and make durable garments that can be worn for 20-plus years and develop their own character with the wearer.​"

[See also: http://akaritachibana.tumblr.com/ ]
sanfrancisco  glvo  akaritachibana  fashion  clothing  uniformproject 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Oribotics Fabric Folding Process - YouTube
"This video shows the folding process, pleating technique, for creating an oribotic membrane. Two sheets of folded paper form the mould for a sheet of woven polyester fabric. The sandwich is then heated in an oven to set the creases permanently.

This is an extract from a complete presentation on the creation of oribotics 2010 found at https://vimeo.com/27150010 "
fabric  folding  miura  miurafold  miura-ori  fashion  classideas  miuraori 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Vadik Marmeladov
"I design the most beautiful products. Before scrolling down to the pictures, please read our Codes of Practice:

1. Wear the uniform
2. Think long term (like 30 years from now)
3. Build stories and languages, not things
4. Create your own universe (or join ours)
5. Collect samples
6. Be a sample for somebody else 
7. Look for loyalty, not for a skill set
8. Do not build utilitarian products. However, use them as a medium to express yourself
9. Do not exploit introverts — doesn't work long term. Learn to be an introvert yourself 
10. Travel more
11. Do not work for corporations. Old corporations were meaningful when their founders were alive, but now, they have outlived their relevancy. They exist only to keep their numbers growing
12. New corporations are no better. They have scaled up features, and today’s founders want hyper-growth for growth’s sake (it seems like every line of code, every feature deserves its own corporation — it sure doesn't)
13. So, fuck the corporations
14. Tell the truth (bullshit never works long term)
15. Study and research fashion
16. Your phone is a temporary feature — don’t spend your life on it (like you wouldn’t spend it on a fax machine)
17. Fuck likes, followers, fake lives, fake friends
18. Remake your environment. Build it for yourself, and people will come 
19. Only trust those who make things you love
20. Move to LA 
21. Don’t buy property
22. Don’t go to Mars (just yet)
23. Use only one font, just a few colors, and just a few shapes
24. Use spreadsheets, but only to map out 30 cells — one for each year of the rest of your life
25. The next three are the most important
26. The past doesn’t exist — don’t get stuck in it
27. Don’t go to Silicon Valley (it’s not for you if you’re still reading this)
28. Remind yourself daily: you and everyone you know will die
29. We must build the most beautiful things
30. We are 2046 kids"

[via Warren Ellis's Orbital Operations newsletter, 8 April 2018:

"LOT 2046 [https://www.lot2046.com/ ] continues to be magnificent. This is actually a really strong duffel bag. You just never know what you're going to get.

Incidentally, culture watchers, keep an eye on this - the LOT 2046 user-in-residence programme [https://www.lot2046.com/360/11/875c4f ]. This feels like a small start to a significant idea. Vadik thinks long-term. He once had the following Codes Of Practise list from his previous business on his personal website, preserved by the sainted Wayback Machine:"]
vadikmarmeladov  codesofpractice  uniforms  longterm  stories  language  languages  worldbuilding  loyalty  skills  samples  examples  corporations  corporatism  losangeles  property  2046  beauty  part  present  siliconvalley  fonts  mars  trust  love  environment  like  follows  followers  fakeness  relevancy  features  numbers  scale  scalability  fashion  research  attention 
april 2018 by robertogreco
A-Z of Hair - YouTube
The language of hair is universal. Anybody, anywhere can understand when you're making a statement. Styl"e it, dye it, or cut it, your hair is your biggest chance to leave an impression. What are you going to say?

Under the direction of artistic duo, Partel Oliva, with music by Lafawndah, the A-Z of Hair is a multidimensional look at how people utilize our most accessible (yet most powerful) tool for personal empowerment and self expression.

Directed By: Partel Oliva"
partelolivia  video  hair  fashion  vocabulary  via:fantasylla 
january 2018 by robertogreco
SOLARPUNK : A REFERENCE GUIDE – Solarpunks – Medium
"Solarpunk is a movement in speculative fiction, art, fashion and activism that seeks to answer and embody the question “what does a sustainable civilization look like, and how can we get there?” The aesthetics of solarpunk merge the practical with the beautiful, the well-designed with the green and wild, the bright and colorful with the earthy and solid. Solarpunk can be utopian, just optimistic, or concerned with the struggles en route to a better world — but never dystopian. As our world roils with calamity, we need solutions, not warnings. Solutions to live comfortably without fossil fuels, to equitably manage scarcity and share abundance, to be kinder to each other and to the planet we share. At once a vision of the future, a thoughtful provocation, and an achievable lifestyle.
In progress…"

[See also:
http://solarpunks.tumblr.com/post/165763925033/solarpunk-a-reference-guide-solarpunks

"This page is an attempt to open up the optics of the Solarpunk community/genre for newcomers and others looking for references. A lot of the early discussions happened on tumblr dot com from 2014 onward after @missolivialouise‘s character concept post took off — with a core community of stewards who know who they are.

What follows is not meant to be an exhaustive list but hopefully will increasingly become one. We’re also aware that we are missing almost all of the art references from this list. :(

We also didn’t include any posts from us here at http://solarpunks.tumblr.com

Please get in touch (DM) with art and their references as a lot of content has lost their attribution  — @thejaymo"]
solarpunk  reference  speculativefiction  art  fashion  activism  sustainability  civilization  utopia  dystopia  optimism  kindness  future  futurism 
october 2017 by robertogreco
The New York Times: Youth in San Diego: Skateboards, Beach Hangs and Chicano Culture
“The city breathes skateboarding,” said Bruna Stalliviere, whom John Francis Peters met while photographing young San Diegans this summer.
sandiego  photography  johnfrancispeters  diversity  skateboards  skateboarding  skating  fashion  joannanikas  california 
september 2017 by robertogreco
Can economies thrive without growth? de RSA Radio
"When economies stop growing they go into crisis, but it seems impossible for them to grow forever without causing ecological catastrophe. Matthew Taylor talks to Tim Jackson about the big dilemma in sustainability and the updated and expanded second edition of ‘Prosperity without Growth’ (2017). Can we safely stabilize the size of the economy? What’s behind our insatiable demand for new things? What revolutions are required in the nature of enterprise, policy and values to create prosperity without growth? And have they gotten any closer in the years since the books first publication in 2009?"
economics  growth  policy  prosperity  2017  matthewtaylor  timjackson  capitalism  environment  emissions  globalwarming  climatechange  sustainability  happiness  wellbeing  scarcity  resources  technology  technosolutionism  efficiency  consumerism  consumption  fashion  socialgood  privatization  money  politics  service  monetarypolicy  government  governance  society  ethics  values  technocracy 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Kilometre.Paris – Travel by Fashion
"“Kilometre is a luxury brand like no other.

We believe that the discovering the world is the ultimate luxury. Our clothes are destined for travellers and for those who love life. We combine flavours, destinations, literature, sound, and music to create a community of travellers for whom beauty has no limits or frontiers. Kilometre.Paris surfs the waves of fashion to travel in original and unexpected ways. The brand has launched a series of exclusive designs embroidered onto 19th century white dress shirts from the south of France. The exquisitely detailed embroidery is done by hand in Mexico and India, and each shirt is based on the idea of travel. Company founder Alexandra Senes (former editor of Jalouse magazine, judge on the French version of Project Runway, consultant for luxury brands such as Hermes and Harpers Bazaar), carefully selected over 20 up-and-coming destinations (the St. Tropezs of tomorrow) and teamed up with designers and artisans to transform the shirts into illustrations of our destinations. With each shirt comes a “second skin” and a passport containing a guide to the destination.”

[See also: https://www.instagram.com/kilometre.paris/ ]
glvo  embroidery  textiles  clothing  fashion  travel  geography 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Sabyasachi Mukherjee (@sabyasachiofficial) • Fotos y vídeos de Instagram
"Sabyasachi Mukherjee Official page to the world of Sabyasachi. Sabyasachi Flagship In Calcutta, New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. customerservice@sabyasachi.com www.sabyasachi.com "
instagrams  fashion  india  photography  sabyasachimukherjee 
july 2017 by robertogreco
My Son, The Prince Of Fashion | GQ
"You are born into a family and those are your people, and they know you and they love you and if you are lucky they even, on occasion, manage to understand you. And that ought to be enough. But it is never enough. Abe had not been dressing up, styling himself, for all these years because he was trying to prove how different he was from everyone else. He did it in the hope of attracting the attention of somebody else—somewhere, someday—who was the same. He was not flying his freak flag; he was sending up a flare, hoping for rescue, for company in the solitude of his passion.

“You were with your people. You found them,” I said.

He nodded.

“That's good,” I said. “You're early.”"
michaelchabon  identity  parenting  fashion  children  2016  passion  tribes  attention  signaling  presentationofself 
november 2016 by robertogreco
How Dutch Wax Fabrics Became a Mainstay of African Fashion
"The Philadelphia Museum of Art examines the past and present of Vlisco fabrics, a symbol of our hyperconnected, postcolonial material world."
vlisco  africa  textiles  fabrics  waxfabrics  2016  fashion 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Darning Sampler | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"When we talk about sustainability, why don’t we talk about mending?

The Netherlands-based Platform 21=Repairing project and its offshoot, Repair Cafés, do just that. Platform 21=Repairing published a manifesto extolling the benefits of mending, and the Repair Cafés bring together skilled tinkerers and those with items in need of repair together in a free social space over tea and coffee. Both of these initiatives engage the community, promote the sharing of hand skills, and resurrect a culture of caring enough to repair.

This darning sampler is also Dutch and was made in 1735 by a girl of about 12. She was confronted with a piece of fabric with 17 square-cut holes and with all four corners cut away. In the center and lower right corner she carefully darned the missing bits back into place and the rest she repaired with needle weaving (what you might call re-weaving if you were at the dry cleaners with a hole in your favorite wool pants). Each hole is filled in, thread by thread, with a different woven pattern to demonstrate the girl’s skill at repairing weave structures found in common household and clothing textiles such as herringbone, birds-eye twill, etc. Bright colors were originally selected to make it easier for the instructor to check for accuracy, but also contribute to a wonderfully fresh and modern overall effect.

While the textile industry is striving along with other industries to create fabrics from recycled, rapidly renewable or organic materials, the only truly sustainable option is to consume less. This sampler shows a reverence for the humble everyday objects that fill our homes (such as napkins, dishtowels, jeans, etc.) that we cannot afford not to emulate."

[Also here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BKmn7ktj6T2/ ]
cooper-hewitt  sustainability  via:litherland  clothing  fashion  textiles  fabrics  reuse  mending  glvo  repair  repairing  slow  recycling  platform21  darning  susanbrown  consumption 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Reclaiming Paper and Textiles | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"Newsworthy is a wallpaper made of recycled newspaper and nylon filament. It is designed by New York-based textile designer Lori Weitzner and is woven in India on traditional handlooms using the coiled newsprint for the weft and nylon filaments as the warp. After the paper is woven, it is shipped back to the United States where it is paper backed to facilitate being pasted to the wall. The weaving process is handled by Xylem Papercraft, a design studio in Noida outside of Delhi, India, that manufactures and exports handmade paper for stationery products distributed globally. The company won the UNESCO seal of Excellence in 2006 for its innovative and sustainable approach, working mostly with paper waste and other reclaimed materials.

Xylem has also produced the one-of-a-kind covers of the newly published book Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse. In the spirit of the book’s content dedicated to recovering textile waste, the covers are done of hand block-printing textile padding cloths. Traditionally hand block-printing is made on a padded table covered with a muslin backing cloth called achada in Indian. With each impression, ink is deposited on the textile, but also bleeds through the padded surface below. Over time, fragments of a variety of patterns and colors accumulate on the backing cloth, which must be changed every few days. These discarded achada were used for the cover of Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse."
fashion  textiles  cooper-hewitt  recycling  glvo  loriweitzer  delhi  india  xylem  design  achada 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Scraps Stories | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"Welcome to the blog series Scraps Stories, where we explore sustainable textiles and fashion in relation to the Cooper Hewitt exhibition Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse.

The exhibition and catalog present three designers’ approaches to addressing the issue of pre-consumer textile waste. The blog will broaden the discussion, exploring current concerns over the alarming social and environmental impact of fashion and textile production. It will also explore positive steps being made by designers and manufacturers to develop solutions, as well as look at past and present global traditions of repair, reuse, and recycling of textiles and clothing.

Please join this important conversation about the impact of the decisions we make about our clothing.  Comments and information sharing are welcome!"

[posts: http://www.cooperhewitt.org/?s=scraps+stories&count=100 ]
scraps  cooper-hewitt  textiles  2016  design  sustainability  fashion  reuse  waste  recycling  repair  slow 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Pressure Mounts to Reform Our Throwaway Clothing Culture by Marc Gunther: Yale Environment 360
"Americans dispose of about 12.8 million tons of textiles annually — 80 pounds for each man, woman, and child. In the U.S. and around the world, a growing number of environmentalists and clothing industry executives say it’s time to end the wasteful clothing culture and begin making new apparel out of old items on a large scale."



"London-based Worn Again began “upcycling” a decade ago by turning textile waste — including discarded McDonald’s uniforms, Virgin Atlantic airplane seats, and prison blankets — into clothes, shoes, and bags. But founder Cyndi Rhoades soon realized that making consistent products out of a variety of materials was “a very difficult business.” She turned her attention to recycling cotton and polyester, which poses a different set of obstacles. Mechanical recycling of cotton lowers its quality as chopped-up fibers get shorter and less soft, while recycled polyester costs more than new. Harder still is recycling clothes made from a blend of fabrics, which must be separated.

After several years of research, Worn Again joined forces with H&M and the PUMA division of Kering to develop chemical processes that will capture polyester and cotton from old textiles that have been broken down to the molecular level. Says Rhoades: “The holy grail is a process that can separate blended fibers, recapture the raw materials, and reintroduce them into the supply chain at a price competitive with their virgin counterparts.” The technology has been proven in a lab, but Rhoades declined to predict when it will be deployed more widely.


A partnership between Levi Strauss and Seattle-based startup Evrnu recently brought forth the world’s first pair of jeans made of post-consumer cotton waste. A preliminary lifecycle assessment of the product generated encouraging results, according to Paul Dillinger, vice president and head of global product innovation at Levi Strauss. “Cotton cultivation versus Evrnu, we’re looking at a 98 percent reduction in water use,” says Dillinger, noting that cotton is cultivated in places like China, India, and Pakistan that are — or could soon be — water-stressed.

Stacy Flynn, a former Target executive who is the co-founder of Evrnu, says its patented process purifies cotton garment waste, converts it to a pulp, and extrudes it as a clean new fiber that is softer than silk and stronger than cotton. Evrnu expects to announce partnerships with two more retailers soon, one of which wants to make knit shirts out of textile waste. The other will focus on footwear.

Flynn says: “Our goal — and we’re not there yet — is to use no virgin product in the creation of our fiber, and create no waste.” "
clothing  recycling  mending  textiles  us  fashion  environment  sustainability  wste  pollution  upcycling  levis  levistrauss  wornagain  glvo  h&m  puma  nike  patagonnia  zaa  thenorthface  eileenfisher  americaneagle  cotton  fabrics 
september 2016 by robertogreco
ELLE's fka twigs Cover - Melissa Harris-Perry Responds
"Lesson 1: Becky 101



Lesson 2: Not everyone sees the same thing.



Lesson 3: Black women's hair is personal and political

Let me make this plain. For most black women in America (although not all), if we allow our hair to simply grow out of our heads in its natural state, most people will assume that we are making a social and political statement. If we allowed our hair to simply grow out of our heads, many of us would be barred or fired from our jobs. If we allowed our children's hair to grow similarly, many of our children would be dismissed from their schools. It is 2016. Sit with that for a moment. Most non-black folks fail to grapple with the profound implications of living in a society that institutionally requires an entire group to intervene so utterly in its own bodily reality and sanctions so heavily those who refuse to conform.

Despite the high stakes and deep trauma so often associated with black women's hair, many non-black individuals and institutions remain stunningly uninformed about even the most basic aspects of black hair. It is both insulting and disheartening to flip the pages of sophisticated fashion magazines and find so many images of black women wearing hair pieces, weaves, wigs, and chemical treatments, featured next to white women without these hair interventions, while the copy surrounding the images makes no mention of the differences. (Granted, in the ELLE spread, a few pages on from page 110, the text mentions that many of Zendaya's styles are wigs and weaves.) The omission makes it seem as though, in each case, the hair is simply growing wholesale from the heads of individuals pictured.

This practice does violence to us.

In her smart, funny memoir, The Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes writes about her daily, hours-long struggle as a teenage to make her hair look like Whitney Houston's. Curling irons, hair spray, and hours of frustration accompanied her attempts to make her hair looks like Whitney's. Then one day, years late, as a full-grown adult, Shonda is sitting at a hair salon and overhears a conversation between stylists. It turns out that, all along, Whitney's hair was a wig. Rhimes uses the story to illustrate the importance of accepting that working moms don't "do it all"; they all seek and hire great household help. But we shouldn't pass too swiftly over the hair story on the way to the childcare takeaway.

When magazines present hair pieces, weaves, wigs, and chemical treatments without any further clarification, they perpetrate a lie to black girls and women. Listen, no shade on extensions, lacefronts, sew-ins, or any other choices celebs and the rest of us make to look great. But magazines should not be reproducing another generation of teenage Shondas wasting precious hours trying to curl their hair into a wig.

This does not mean that every time a fashion magazine wants to include a black woman in a beauty spread on fall styles, or the new bob, or the hottest color trends, that it needs to include a humorless recitation of Willie Morrow's 400 Years Without a Comb to illustrate adequate understanding of black hair history. Cause damn. It does mean some ways of seeing black hair are just more woke than others.

When Lemonade turned the world upside for a few days, it offered an indirect opportunity to reckon with all the instances in which this issue has been elided. Elle.com published "The Complete Breakdown of Beyoncé's Hair Look's from Lemonade." We even had input from her stylist Kim Kimble. Nailed it.

Sure, but let me draw your attention to this piece on the same topic by Bustle.com. They too reviewed all the badass hairstyles of Lemonade. But they one-upped our wokeness by telling readers why these styles matter. They put the beauty in context, giving it history and social meaning. Ours … solid. This one … lit.

To be fair, Bustle.com is an online publication founded just a few years ago. Its origins rest in a vastly different context than Elle.com, a site attached to a magazine first published in France in 1945. Which brings me to lesson number 4; legacy fashion magazines do not have a reservoir of goodwill with black women, and this deficit heightens the potential tensions in moments like this.

Lesson 4: Legacy Fashion Magazines do not have a reservoir of goodwill with black women

It is hardly a secret that the fashion world is whiter than an Academy Awards after party. The evidence is everywhere from runways to brand ad campaigns to fashion week to yes, fashion magazines .

But all of these (important) tallies can overshadow another point: More impactful than the absence of black and brown faces on runways and covers are the representational fails that occurring when black and brown editorial voices are not present in decision-making spaces. For decades the mainstream beauty and fashion industry—an industry made familiar to most of us through the women's magazines we buy on our local newsstands—has engaged in everything from the total erasure of black faces to the use of blackface. And yes, in the past decade some of these publications have openly, purposefully, and visibly, worked to alter these practices and improve both the substance and style of representation in their pages. I genuinely believe ELLE and Elle.com to be leaders in this area. I believe the people I work with and the magazine and website we create together are substantive, valuable, and diverse, if imperfect. I also believe that we inherited a legacy of brutally racist cultural practices. We are working to stitch a fabric of trust with our readers, but that fabric remains frayed by that legacy. We must be accountable to that legacy. We cannot pretend it does not exist, especially if we reproduce it, even inadvertently.

A personal note

I've been writing, working, and thinking with the team at Elle.com since March. In those months Kerry Washington, Beyoncé, Leslie Jones, and now FKA twigs have appeared on the cover of the magazine. The site has published my testimony to the Congressional Caucus on Black Girls and Women, given me a place to highlight the work of Girls for Gender Equity, and allowed me space to convene the voices of Japanese American women reflecting on the presidential visit to Hiroshima. All this and free lipstick samples. Listen, I am in heaven. When I saw the August cover it felt like the first real test of my new gig. Was the honeymoon over?

I got a call asking if I would be willing to write a piece for the site. I could write what I liked, from my own editorial perspective, even if it was critical. Yep. Let's do it. The team also asked if I would sit down to chat with Robbie Myers the editor-in-chief of ELLE. This was no Devil Wears Prada Act 1, Scene 2, when awkward Andy stumbles into Miranda Priestly office. Robbie and I talked about race, culture, gender, and the world of magazine publishing for more than an hour. I wasn't there to scold, and she wasn't there to apologize, but for me it was a radically different workplace experience to simply be heard and taken seriously on issues of race and representation."
race  magazines  fashion  melissaharris-perry  2016  hair  fkatwigs  becky  elle  perception  racism  gender  beyoncé  lemonade 
july 2016 by robertogreco
The Arcade, Episode 44 with William Gibson by Hazlitt Magazine | Free Listening on SoundCloud
""I have already told you of the sickness and confusion that comes with time travelling." H.G. Wells wrote those words in The Time Machine, but that quote also begins author William Gibson's new novel, The Peripheral. He speaks with Hazlitt audio producer Anshuman Iddamsetty about resonance, Health Goth, and how infrequently we hear of the 22nd Century."

[via: "I guess it’s here that @GreatDismal closes the loop and says jet lag is a time-travelling disease: https://soundcloud.com/hazlittmag/the-arcade-episode-44-with-william-gibson "
https://twitter.com/yayitsrob/status/717762111699431424 ]

[See also: "I kept remembering this @GreatDismal story about how globalized video games => time travel. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:stJe8tBoy "
https://twitter.com/yayitsrob/status/717761063828242432

"There was a period where my daughter was always sort of vaguely jet lagged because she had to stay up to 3:00 in the morning until the Japanese, or maybe it was the Australian players came on in whatever multi-player first person shooter she was really into because she said they were the best players and they were several time zones away. It's just a little bit of jump from this girl's jet lagged because she's playing online shooters to this girl's got PTSD because she has been playing online shooters."]
jetlag  williamgibson  timetravel  theperipheral  anshumaniddamsetty  technology  fashion  sports  storytelling  books  annerice  politics  2015  jimgaffigan  conradblack  scaachikoul  princelestat  literature  scifi  sciencefiction  videogames  games  gaming  international  global  timezones 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Here's Why Uniqlo Is Poised To Nail The Muslim Fashion Market
"Japanese basics magnate Uniqlo is releasing a line of "modest fashion," including hijabs, in American stores later this month.

The line is a collaboration with Japanese-British-Muslim designer Hana Tajima, who successfully launched a similar line of modest Uniqlo garments in Southeast Asia last year.

Uniqlo x Hana Tajima will officially launch on Feb. 26, and is affordably priced from $10 to $60. It includes traditional Islamic garments like the hijab, kebaya, and jubbah, but also loose-fitting Western items like skirts and long-sleeve tops.

Tajima told The Huffington Post she wanted to provide a variety of garments because "modesty varies from person to person -- it's not just about hijabs, it’s about finding looser silhouettes, more coverage, longer hems and sleeves."

Uniqlo will be the latest brand to target Muslim women, following the footsteps of Dolce & Gabbana's line of abayas and DKNY and Mango's "Ramadan collections." But its effort seems like the best one yet, for several reasons.

For one thing, its designer is actually Muslim. Tajima, who is 29, converted to Islam when she was 18. Her father is Japanese and her mom is English, and this cosmopolitan background may inform her conception of the Muslim world as a diverse population, rather than a monolith.

That's why the Uniqlo line includes so many different options for "modest wear." There are three different head-covering options: a traditional scarf-like hijab, a form-fitting "inner hijab" to be worn inside looser garments, and an "inner headband" that is like a cap for keeping hair covered and in place. That's an attention to useful detail that's practically unforeseen in mainstream Muslim fashion offerings.

The collaboration also capitalizes on the signature strengths of each partner: Uniqlo is known for its high-performance technical fabrics, and the hijabs and headbands are made from "Airism," a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric designed specially for the collection. You can imagine the practical implications of a high-performance headscarf in places like the Gulf countries, where hijabi women often contend with 100-degree-plus temperatures.

"Uniqlo's fabric expertise was literally the first thing I thought of when they approached me for the collection," said Tajima. "Since Muslim fashion tends to involve more fabric, it’s especially important that those fabrics are breathable."

Plus, Uniqlo's advertising campaign includes both Muslim and non-Muslim women, unlike Dolce & Gabbana's glossy campaign, which featured only white models, as HuffPost has written previously. The model Yuna is Malaysian Muslim, while the other model is not, Tajima told HuffPost.

Finally, at risk of stating the obvious, it's a feat for a collection of "modest fashion" to be both modest and fashionable. Although the offerings are diverse, they do have options to cover ankles, neck, hair -- or not. But a Muslim woman could find suitably modest clothes anywhere; the reason to try Uniqlo's is that they're actually chic. They're made in a lush palette of marigold, taupe and avocado-green; the skirts and dresses are elegantly draped; and the patterns are subtle and wearable.

It took the fashion world a few tries, but we're going to go out on a limb and say Uniqlo just showed the fashion world what a Muslim fashion collection should look like in 2016."
uniqlo  fashion  2016  design  religion  islam  muslims  hanatajima  hijab 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Alice Gregory on Finding a Uniform – J.Crew Blog
"I’ve always wanted a uniform. Low maintenance and iconic, it’s a cheap and easy way to feel famous. I have an ex-boyfriend whose mother wore nothing but stripe shirts. She had what must have been hundreds of them. I never saw her in anything else. For years afterward, I tried fruitlessly to get my own mother to adopt a uniform too.

If there’s ever a time to buy impractical shoes, wear revealing tops or make regrettable purchases, it’s when you’re young, and until very recently, I didn’t feel old enough to wear the same thing every day. It’s the same reason I still have long hair: I’d love to cut it, but doing so would feel like a waste of youth.

But young adulthood is also a time when, by virtue of the mere absence of wrinkles and grey hair, one projects very little power. It’s hard to be taken seriously without the visible symptoms of experience. A uniform can be a way of performing maturity or, less charitably, impersonating it. A uniform insinuates the sort of sober priorities that ossify with age, as well as a deliberate past of editing and improving. There is a purpose to each item, and with each item comes the implication of superiority—that it is, for your purposes at least, Platonic.

When the weather permits—and it does in New York from September to May—I wear a black cotton turtleneck, skinny blue jeans that (crucially) are not tight and a pair of black boots. My hair, I have decided, is my main accessory. If it’s cold and dry, I wear a camel coat. If it’s cold and wet, I wear a black down rain jacket. It is the most comfortable, flattering and inoffensive outfit I’ve been able to come up with. It’s almost never inappropriate, and it has the magical quality of taking on the connotations of its surroundings. In a bookstore, I look bookish. At an art gallery, I look arty. On the subway, I am invisible. I can look young or old, rich or poor, cool or humble. In my uniform, people see me as they want to.

Wearing a uniform is also a way of asserting your status as a protagonist. This is the reason why characters in picture books never change their clothes: Children—like adults, if they’d only admit it—crave continuity. We recognize Babar in his green suit and crown, Eloise in her suspendered jumper and Madeline in her little yellow raincoat. In other clothes, we’d confuse Babar for some civilian elephant, Eloise for one of Manhattan’s innumerable spoiled brats and Madeline for another of the 12 little girls in two straight lines.

You save a lot of money by relinquishing trial-and-error shopping—those items you buy and never wear, try and fail to return. Gone is the mental math that goes into calculating how much you “paid per wear” for that sweater you only put on three times. And nobody thinks of a person who wears the same thing every day as unstylish. Rather, it’s simply a classification that does not apply.

If you too are a person for whom the idea of expressing yourself through clothes feels embarrassing or even just inefficient, then I recommend you find a uniform of your own. There will be some inevitable missteps, but the end result will be worth the effort. Think of it as shopping so you’ll never have to shop again.

Alice Gregory is a writer living in Brooklyn. She has contributed to Harper’s, GQ, n+1, New York Magazine and the New York Times, among others. "
uniforms  personaluniforms  uniformproject  alicegrecory  2014  clothing  fashion  clothes 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Battle Cry of the Android
"Black people cannot time travel. Every comedian has a joke about this.

On a July episode of the BuzzFeed podcast Another Round, hosts Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu play a game that, they joke, was clearly written by white people because of the multitude of time travel questions. “Only white people love time travel,” Nigatu says. In a standup bit, Louis C.K. calls time travel an exclusively white privilege. “Here’s how great it is to be white,” he says. “I can get in a time machine and go to any time, and it would be fucking awesome when I get there!” A recent MTV Decoded sketch imagines that in a black version of Back to the Future, the DeLorean would never have left the mall parking lot. “Nineteen-fifty-five?” black Marty McFly asks. “You know what, Doc? I think I’m actually good right here.”

I laugh at these jokes, although their premise is devastating: a vision of blackness where suffering is continuous and inevitable. We can imagine a fantastical world where time travel is possible, yet we cannot conceive of any point in the past, or even the future, where black people can live free. In this line of thought, the present is the best life has ever been for black people, and perhaps the best it will ever be.

Into this grim possibility arrives Janelle Monáe. Monáe first captivated me in her 2010 video “Tightrope,” where, in the bleakness of a notorious insane asylum, the tuxedoed and pompadoured singer glides like James Brown over funky horns. Although her sound and image harken back to classic soul, her music contains a mythology that looks toward the future. Her EP Metropolis and albums The ArchAndroid and The Electric Lady follow Cindi Mayweather, an android living in the year 2719 who falls in love with a human and is sentenced to disassembly. Cindi later rises as the ArchAndroid, a messianic figure who provides hope that androids may someday be liberated. The sprawling, multi-project narrative can be difficult to follow, but the futuristic world she imagines echoes our own. “When I speak about the android, it’s the other,” she told LGBTQ newspaper Between the Lines. “You can parallel that to the gay community, to the black community, to women.” To Monáe, the android—part human, part robot, never fully either—represents the outsider. To visit her futuristic world of Metropolis is to encounter characters who face discrimination, as well as to imagine their liberation.

For interviews, Monáe has frequently remained in character as Cindi Mayweather, visitor from the future. (When asked about her sexuality in Rolling Stone, she refused to label herself and insisted she only dates androids.) In February 2015, she announced her new label, the Atlanta-based Wondaland Records, which hosts a collection of eclectic black artists who, like Monáe, seem to exist outside of time. At the Wondaland showcase during the BET Experience, Monáe described St. Beauty as “flower children,” Roman GianArthur as “another Freddie Mercury.” Her best-known artist, Jidenna, dropped the hit single “Classic Man” earlier this year, but baffled audiences with his three-piece suits, ascots, and canes. To FADER, Jidenna explained that he was inspired by the style of freedmen in the Jim Crow South: “I wear a suit because I need to remember what’s happened before me.” In Wondaland, style is radicalized, fashion a form of political resistance.

What does it mean to borrow the fashions of Reconstruction, an era in which no sensible black person, given time-traveling technology, would want to visit? Or to imagine a futuristic world where an android faces bigotry similar to our reality? Wondaland’s music is melodic, funky, and fun, as well as undeniably political. At the showcase, Monáe repeatedly referred to her record label as a “movement” and spoke about the responsibility she feels toward her community. Similarly, Wondaland artists have been outspoken critics of police brutality, leading marches against police violence and, in August, dropping the protest anthem “Hell You Talmbout (Say Their Names).” Against urgent drums and a choir of voices, Monáe, Jidenna, St. Beauty, Roman GianArthur, and Deep Cotton chant the names of black victims of police violence, from Emmett Till and Sean Bell to Michael Brown and Sandra Bland. The song is difficult to listen to, a seemingly endless list of names that the Wondaland artists—voices strained with anger and grief—urge us to remember. Say their names. The song is a battle cry, and in a war against black suffering, memory is the weapon.

In Wondaland, time travel is never an escape from the plights of contemporary black life. Instead, by floating through time, by playing with the tropes of the past, by inventing new mythologies and new futures, Monáe and her artists expand the possibilities of black art and showcase the complexity of black lives, its struggles and its triumphs. Wondaland artists are in our time but not of it, and there’s something beautifully resistant about this. Black people liberated from time itself, imagining ourselves anywhere."
2015  afrofuturism  tracyclayton  hebennigatu  timetravel  janellemonáe  fashion  wondaland  reconstruction  jidenna  freedmen  south  jimcrow  romangianarthur  stbeauty  cindimayweather  future  futurism  srg  wondalandrecords 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Sha Hwang - Keynote [Forms of Protest] - UX Burlington on Vimeo
"Let’s close the day by talking about our responsibilities and opportunities as designers. Let’s talk about the pace of fashion and the promise of infrastructure. Let’s talk about systematic failure — failure without malice. Let’s talk about the ways to engage in this messy and complex world. Let’s throw shade on fame and shine light on the hard quiet work we call design."
shahwang  2015  design  infrastructure  fashion  systemsthinking  complexity  messiness  protest  careers  technology  systems  storytelling  scale  stewartbrand  change  thehero'sjourney  founder'sstory  politics  narrative  narratives  systemsdesign  blame  control  algorithms  systemfailure  healthcare.gov  mythmaking  teams  purpose  scalability  bias  microaggressions  dignity  abuse  malice  goodwill  fear  inattention  donellameadows  leveragepoints  making  building  constraints  coding  code  programming  consistency  communication  sharing  conversation  government  ux  law  uxdesign  simplicity  kindness  individuals  responsibility  webdev  web  internet  nava  codeforamerica  18f  webdesign 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Designers Hacked an Industrial Knitting Machine to '3D Print' Unique Pieces | Motherboard
"A London-based knitwear startup is trying to turn the fashion industry’s manufacturing process on its head. Instead of using industrial knitting machines to produce the same designs in bulk, they’ve created software that lets them “3D print” customizable, one-off productions.

“We use the same knitwear machines that are used in factories where garments are manufactured,” Hal Watts, a co-founder of knitwear company UNMADE, told me at its new pop-up store in London, which runs till 24 December. “We’re not changing the hardware, the only difference is that we can put a new file on it [each time] so we can make a blue and white scarf or a green and black jumper without changing the setup.”

UNMADE, co-founded by Royal College of Art graduates Kirsty Emery, Hal Watts, and Ben Alun-Jones, launched its website on Monday. The startup allows knitwear aficionados to come to a pop-up store and use an app to select either a woolly jumper or a scarf from a designer, and customize its design. They can add or move around patterns, and select a colour scheme from a predefined palette. The finished design is “printed” off a local industrial knitwear machine and delivered within a few days.


But making the machinery customize then produce perfect designs hasn’t been easy. The trio went through various iterations before they were able to come up with their finished version.

“Everytime you change [a design] on the app, it changes the dimensions of the product,” said Watts. “So if you change the pattern and have a really detailed one, it will come out much larger than a simple pattern when it’s manufactured.”

To jump this hurdle, the group worked with theoretical physicists and built software that changed the tension of the machines, and worked out how tightly to knit things so the patterns and the size of the knitwear stayed perfect.

Usually, manufacturers will have to make a large batch of the same product, then spend a day or two changing their machine’s setup to make a large batch of another design, before dispatching their clothes from one end of the world to another. The UNMADE team believes its model could make the fashion industry more sustainable.

“At the moment, in industry, about ten percent of all clothes go to waste—that’s something we’re trying to eliminate by trying to manufacture as locally to people as possible, and only on demand,” Watts explained.

“The idea is that we give people something to play with to create a product personal to them, but which still remains the style of the designer. It’s important for us that the designer remains involved with the level of customization involved. We don’t want to make anything that comes out horrible,” he added.

One of UNMADE’s jumpers made of Italian merino wool will set you back a fairly hefty £200 ($300), and a scarf £60 ($90). The trio are also set to release a cashmere range, but said they wanted to introduce less costly materials in the future.

While getting the algorithms down to a tee is one thing, sometimes the machine’s hardware plays up anyway. Emery, who affectionately dubbed their machine “Helga” explained the fragility of the needles, and equipment. She said she’d been engaging in some “open heart surgery” to make sure that it was working on track."
knitting  clothing  unmade  2015  kirstyemery  halwatts  benalun-jones  manufacturing  3dprinting  clothes  fashion 
december 2015 by robertogreco
PRINT ALL OVER ME
"Print All Over Me is a creative community of people turning virtual ideas into real world objects. Join us to create, share, sell, produce and buy great design!"

[via: https://twitter.com/TheFutureLab/status/667009564068487168
and https://www.lsnglobal.com/seed/article/18543/clothes-by-algorithm ]
clothing  fashion  printing  clothes  fabric  printalloverme 
november 2015 by robertogreco
My Tribe Is an Unsophisticated People | CultureBy – Grant McCracken
"This is a photograph of Sara Little Turnbull (1917–2015). Sara was an designer and anthropologist. In 1988 she founded, and for 18 years she ran, the Process of Change Laboratory for Innovation and Design at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

I like this photo for a couple of reasons. Sara was caught at her desk, mid-task, mid-thought. She senses the camera and gives it a knowing look. What’s maybe most striking is her clothing. Ever so fashionable. Ever so anti-anthropological.

My tribe dresses badly. Jeans. It takes a lot of denim to clothe the field. We don’t ever dress up. The idea appears to be to dress as far down as possible without provoking the suspicion of vagrancy. When formal clothing is called for the anthropologist sometimes resorts to the clothing of the culture they study. Put it this way, no one ever looks like Sara.

A lot of this is “badge of pride” stuff. Anthropologists dress badly to make a point. They want you to know that they reject the conventions of a mainstream society, that they care nothing for the bourgeois respectability, upward mobility, and/or conspicuous consumption that animate the dress codes of the rest of the world. It’s not a punk violation of code. It’s just a way of saying “Look, we’re out.”

This strategy is not without it’s costs. As Marshall Sahlins, God’s gift to anthropology, used to say in his University of Chicago seminars, “every theory is a bargain with reality.” (By which we believed he meant, every theory buys some knowledge at the cost of other knowledge.) And so it is with every suit of clothing. It give you access to some parts of the world, but it denies you access to others.

This social immobility is not a bad thing if you are a nuclear scientist or a botanist. But it does matter if you are prepared to make claims to knowledge when it comes to your own culture, and anthropologists are never shy on this topic.

Anthropologists believe they know about a great deal about their own culture. But in point of fact, there are many worlds they do not know and cannot access, worlds of which they have scant personal knowledge and in which they have few personal contacts. Generally speaking, they don’t know anyone in the worlds of venture capital, advertising, graphic design, publishing, fashion, forecasting, strategy, philanthropy, art museums, professional sports, industrial design, user experience, startup capitalism, banking, branding, public relations, small business, big business, or politics. It’s a lot, the things anthropologist don’t know about their own culture.

Anjali Ramachandran recently heard Salman Rushdie speak in London and recalls he said something like,

“One thing I tell students is to try and get into as many different kinds of rooms to hear as many different kinds of conversations as possible. Because otherwise how will you find things to put in your books?”

Just so. Rushdie’s “many rooms” strategy is not embraced in anthropology. By and large, anthropologists encourage their students to stick to a small number of rooms where, by and large, they conduct the same conversation.

This is ironic not least because one of the field’s most recent and convincing contributions to the world beyond it’s own is actually a contemplation of the danger of living in a silo. Gillian Tett (PhD in social anthropology, University of Cambridge) recently published a book called The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers. This is a book about the compartmentalization of all organizations, but it might have been a study of the field of anthropology.

The further irony is that in its post-modern moment, anthropology claims to be especially, even exquisitely, self reflexive, but the sad thing is that it does ever seem to be reflexive on matters like this. Clifford Geertz used to say that much of anthropology is self confession. Too bad that’s no longer true.

Irony gives way to something less amusing when we see that this provincialism is not just self-imposed but enforced as a tribal obligation. Those who dare dress “up” or “well” or “fashionably” or, as we might say, “in a manner that maximizes cultural mobility” is scorned. As graduate students, we actually dared sneer at the elegant suits sported by Michael Silverstein. How dare he refuse this opportunity to tell the world how world-renouncing he was! There is something odd and a little grotesque about willing a provincialism of this kind and then continuing to insist on your right to make claims to knowledge.

Sara Little Turnbull knew better. She understood how many mansions are contained in the house of contemporary culture. She embraced the idea that anthropology was a process of participant observation and that we can’t understand our culture from the outside alone. Sara also understood that the few “ideas” that anthropology uses to account for this endlessly various data is a little like the people of Lilliput hoping to keep Gulliver in place on the beach with a couple of guy wires. Eventually the beast comes to. Sara could study contemporary culture because she didn’t underestimate it or constrain her rights of access."
anthropology  clothing  clothes  howwedress  grantmccracken  2015  saralittleturnball  anthropologists  ethnography  designresearch  centerfordesignresearch  salmanrushdie  processofchangelaboratory  anjaliramachandran  culture  gilliantett  marshallsahlins  provincialism  fashion  whatwewear  immersion 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Is Cultural Appropriation Always Wrong? - The New York Times
"It’s a truth only selectively acknowledged that all cultures are mongrel. One of the first Indian words to be brought into English was the Hindi ‘‘loot’’ — ‘‘plunder.’’ Some of the Ku Klux Klan's 19th-century costumes were, of all things, inspired in part by the festival wear of West African slaves; the traditional wax-print designs we associate with West Africa are apparently Indonesian — by way of the Netherlands. Gandhi cribbed nonviolence from the Sermon on the Mount.

We sometimes describe this mingling as ‘‘cross-pollination’’ or ‘‘cross-fertilization’’ — benign, bucolic metaphors that obscure the force of these encounters. When we wish to speak more plainly, we talk of ‘‘appropriation’’ — a word now associated with the white Western world’s co-opting of minority cultures. And this year — these past several months alone — there has been plenty of talk. In film, there was the outcry over the casting of the blonde Emma Stone as the part-Chinese Hawaiian heroine of Cameron Crowe’s ‘‘Aloha.’’ In music, Miley Cyrus wore dreadlock extensions while hosting the V.M.A.s and drew accusations of essentially performing in blackface — and not for the first time. In literature, there was the discovery that Michael Derrick Hudson, a white poet, had been published in this year’s Best American Poetry anthology under a Chinese pseudonym. In fashion, there was the odd attempt to rebrand cornrows as a Caucasian style — a ‘‘favorite resort hair look,’’ according to Elle. And floating above it all has been Rachel Dolezal, the presiding spirit of the phenomenon, the white former N.A.A.C.P. chapter president who remains serenely and implacably convinced of her blackness.

Questions about the right to your creation and labor, the right to your identity, emerge out of old wounds in America, and they provoke familiar battle stances. The same arguments are trotted out (It’s just hair! Stop being so sensitive! It’s not always about race!) to be met by the same quotes from Bell Hooks, whose essays from the early ’90s on pop culture, and specifically on Madonna, have been a template for discussions of how white people ‘‘colonize’’ black identity to feel transgressive: ‘‘Ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture.’’ It’s a seasonal contro­versy that attends awards shows, music festivals, Halloween: In a country whose beginnings are so bound up in theft, conversations about appropriation are like a ceremonial staging of the nation’s original sins.

It can feel like such a poignantly stalled conversation that we’re occasionally tempted to believe we’ve moved past it. A 2013 NPR story on America’s changing demographics and the evolution of hip-hop made a case that the genre has lost its identification with race, and that young people aren’t burdened by anxieties about authenticity. ‘‘The melding of cultures we’re seeing now may have Generation X and Generation Y shaking in their boots with claims of racial ‘appropriation,’ ’’ the rapper and performance artist Mykki Blanco said in an online discussion about fashion’s debt to ‘‘urban culture.’’ ‘‘To Generation Z, I would clearly think it all seems ‘normal.’ ’’ Hip-hop culture is global culture, according to this wisdom: People of Korean descent have dominated the largest international b-boy championships; twerking is a full-blown obsession in Russia. ‘‘We as black people have to come to grips that hip-hop is a contagious culture,’’ Questlove, the drummer and co-founder of the Roots, said last year in an interview with Time magazine in which he defended Iggy Azalea, the white Australian rapper derided for (among other things) affecting a ‘‘Southern’’ accent. ‘‘If you love something, you gotta set it free.’’

But many of the most dogged critics of cultural appropriation are turning out to be the very people who were supposed to be indifferent to it. Members of supposedly easygoing Generation Z object — in droves — to Lena Dunham’s posting a photograph of herself in a mock hijab. Others argue that the cultural devaluation of black people paves the way for violence against them. ‘‘What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we loved black culture?’’ Amandla Stenberg, the 16-year-old star of ‘‘The Hunger Games,’’ asked, in her video message ‘‘Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows,’’ which criticized pop stars like Katy Perry for borrowing from black style ‘‘as a way of being edgy.’’ In June, young Asian-Americans protested when the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as an accompaniment to a lecture called ‘‘Claude Monet: Flirting With the Exotic,’’ invited visitors to pose next to Monet’s ‘‘La Japonaise’’ while wearing a matching kimono. And South Asian women, objecting to the fad for ‘‘ethnic’’ wear at music festivals like Coachella, continued a social-media campaign to ‘‘reclaim the bindi,’’ sharing photographs of themselves, their mothers and grandmothers wearing bindis, with captions like ‘‘My culture is not a costume.’’’

Is this just the latest flowering of ‘‘outrage culture’’? Not necessarily. ‘‘The line between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange is always going to be blurred,’’ Stenberg acknowledges in her video. But it has never been easier to proceed with good faith and Google, to seek out and respect context. Social media, these critics suggest, allow us too much access to other people’s lives and other people’s opinions to plead ignorance when it comes to causing offense. When Allure magazine offers tips on achieving a ‘‘loose Afro’’ accompanied by a photograph of a white woman, we can’t overlook how actual black women have been penalized for the hairstyle — that two years ago it was widely reported that a 12-year-old black girl in Florida was threatened with expulsion because of her ‘‘distracting’’ natural hair, and that schools in Oklahoma and Ohio have tried to ban Afros outright. We can’t forget that South Asian bindis became trendy in the mid-’90s, not long after South Asians in New Jersey were being targeted by a hate group that called itself Dotbusters, referencing the bindi, which some South Asian women stopped wearing out of fear of being attacked.

Seen in this light, ‘‘appropriation’’ seems less provocative than pitiably uninformed and stale. It seems possible that we might, someday, learn to keep our hands to ourselves where other people’s cultures are concerned. But then that might do another kind of harm. In an essay in the magazine Guernica, the Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie called for more, not less, imaginative engagement with her country: ‘‘The moment you say a male American writer can’t write about a female Pakistani, you are saying, Don’t tell those stories. Worse, you’re saying: As an American male you can’t understand a Pakistani woman. She is enigmatic, inscrutable, unknowable. She’s other. Leave her and her nation to its Otherness. Write them out of your history.’’

Can some kinds of appropriation shatter stereotypes? This has been literature’s implicit promise: that entering into another’s consciousness enlarges our own. Reviewing ‘‘Green on Blue,’’ Elliot Ackerman’s new novel that looks at America’s war in Afghanistan from the perspective of a young Afghan, the writer Tom Bissell said ‘‘there would be fewer wars’’ if more novelists allowed themselves to imagine themselves into other cultures. It’s a seductive if utterly unverifiable claim. But what cannot be disputed is how profoundly we exist in one another’s imaginations. And what conversations about appropriation make clear is that our imaginations are unruly kingdoms governed by fears and fantasies. They are never neutral."
appropriation  culturalappropriation  2015  parulsehgal  colonialism  decolonization  hiphop  music  fashion  generationz  amandlastenberg  popculture  questlove  culture  mileycyrus  casting  film  bindis  kamilashamsie  otherness  othering  nuance  stereotypes  elliotackerman  tombissell  cosmicrace  larazacósmica  mykkiblanco  genx  generationx  geny  generationy  millennials  michaelderrickhudson  hair  clothing  bellhooks  madonna  context  genz 
october 2015 by robertogreco
threadbared
"THREADBARED is an evolving collaboration between two clotheshorse academics to discuss the politics, aesthetics, histories, theories, cultures and subcultures that go by the names “fashion” and “beauty.” With commentary on how clothes matter, as well as book and exhibit reviews and interviews with scholars and artists, THREADBARED considers the critical importance of taking clothes –and the bodies that design, manufacture, disseminate, and wear them– seriously as an entry point into dialogue about the world around us.

We welcome queries relating to public comments, invited talks, commissioned essays, and books, films, and videos for review on THREADBARED! Check out our press, and book us for your event.

Please email us at threadbared dot matters at gmail dot com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Mimi Thi Nguyen is an associate professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her first book, The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages, focuses on the promise of “giving” freedom concurrent and contingent on waging war and its afterlife. (Duke University Press, Fall 2012). With her second project on the obligations of beauty, she continues to pursue her scholarship through the frame of transnational feminist cultural studies, and in particular as an untangling of the liberal way of war that pledges “aid,” freedom, movement, and other social goods. She is co-editor with Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu of Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America (Duke University Press, 2007), and co-editor with Fiona I.B. Ngo and Mariam Lam of a special issue of positions: east asia cultures critique on Southeast Asian diasporas (2012). A former zinester, Punk Planet columnist, and Maximumrocknroll shitworker, she is widely published on punk and queer subcultures and also blogs at Thread & Circuits, where you can find all her old columns and some zine writings archived. For more about Nguyen, see here.

Minh-Ha T. Pham is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Media Studies Program at Pratt Institute. Before coming to Pratt, she was an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies and Asian American Studies at Cornell University. Her first book, Asians Who Wear Clothes on the Internet: Race, Gender, and the Work of Personal Style Blogging, is forthcoming from Duke University Press in Fall/Winter 2015. Her writings on the politics of fashion, fashion technology, and consumption have been published in a wide range of academic journals and popular magazines. She also blogs at the Huffington Post and Of Another Fashion. And now, you can follow her on Twitter (@minh81)! For more information, click here."
mimithinguyen  fashion  blogs  minh-hatpham  glvo  clothing  clothes  wearables  uniformproject  politics  subcultures  aesthetics  beauty 
august 2015 by robertogreco
The Next Black - A film about the Future of Clothing - YouTube
"The Next Black' is a documentary film that explores the future of clothing. Watch as we meet with some of the most innovative companies on the planet to get their opinion on clothing and its future, including: heroes of sustainability, Patagonia; tech-clothing giants, Studio XO; sportswear icon, adidas; and Biocouture, a consultancy exploring living organisms to grow clothing and accessories.

Learn more about the project: http://www.aeg-home.com/thenextblack

Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter and on the hashtag #thenextblack

https://www.facebook.com/pages/AEG-Global/586037381449750
https://twitter.com/aeg_global "

[See also:
http://www.studio-xo.com/
http://www.biocouture.co.uk/
http://www.patagonia.com/us/worn-wear
https://www.ifixit.com/Patagonia
http://www.patagonia.com/us/worn-wear-repairs
http://www.patagonia.com/email/11/112811.html
http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=106223
http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-patagonia-136745
https://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=2388
http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-11-25/patagonias-confusing-and-effective-campaign-to-grudgingly-sell-stuff ]
design  documentary  fashion  video  clothes  clothing  glvo  reuse  mending  repair  materials  textiles  studioxo  biocouture  adidas  patagonia  recycling  waste  consumerism  consumption  capitalism  biology  wearable  wearables  suzannelee  technology  nancytilbury  suzanne  slow  slowfashion  fastfashion  dyes  dying  industry  manufacturing  globalization  environment  rickridgeway  uniformproject  customization  ifixit  diy  alteration  resuse  repairing 
july 2015 by robertogreco
FUTURE CLASSICS©
"The FUTURE CLASSICS© fashion label was established in 2000 by designer Julie Wilkins and swiftly achieved acclaim for cleverly constructed jersey pieces based on exploring and extending the grammar of the T shirt. The label moved on to incorporate knitwear, tailoring and a dress line with the aim of creating a mainframe of clever clothing where the dialogue between the traditional and the modern, the avant garde and the conservative are played out.

A major part of the FUTURE CLASSICS© ethos is the studied deconstruction of conventional dress forms. Adaptability and multiple, idiosyncratic possibilities of wear are also key features. The label re-launched in 2014 as a FASHION, MUSIC, OTHER brand."

[via: http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/spinoza-in-a-t-shirt/ ]
futureclassics  clothing  glvo  fashion  wearable  wearables  juliewilkins  personaluniforms 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Spinoza in a T-Shirt – The New Inquiry
"This is the social and ethical function of design standardization: to assign and put bodies in their “proper” place. Standardized design creates violent relations between bodies and environments. The intensity of violence the standard body brings to bear on an individual’s body is measured in that body’s difference and distance from the standard. A chair that is too high, a beam too low, a corridor too narrow acts on the body forcefully and with a force that is unevenly distributed. Bodies that are farther from the standard body bear the weight of these forces more heavily than those that are closer to the arbitrary standard. But to resolve this design problem does not mean that we need a more-inclusive approach to design. The very idea of inclusion, of opening up and expanding the conceptual parameters of human bodies, depends for its logic and operation on the existence of parameters in the first place. In other words, a more inclusive approach to design remains fundamentally exclusive in its logic.

If Spinoza’s critical question points us toward an understanding of what standardized design does wrong, it also indicates how to get it right. The works of fashion designer Rei Kawakubo and of the artists-architects Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins are the result of materialist practices that reflect the Spinozist principle of not knowing what a body is. Their approach to design is based not so much on what the designers claim to know about the body, but instead on what they ignore. Their approaches refuse predetermined conceptualizations of what a body is and what a body can do. For instance, Kawakubo’s “bumpy” dresses (from the highly celebrated “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” Comme Des Garcons Spring/Summer 1997 collection) form a cloth+body assemblage that challenges preconceived ideas of the body and of beauty. At a larger scale, Arakawa and Gins’ Mitaka Lofts in Tokyo and Yoro Park in Gifu prefecture deny any predetermined category of the body in favor of a profound ignorance of what makes a body a body at all.

These designs can have profound sociopolitical effects. Momoyo Homma (the director of the architects’ Tokyo office) relates how her mother, who normally cannot walk without her cane, had no problems navigating the bumpy floor of the Mitaka Lofts. Homma’s mother’s experience does not mean that the Mitaka Lofts are a miraculous instrument that would resuscitate a septuagenarian’s ability to walk without a cane. It reveals that her body only needs a cane in environments designed for bodies that differ substantially from hers.

The cane, itself a designed object, is a clear marker of the differential (often antagonistic) relations that design produces between bodies and spaces/places, and between non-standard and standard bodies. As a prosthesis, the cane’s purpose is to “correct” the non-standard body so that its functions reflect as closely as possible a fidelity with the “normal” body. Arakawa and Gins’ architecture offers an environment where the non-standard body does not need a “corrective,” since the environment’s design is not structured around what they think a body is.

Spinoza’s question—what can a body do?—insists that we set aside preconceived and normative notions of what a body is. Arakawa and Gins’ architecture suggests a slight but significant revision: Rather than conceptualizing bodies from the position of not knowing what they are, we should begin from the position that we don’t know what bodies are not. The double-negative allows a crucial correction to the Spinozist account of the body.

Spinoza’s question delays conceptualizations of the body, but it still doesn’t do away with normative formulations of the body. Affirming an ignorance of something presupposes that what is ignored could be actually known. “We don’t know what a body is” implicitly suggests that a holistic knowledge of what a body is actually exists—we just don’t presume to know it (yet).

The position of “not presuming” is too close to the liberal stance of having tolerance for difference—a position of liberal multiculturalism we find suspicious. The problem with liberal tolerance is that it already assumes and takes up a position of power. The designer is in the privileged position of being tolerant of another, and of designating who is deserving of tolerance. Whether the presumption is to know or not know the body, it is either way an act of the designer’s agency since knowing/unknowing the body is realized exclusively in the design of the garment, room, chair, table, etc. The power of the designer remains intact either way.

Alternatively, to not know what a body isn’t does more than suspend or delay normalizing conceptualizations of the body. It refuses such total claims of body knowledge at all. Just as the double-negative construction becomes affirmative, not knowing what a body isn’t affirms all bodies by doing away with the ideal of the normative body altogether. To not know what a body isn’t means that the idea of the body is infinitely open, rather than just momentarily open. To not know what a body isn’t means that all bodies are equally valid modes and forms of embodiment. Nothing is “not a body” and so everything is a body. This is not a philosophical issue but a political problem. What is a body? What is a human body? These are philosophical treatises that do not address our concern with how built environments empower some bodies and disempower others according to a set of “universal” design presumptions and methods.

By shifting our focus from what a body is to what a body can do, we can begin to explore the political—sometimes violent—relations of bodies, objects, and environments that are produced and maintained through standard design practices and knowledge. How might a collaborative relation of body and environment create the potential for a more non-hierarchical architecture? How might it build one that frees all bodies from the abstract concept of a “normal” body?

As impressive and seductive as the designers named above are, they are not politically egalitarian even though their designs may be aesthetically radical. Kawakubo, Gins, and Arakawa’s built environments are among a highly rarified class of design, out of reach to all but a select few inhabitants/consumers. Although their design approaches are unconventional, they don’t disrupt the hierarchical relations that structure dominant paradigms of design. In fact, their work is greatly celebrated in establishment fashion and architecture design circles.

A design process and philosophy that doesn’t know what a body isn’t can be found in a decidedly more mundane built environment. The jersey knit cotton T-shirt—a product found across the entire price point spectrum—is accessible and inhabitable by a great number of people. Jersey knit cotton is one of the cheaper fabrics, pliable to a broad range of bodies. Jersey knit cotton T-shirts really don’t know what a body isn’t—to this T-shirt, all bodies are T-shirt-able, all bodies can inhabit the space of a T-shirt, though how they inhabit it will be largely determined by the individual body. How the t-shirt pulls or hangs loose (and by how much) will certainly vary across bodies and across time. Indeed, the T-shirt’s stretchy jersey knit cotton materializes precisely this principle of contingency.

Julie Wilkins’ designs are aimed at “extending the grammar of the T-shirt.” Stretching the T-shirt to new proportions, her Future Classics Dress collections (made entirely of jersey knit fabrics, though not necessarily knit from cotton) are even more adaptable and modifiable than the classic T-shirt, which is somewhat limited by its fundamental T shape. (“Somewhat limited,” because its T shape has not precluded the vast number and variety of bodies that do not conform to the T-shape from wearing T-shirts.) Wilkins’ design approach is unlike those that make up traditional tables, chairs, windows, and clothing that are designed and fabricated around standard body dimensions. Wilkins’ designs create built environments that are pliant, dynamic, modular, and mobile.

Wilkins’ Future Classics Dress designs are modifiable by and adaptable to an unspecified range of bodies; they are conditional architectures. As demonstrated on their website, one garment can be worn in many ways, on many bodies. How users inhabit the clothes depends on them as much as on the designer. Choosing how to wear a Future Classics garment can be an involved process. While the Future Classics Dress collections don’t give individuals total autonomy, they allow bodies more freedom than we’ve seen before."



"The idealized relationship of bodies and designed grounds is a predictive geometric one. It is widely accepted that a surface directly perpendicular to the body provides the best environment for bodies to function. As a result, the surfaces of designed grounds are overwhelmingly flat, and non-flat floors are marked as problems to be fixed. Yet even a cursory glance at any playground and its many and differently uneven grounds—“terrains” is a better word—trouble this taken-for-granted logic.

Children tend to have a particularly acute relation to their physical environment. Their small and unpracticed bodies almost never fit the overwhelmingly hard, flat surfaces of mainstream environments. In this way, all young children can be understood as having non-standard bodies. Their “unfitness” is measured in relation to normatively designed built environments. The image of any young child climbing a set of stairs illustrates the kind of unfitness we mean. By contrast, the playground’s dense rubbery foam floors, its flexible pathways (e.g, chain-linked bridges), and its integration of Parent and Virilio’s Oblique Function of various slopes and elevations, are surfaces that children’s bodies navigate capably, oftentimes with a level of ease that escapes adults… [more]
spinoza  design  arakawa  madelinegins  body  bodies  normal  normalization  standardization  variation  architecture  fashion  politics  inclusion  tolerance  inclusivity  adaptability  léopoldlambert  minh-hatpham  henrydreyfuss  reikawakubo  juliewilkins  paulvirilio  claudeparent  theobliquefunction  futureclassicsdress  modification  stretch  give  glvo  uniformproject  audiencesofone  philosophy  standards  canon  canes  ability  abilities  disability  variability  ablerism  ethics  textiles  personaluniforms  fabrics  clothing  clothes  inlcusivity  disabilities 
july 2015 by robertogreco
How textiles revolutionised technology – Virginia Postrel – Aeon
"Older than bronze and as new as nanowires, textiles are technology — and they have remade our world time and again"

"In February 1939, Vogue ran a major feature on the fashions of the future. Inspired by the soon-to-open New York World’s Fair, the magazine asked nine industrial designers to imagine what the people of ‘a far Tomorrow’ might wear and why. (The editors deemed fashion designers too of-the-moment for such speculations.) A mock‑up of each outfit was manufactured and photographed for a lavish nine-page colour spread.

You might have seen some of the results online: an evening dress with a see-through net top and strategically placed swirls of gold braid, for instance, or a baggy men’s jumpsuit with a utility belt and halo antenna. Bloggers periodically rediscover a British newsreel of models demonstrating the outfits while a campy narrator (‘Oh, swish!’) makes laboured jokes. The silly get‑ups are always good for self-satisfied smirks. What dopes those old-time prognosticators were!

The ridicule is unfair. Anticipating climate-controlled interiors, greater nudity, more athleticism, more travel and simpler wardrobes, the designers actually got a lot of trends right. Besides, the mock‑ups don’t reveal what really made the predicted fashions futuristic. Looking only at the pictures, you can’t detect the most prominent technological theme.

‘The important improvements and innovations in clothes for the World of Tomorrow will be in the fabrics themselves,’ declared Raymond Loewy, one of the Vogue contributors. His fellow visionaries agreed. Every single one talked about textile advances. Many of their designs specified yet-to-be-invented materials that could adjust to temperature, change colour or be crushed into suitcases without wrinkling. Without exception, everyone foretelling the ‘World of Tomorrow’ believed that an exciting future meant innovative new fabrics.

They all understood something we’ve largely forgotten: that textiles are technology, more ancient than bronze and as contemporary as nanowires. We hairless apes co-evolved with our apparel. But, to reverse Arthur C Clarke’s adage, any sufficiently familiar technology is indistinguishable from nature. It seems intuitive, obvious – so woven into the fabric of our lives that we take it for granted.

We drag out heirloom metaphors – ‘on tenterhooks’, ‘tow-headed’, ‘frazzled’ – with no idea that we’re talking about fabric and fibres. We repeat threadbare clichés: ‘whole cloth’, ‘hanging by a thread’, ‘dyed in the wool’. We catch airline shuttles, weave through traffic, follow comment threads. We talk of lifespans and spin‑offs and never wonder why drawing out fibres and twirling them into thread looms so large in our language."



"As late as the 1970s, textiles still enjoyed the aura of science. Since then, however, we’ve stopped thinking of them as a technical achievement. In today’s popular imagination, fabric entirely belongs to the frivolous world of fashion. Even in the pages of Vogue, ‘wearable technology’ means electronic gadgets awkwardly tricked out as accessories, not the soft stuff you wear against your skin – no matter how much brainpower went into producing it. When we imagine economic progress, we no longer think about cloth, or even the machines that make it.

This cultural amnesia has multiple causes. The rise of computers and software as the very definition of ‘high technology’ eclipsed other industries. Intense global competition drove down prices of fibres and fabric, making textiles and apparel a less noticeable part of household budgets, and turning textile makers into unglamorous, commodity businesses. Environmental campaigns made synthetic a synonym for toxic. And for the first time in human history, generations of women across the developed world grew up without learning the needle arts."



"Textiles illustrate a more general point about technology. The more advanced a field is, the more blasé we are about its latest upgrades. Success breeds indifference. We still expect Moore’s Law to hold, but we no longer get excited about the latest microprocessor. The public has largely forgotten the silicon in Silicon Valley.

New and improved fabric technologies haven’t attracted public enthusiasm since the backlash against leisure suits and disco shirts made synthetics declassé in the early 1980s. ‘Pity poor polyester. People pick on it,’ wrote The Wall Street Journal’s Ronald Alsop in 1982, describing DuPont’s efforts to rehabilitate the fibre’s image.

What ended the consumer hatred of polyester wasn’t a marketing campaign. It was a quiet series of technical innovations: the development of microfibres. These are synthetics, most often polyester or nylon, that are thinner than silk and incredibly soft, as well as lightweight, strong, washable and quick-drying. Their shapes can be engineered to control how water vapour and heat pass through the fabric or to create microcapsules to add sunscreen, antimicrobial agents or insect repellent. Over the past decade, microfibres have become ubiquitous; they’re found in everything from wickable workout wear to supersoft plush toys.

Microfibres are one reason the ‘air-conditioned’ fabrics Loewy and his fellow designers foresaw in 1939 have finally come to pass. These fabrics just aren’t promoted in the pages of Vogue or highlighted on the racks at Banana Republic. They don’t attract attention during New York Fashion Week. Their tribe gathers instead at the big Outdoor Retailer trade shows held twice a year in Salt Lake City. There, outdoor-apparel makers and their suppliers tout textiles that keep wearers warm in the cold and cool in the heat; that block raindrops but allow sweat to escape; that repel insects, screen out UV rays and control odour. By establishing that truly weather-resistant fabrics were possible, Gore-Tex (first sold in 1976) and Polartec synthetic fleece (1979) created an industry where engineers now vie to find ever-better ways to conquer the elements. For instance, ‘smart textiles’ originally developed for spacesuits use microencapsulated materials that melt when they get hot, keeping wearers comfortable by absorbing body heat; when temperatures fall, the materials solidify and warm the body."



"Reducing textiles to their functional properties misses much of their appeal, however. They’ve always been decorative as well, a source of sensory pleasure going all the way back to the sexy string skirts worn by Stone Age women. That’s why dyes have been so important in the history of chemistry and trade.

In our computer-centric era, the pursuit of beautiful textiles has naturally turned to information technology. Over the past decade, inkjet printing on fabric has taken off. Instead of requiring a separate plate for each colour, digital printing registers the entire design at once. So for the first time, designers can use as many colours, and as varied patterns, as they choose. Although it currently accounts for less than 5 per cent of printed fabrics, digital printing has already changed the way clothes look. It’s the technology driving the colourful prints so prominent in recent women’s fashion, as well as the crowdsourced design sites Threadless and Spoonflower.

The customers who’ve embraced those designs don’t think much about what makes them possible. But the very invisibility of textiles testifies to their power. We think of them as natural. The instinct behind ‘wearable technology’ is sound, even if the products so far are awkward. ‘Imagine a textile structured from a blend of different fibres which each function as component within a circuit, for example, battery fibres, solar fibres and antenna fibres,’ writes the US fashion technologist Amanda Parkes in an op-ed for the website Business of Fashion. ‘The material itself becomes a self-sustaining “textile circuit” that has its own power and interactive capabilities, but the embedded technology is essentially invisible.’

If the goal is to shrink the distance between nature and artifice, us and it, no technology is as powerful as fabric. Intimate and essential, it touches every moment of our lives. It is among the greatest products of human artifice. Yet it is also an extension of our skin."
textiles  glvo  virginiapostrel  history  clothing  crafts  culture  technology  2015  wearables  materials  industrialrevolution  fashion  craft  dyes  machines  printing  science  adamsmith  raymondloewy  arthurcclarke  dupont  synthetics  fabrics  fabric  elizabethbarber  williampetty  davidorban  josephmariejacquard  weaving  looms  knitting  spinning  craigmuldrew  jameshargreaves  richardarkwright  beverlylemire  samuelcrompton  1939  vogue  microfibres  gore-tex  polartec  ministryofsupply  mizzenandmain  yicui  materialsscience  threadless  spoonflower  amandaparkes  future  making  cv 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Slow Factory
"Slow Factory™ is a design boutique that creates limited edition silk scarves by merging high-resolution digital prints of scientific images from NASA with the highest quality, centuries-old artisanal textile finishing in Como, Italy. Each collection weaves a strong partnership with an internationally-recognized NGO working in the Environmental or Human Rights sectors."
via:bopuc  textiles  silk  clothing  design  fashion  celinesemaanvernon  glvo  satelliteimagery  earth  nasa  scarves 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Insights: K-HOLE, New York — Insights: K-HOLE, New York — Channel — Walker Art Center
"K-HOLE exists in multiple states at once: it is both a publication and a collective; it is both an artistic practice and a consulting firm; it is both critical and unapologetically earnest. Its five members come from backgrounds as varied as brand strategy, fine art, web development, and fashion, and together they have released a series of fascinating PDF publications modeled upon corporate trend forecasting reports. These documents appropriate the visuals of PowerPoint, stock photography, and advertising and exploit the inherent poetry in the purposefully vague aphorisms of corporate brand-speak. Ultimately, K-HOLE aspires to utilize the language of trend forecasting to discuss sociopolitical topics in depth, exploring the capitalist landscape of advertising and marketing in a critical but un-ironic way.

In the process, the group frequently coins new terms to articulate their ideas, such as “Youth Mode”: a term used to describe the prevalent attitude of youth culture that has been emancipated from any particular generation; the “Brand Anxiety Matrix”: a tool designed to help readers understand their conflicted relationships with the numerous brands that clutter their mental space on a daily basis; and “Normcore”: a term originally used to describe the desire not to differentiate oneself, which has since been mispopularized (by New York magazine) to describe the more specific act of dressing neutrally to avoid standing out. (In 2014, “Normcore” was named a runner-up by Oxford University Press for “Neologism of the Year.”)

Since publishing K-HOLE, the collective has taken on a number of unique projects that reflect the manifold nature of their practice, from a consulting gig with a private equity firm to a collaboration with a fashion label resulting in their own line of deodorant. K-HOLE has been covered by a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, Fast Company, Wired UK, and Mousse.

Part of Insights 2015 Design Lecture Series."

[direct link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GkMPN5f5cQ ]
k-hole  consumption  online  internet  communication  burnout  normcore  legibility  illegibility  simplicity  technology  mobile  phones  smartphones  trends  fashion  art  design  branding  brands  socialmedia  groupchat  texting  oversharing  absence  checkingout  aesthetics  lifestyle  airplanemode  privilege  specialness  generations  marketing  trendspotting  coping  messaging  control  socialcapital  gregfong  denayago  personalbranding  visibility  invisibility  identity  punk  prolasticity  patagonia  patience  anxietymatrix  chaos  order  anxiety  normality  abnormality  youth  millennials  individuality  box1824  hansulrichobrist  alternative  indie  culture  opposition  massindie  williamsburg  simoncastets  digitalnatives  capitalism  mainstream  semiotics  subcultures  isolation  2015  walkerartcenter  maxingout  establishment  difference  89plus  basicness  evasion  blandness  actingbasic  empathy  indifference  eccentricity  blankness  tolerance  rebellion  signalling  status  coolness  aspiration  connections  relationships  presentationofself  understanding  territorialism  sociology  ne 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Knyttan and the question of design autonomy | Material World
"Although I found the project’s motivation to make production visible, to relate production to consumption even in an industrial context and to draw us back into the relational nature of clothing, I do not entirely agree with the way they promote their unique offering. While I did enjoy the playfulness of designing ‘my’ jumper, I remained nonetheless disappointed by the limits that had been set in terms of design and creativity. How could choosing from four pre-defined designs, a few pre-set colour combinations, fixed sizes as well as fiddling around on a tablet possibly fulfil the promise of ‘designing my own’? How could the design of someone else magically transform into my own by being given only a handful of altering options? The knitters I worked with in Austria would have quite a different view on what it means to design your own jumper.

Putting aside the fact that in the knyttan project design and making are necessarily divorced from each other, which would probably be the main difference between hand knitting and knyttan, we are dealing with two very diverging notions of design autonomy here. In the first case, designing is much more like customising, which means the pre-existing design will only be transformed to the extent that it is still recognisable as such. The original (professional) designer is still visible in the design, albeit some parameters of the design have been altered.

In the second case, designing (and making) means matching (relations of) relations between yarn, needles, pattern, cut and the knitting as well as the body that is destined to wear it. Always underpinned by intentions which are themselves grounded in social relations (cf. Gell 1998), design is an empathetic process which correlates the myriad possibilities of yarn weight, yarn quality, yarn colour, needle size, pattern (does it stretch or not?), cut (waisted or not?), knitting and wearing body to each other. In this case, designing your own pullover means relating needle-to-yarn-to-pattern-to cut-to-body and materialising these relations in practice. In doing so, the designs render the knitters, their skills and their preferences with respect to yarn quality and colour visible. Although knitters nowadays mostly draw on industrially produced yarn and colour ranges that are themselves constrained by the fashion industry, the possible combinations are unquestionably more diverse. The possibilities of harmonising one’s internal self and with its textile externalisation in the design and making processes are therefore equally manifold.

But then again, knyttan does not define itself within the framework of hand knitting, but within the conventional fashion industry. In that sense, one cannot criticise them for their limitations in relation to hand knitting, but one must instead acknowledge that their ambition is quite extraordinary within the context of the dominant fashion industry. Design autonomy, then, equally needs to be seen as relative to the context within which the concept is used. Whereas costumers who usually consume ready-made clothing will appreciate the chance to be granted a participation in the design process, in light of the limitedness of participation possibilities adept knitters might, however, regard it as a sham."
knyttan  via:anne  2015  lydiamariaarantes  haidygeismar  knitting  design  autonomy  textiles  fashion  participation  participatory 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Uniform Project
"Uniform Project was born in May 2009, when one girl pledged to wear a Little Black Dress for 365 days as an exercise in sustainable fashion. Designed to also be a fundraiser for the education of underprivileged children in India, the project acquired millions of visitors worldwide and raised over $100k for the cause. U.P then continued into Year 2 with a monthly series of select Pilots taking on the 1-Dress challenge for causes of their choice. Today, women around the world continue to take on the 1 Dress challenge and wear U.P LBDs as an expression of socially conscious fashion."
uniforms  clothing  uniformproject  sustainability  art  design  fashion  sheenamatheiken  glvo  pesonaluniforms 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Science Of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear The Same Thing Every Day
"Have you ever thought about how much time you likely waste deciding what to wear in the morning? It’s probably made you late to school or work more times than you can count.

We waste so many precious moments concerning ourselves with frivolous details. An outfit will not change the world, it probably won’t even change your day.

This is not to say that fashion isn’t important, as it has an immense impact on culture and, in turn, the direction of society.

Indeed, fashion is where art, culture and history intersect. If we look at the 1960s, for example, the way people dressed was very much a reflection of the counterculture movement and the anti-establishment sentiments of the era.

Simply put, clothes can tell us a lot about sociology.

Yet, at the same time, we’ve arguably become an excessively materialistic and superficial society. Undoubtedly, there are greater things to worry about than clothes.

Similarly, as the great American author Henry David Thoreau once stated:
Our life is frittered away by detail.

…Simply, simplify.

In essence, don’t sweat the small stuff. Make your life easier by concentrating on the big picture.

Correspondingly, a number of very successful people have adopted this philosophy in their daily routines.

Decision Fatigue: Why Many Presidents And CEOs Wear The Same Thing Every Day

Whether you love or hate him, it’s hard to argue against the notion that President Obama has the most difficult job in the world. As the leader of the most powerful country on the planet, the president has a lot on his plate.

Regardless of what he does, he will be criticized. Simply put, he’s got a lot of important things to think about beyond his wardrobe.

This is precisely why President Obama wears the same suit every single day. Well, almost every day, we can’t forget about the time the Internet exploded when he wore a khaki suit. Although, that probably says less about him and more about us.

The majority of the time, however, Obama wears either a blue or gray suit. In an article from Michael Lewis for Vanity Fair, the president explained the logic behind this routine:
‘You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits’ [Obama] said.

‘I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.’ He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions.

As Stuart Heritage puts it for the Guardian, “Barack Obama has pared his wardrobe down to such a degree that he can confidently walk into any situation and make decisions that directly impact on the future of mankind.”

The president is not alone in this practice. The late, great, Steve Jobs wore his signature black turtleneck with jeans and sneakers every single day.

Moreover, Mark Zuckerberg typically wears a gray t-shirt with a black hoody and jeans when seen in public. Similarly, Albert Einstein reportedly bought several variations of the same gray suit so that he wouldn’t have to waste time deciding what to wear each morning.

This is all related to the concept of decision fatigue. This is a real psychological condition in which a person’s productivity suffers as a result of becoming mentally exhausted from making so many irrelevant decisions.

Simply put, by stressing over things like what to eat or wear every day, people become less efficient at work.

This is precisely why individuals like President Obama, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Albert Einstein decided to make life easier by adopting a monotonous wardrobe.

Obviously, as these are some of the most successful and productive individuals in history, they are on to something.

Make Life Simple

Indeed, having a diverse collection of clothing is overrated. We waste so much time worrying about things that have no substantial consequences, and don’t even realize how easily we could change this.

This is exactly why President José Mujica of Uruguay rejects conformity and refuses to wear a tie, stating:
The tie is a useless rag that constrains your neck.

I’m an enemy of consumerism. Because of this hyperconsumerism, we’re forgetting about fundamental things and wasting human strength on frivolities that have little to do with human happiness.

He’s absolutely right. The vast majority of us are guilty of obsessing over material things. When it comes down to it, they bring no real value to our lives. True fulfillment is acquired by going out into the world and fostering palpable and benevolent changes.

Buying a new pair of shoes might make you feel more confident in the short-term, but it will not enrich your life in the long-term.

Undoubtedly, the world would be an extremely boring place if we all wore the same exact thing every day.

Yet, we might all consider simplifying our lives a bit more by reducing the amount of time we spend thinking about pointless aspects of our day. In the process, one might find that they are significantly less stressed, more productive and more fulfilled.

Life is complicated enough, don’t allow the little things to dictate your happiness. Simplify, simplify."
uniforms  clothing  fashion  minimalism  choices  2014  barackobama  stevejobs  markzuckerberg  johnhaltiwanger  uniformproject  josémujica  alberteinstein  glvo  thoreau  pesonaluniforms 
march 2015 by robertogreco
MIYAKE DESIGN STUDIO official site
"“A-POC” is an acronym for “A Piece of Cloth” and refers too, to the idea of “epoch.” It is a manufacturing method that uses computer technology to create clothing from a single piece of thread in a single process. Development began in 1997 as a project led by Issey Miyake and engineering designer Dai Fujiwara. The first results included ‘A-POC King & Queen, A-POC Le Feu’ and were presented in the Spring/Summer 1999 ISSEY MIYAKE Paris Collection. Following that, PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE and other collections began to develop items based upon the A-POC method (called “+A-POC”) starting in 2003. After 2007, the collection introduced design solutions under the subtext of "A-POC INSIDE" and has continued to refine its vision for making clothing."
a-poc  isseymiyake  1997  1999  fashion  fabric  textiles  sewing 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Issey Miyake – A Piece of Cloth | Tokyo Telephone - Your Direct Line to Real Japanese Fashion
"A wee while ago now, my dear friend and I hotfooted it to the Barbican gallery in London to see their exhibition “Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion” – both being huge fans of Japanese fashion, street and couture, we felt the need to check it out! I won’t spoil the exhibition for those planning to see it too, but I will say that we left feeling slightly stuffed full after gorging our eyes and brains on the clothing & video installations; totally worth it. Being the shopper & book fiend that I am, I was very happy to note the excellent selection of Japanese fashion books on offer in the gift shop – quick, update your Christmas wish lists now!

I think I know what I’d like Father Christmas to bring me this year: a piece of cloth. Preferably from Issey Miyake!

[images]

Usually here at Tokyo Telephone we strive to bring you the most up-to-date goings on in the wonderful melting pot of Japanese fashion, but I really felt that Dai Fujiwara’s A-POC (A Piece of Cloth) collection for Issey Miyake at the turn of the millennium was well worth a mention despite being a decade old, ancient history in fashion terms.

Traditionally Japanese fashion , particularly that of the 1980s when the Miyake brand began to take hold, was monochromatic – black being the favoured colour of everyone from sombre suited salary men to the young fashion elite on the Tokyo streets. So when we turned a corner at the Barbican exhibition, it was literally and figuratively: confronted with mannequins locked inside bright red material stretching up to the ceiling and back again. At once elegant and uncomfortable (a combination that Japanese design does best!) it was a visual spectacle at the very least.

The concept is an unusual one, as all the clothes in the A-POC collection are cut from a single long roll of fabric. A video installation of the catwalk premier showed the Issey Miyake team cutting a vast swath of cloth, and as if by the wonder of their magic scissors, all sort of garments appeared: socks, hats, tops, dresses… sort of like paper dolls for post-yuppie generation.

[image]

I did mention that the concept was unusual, maybe not entirely original: of course I have to mention kimono. Made in the age-old way from a single piece of cloth, perhaps beautifully dyed silk, the kimono requires no real tailoring and fits everyone no matter their weight or height. However, despite the inherent similarities to the fundamental construction of kimono, A-POC feels futuristic nonetheless. With bright primary colours and aching minimalism, there’s the sense that this collection could have been dreamed by a sci-fi writer in the 1960s, clothes and humans alike produced on huge rolls; cut to fit your taste.

[image]

The genius of Issey Miyake doesn’t stop at A-POC either: with another nod to Japanese traditions, consider the origami-like intricate folds of the Pleats Please collection. Anyone who can turn the above tightly folded material into the dress below is well deserving of praise! Like all the best magic tricks, my brain hurts just trying to work out how it’s done…

[image]

Issey Miyake: genius, visionary, traditionalist, magician, architect, and more.

[video]

Love this animation showing the attention paid to movement and line – a bit mesmerising."
a-poc  isseymiyake  1999  fashion  fabric  textiles  sewing  2010 
february 2015 by robertogreco
ISSEY MIYAKE - APOC Galaxy on Vimeo
"This project began as a still photograph for an exhibition by Miyake Design Studio at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Designers Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara, asked us to create a photograph that would illustrate their concept of A-POC (A Piece of Cloth) wherein the finished fashion garment is woven into the bolt of cloth. When they saw the photograph they asked us if we could animate it.
isseymiyake.com

Produced by Trillium Studios (trilliumstudios.com)"
a-poc  isseymiyake  1999  fashion  fabric  textiles  sewing  2003  daifujiwara  video 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Wired 12.04: Seamless
"Issey Miyake saw the future of fashion. So he gave up haute couture to become a softwear engineer."
a-poc  isseymiyake  1999  fashion  fabric  textiles  sewing  2003 
february 2015 by robertogreco
ISSEY MIYAKE Official Site
"In 1998, Miyake began to develop A-POC (A Piece Of Cloth) with Dai Fujiwara. A-POC was not only able to create clothing with a high degree of variation, but was also able to control the amount created through the process of casting, where each thread receives computerized instructions. A-POC was revolutionary in that it began with a single thread and resulted in fabric, texture and a fully finished set of clothing in a single process. It led the way, along with the concept of engineering design, to a new methodology of clothing design. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York added this project to its permanent collection in 2006. In 1998, soon after Miyake started research on A-POC, he presented the ISSEY MIYAKE MAKING THINGS exhibition in Paris. (This later traveled to both New York and Tokyo.) The exhibition presented his work from Pleats (1988) onward and was widely acclaimed. “His work is grounded in that stretch of history called the present and draws meaning from fashion’s immediate context. ‘Making Things’ presents that context with immense glamour and wit.” (By Herbert Muschamp, December 27, 1998 The New York Times)"

[image]

"From the exhibition ISSEY MIYAKE MAKING THINGS, Museum of contemporary Art Tokyo, 2000.Just Before [black], A-POC King & Queen[red]
Photo : Yasuaki Yoshinaga"

[image]

"NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, Jan. 2003
P.72-73 “Weaving the Future” A-POC Quatro Cotton, 2001
Photo : Cary Wolinsky and Barbara Emmel Wolinsky
Shown by Alvin Ailey Dancer Dwana Adiaha Smallwood"

[image]

"The New York Times
Sunday, December 27, 1998"
a-poc  isseymiyake  1999  fashion  fabric  textiles  sewing  1998  2003  2000  2001 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Lurve - Home
"What is A-POC ?
Overlength sweaters, dresses off the roll, A-POCis based upon Miyake’s first design concept, a piece of cloth, is a new and unique suggestion for everyday life, which goes far beyond the boundaries of fashion.
It is made using an industrial knitting or weaving machine programed by a computer.
This process creates continuous tubes of fabric within which lie both shape and pattern. The customer cuts sleeves and skirts exactly to the length he wants. It is an idea that totally overthrows the existing standards for making clothes.
A-POC is made in a sequence in which thread literally goes into a machine and re-emerges as a piece of clothing, an accessory, or even a chair. This interactive new method not only reduces leftover fabric but also permits the wearers to participate in the final step of the design of their clothing: they determine the final shape of the product.
Mass production and custom-made clothing, seemingly opposing ideas, become compatible with each other through the wizardry of technology and the fire of imagination.

Images from A-POC MAKING
ISSEY MIYAKE & DAI FUJIWARA
Vitra Design Museum
1999
Alien
Eskimo
They were among the Issey Miyake Autumn-Winter 1999 Collection held on March 10 at la Grande Halle de la Villette, Salle Charlie Parker, Paris.
” Alien” was made of double layers of airy knitted mesh to add interest and depth.
” Eskimo”, with padded geometric patterns, had three-dimentional interest."
a-poc  isseymiyake  1999  fashion  fabric  textiles  sewing 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Duro Olowu Shares Vintage Senegalese-Inspired Fashion Film Okayafrica.
"Duro Olowu, the innovative Nigerian designer whose bold technicolor prints have been favorites of ours the last few seasons, has unveiled a new fashion film in support of his recent Spring/Summer 15 collection. Senegalese model Kinee Diouf stars as the face of Olowu’s S/S 15 film, and her languid movements in the collection’s gowns, A-line skirts, capes and oversized jackets showcase the structural genius and elegance of Olowu’s pieces. The Lagos-born designer, who now calls London home, found inspiration for the collection’s vivid patterns and flowing silhouettes after a recent trip to the Senegalese island of Saint-Louis, where the appliqued starched brocade used for the garments was made. Japanese film noir, 1940’s pinups and the cover artwork for The Pointer Sisters eponymous debut album also acted as reference points for Olowu as he constructed the collection’s retro looks. Watch the film, directed by Portuguese fashion photographer Luis Monteiro, below. For more from Duro Olowu, see photos from his explosive Fall/Winter 14 and Spring/Summer 14 shows at London Fashion Week."
duroolowu  nigeria  senegal  2015  fashion  fabric  textiles  glvo  africa  kineediouf  clothing 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Issue Five: On Slowness | vestoj
"In Slowness Milan Kundera, the Czech writer, remarks that ‘there is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting’. In the fashion system this bond seems to take on a particularly poignant meaning, with the degree of velocity often appearing directly proportional to the time it takes to forget a style that just moments ago it seemed we could not live without.

The speed of change is a growing complaint about fashion, both amongst those whose livelihoods depend on it, and amongst those who observe these ceaseless shifts from afar. Grumbles about a ubiqui­tous acceleration are nothing new however; in fact, the grievance we appear to harbour against velocity is as old as modernity itself. Back then the machines that increasingly replaced the human hand aroused fear and trepidation; today our attitudes reflect much the same ambivalence towards the revolutions of time. It seems we always regard our own time as simultaneously the most progressive and the most relentlessly accelerated. The modernist project, however, firmly rooted the relationship between progress and speed, and in so doing also forever altered our notion of time. A universal temporal framework, with time zones, seasonal changes and accurate clocks, was constructed with the help of new technology, and the previous more subjective understanding of time had to make way for expedience and the hustle of modern life. With a more synchronised understanding of time, the future also became easier to grasp and, by extension, to control. For a future that can be measured in terms of the knowable present, is a malle­able future, a future that can be shaped according to our will.

With the advent of modernity, past, present and future came to be understood as a linear evolution, and the ‘temporal architecture’ that philosopher Krzysztof Pomian refers to in L’Ordre du Temps turned into an implicit and integral part of the experience of being modern. Sharing the same chronology is tantamount to sharing a similar basic understanding of the world, but we must not forget that time is a social construct. The sociologist Norbert Elias and the philosopher Michel Foucault have both argued that the modern ‘discipli­nary society’ attains its power by the establishment and inter­nalisation of set structures of time, and chrono­politics are consequently a potent tool for domination. In other words, those who arrive first, win.

In terms of fashion, the depre­ciation of the past in favour of the present is what keeps the wheels of the system turning. Fashion aims to always be ‘of the moment’, but to do so it has to disown its own past. The seasonal changes in fashion that we today are so familiar with, are an old fabrication. As early as the seven­teenth century, Paris fashion was organised according to the seasons in order to further French trade and economy. A more regimented system came into being in the early twentieth century when haute couture shows in Paris became organised into biannual fashion weeks, signalling for creators as well as consumers of fashion that the old had to make way for the new.

Fashion scholar Aurélie Van de Peer has written about ‘the temporal anchorage of fashion’ and points out the relationship between the termi­nology of time and the degree of fashionability of a garment. The aesthetic judgments we make on ‘out-of-date’ fashion tend to be strong, and terms like ‘passé’ and ‘old-fashioned’ are often used as potent tools for ridicule and scorn, symbolising as they do, a past that is no longer relevant. Similarly, idioms like ‘modern’ and ‘of the moment’ are employed to evoke the present, the moment that in fashion terms is the most desirable. We know of course that, as Elizabeth Wilson writes in Adorned in Dreams, ‘the “now” of fashion is nostalgia in the making’ – perhaps this is why a disingenuous term like ‘timeless’ has such cachet in fashion circles. But no matter how much we try and convince ourselves that eternal style is possible, in fashion the past is forever haunting the present. Fashion depends on perpetual movement – onwards, forwards – and in so doing, it must renounce its own history. In the vernacular of fashion, the most stinging insult that can be levelled at anyone is belonging to a past no longer relevant; derisively aiming this judgment at a rival is a way of establishing your own superiority. To be passé signals the demise of a fashion professional.

The politics of time are a sign­ificant device for separation; it creates a purposeful schism between those who dominate and those who are dominated, between us and the Other. As the sociologist Hartmut Rosa has pointed out, the ones who lead are, as a general rule, those who under­stand speed. In fashion, as in everyday life, temporal strategies like keeping someone waiting, changing the rhythm or jumping the gun are often cause for strife, as anyone who has ever waited for a show to begin, had their idea copied and produced faster by a competitor or been compelled to endure an interminable presentation by an important patron can attest.

The philosopher Paul Virilio talks of a ‘rushing standstill’, which seems to describe contemporary culture well. The cult of speed can sometimes feel overwhelming, but in the cracks of the system, a slower, more reflective pace is gaining traction. Whereas Virilio’s phrase appears aimed at a heedless velocity that despite its speed will forever return you to your starting point, slowness by contrast allows you to advance at a pace that encourages contemplation and observation. To be slow is far from remaining static; instead, slowness is a temporal notion that prioritises the journey over the destination. In this world of instant gratification we sometimes forget that speed is not a virtue in itself, nor is it to be confused with success or efficiency or happiness or accomplishment.

So, allow yourself to be idle, to dwell a moment, to delay and iterate. Use your hands to make something a machine could make much faster. Look for the beauty in the impermanent, the imperfect and the incomplete. Take your time. Because, as the writer Rebecca Solnit once so succinctly put it, ‘Time always wins; our victories are only delays; but delays are sweet, and a delay can last a whole lifetime’."
slow  slowness  magazines  vestoj  fashion  rebeccasolnit  milankundera  krzysztofpomian  norbertelias  michelfoucault  aurélievandepeer  elizabethwilson  hartmutrosa  paulvirilio  idleness  time  speed  process  foucault 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Have you ever wanted a uniform? | Root Simple
"See, I’ve always wanted a uniform. I love the idea of never having to decide what I’m going to wear again. The older I get, the more I want to keep things simple. I don’t want a closet packed with potential decisions. The less choices I have to make on a daily basis, the better. I think I’d be okay living in a cave with nothing but a robe and a wooden bowl.

As of now, my wardrobe is limited in both type (practical) and color (cool neutrals), which helps, but its not as simple as it could be. I still end up standing in front of the closet wondering “Black short sleeved shirt? White long sleeved shirt? Or is this a t-shirt day?”

I want even fewer options.

The uniform fantasy has been with me for a long time, although the uniform type changes. I’ve never taken the leap into wearing a uniform, though, for two reasons. The first is simply that I’ve been too lazy to construct a uniform. The second is that it is a rather eccentric move– adopt a uniform, and you become known for wearing that uniform more than anything else.

I suppose that if you’re super famous, like Tom Wolfe (white suit) or Erik Satie (identical velvet suits) you can wear the same thing every day and nonetheless your work and your personality will rise above that eccentricity. But I’ve feared that if I wore a uniform I’d become one of those strange local characters, like “the kilt guy” or “the bathrobe lady.”

Still, I do like the idea of fashioning a garment which suits all of my needs (fit, comfort, pockets, good fabric etc.) and making it my very own.

I also like to think that having a uniform would eventually save in laundry and reduce material waste over time. It would harken back to the days when people simply didn’t have more than a handful of outfits to wear, but those outfits fit them well and lasted a long time because they were made of quality materials.

Lately I’ve been obsessing over the outfit at the top of the post, which dates from Russia (or rather, the newborn USSR) in the 1920′s and various Internet attributions say it was designed by Nadezhda Lamanova and Vera Muhina, or perhaps designed by Lamanova and illustrated by Muhina, or perhaps even designed by Muhina alone–although she was primarily a sculptor. To make things more confusing, to me, this outfit seems very much like something Varvara Stepanova would design. It was a small community of people collaborating and doing similar things, so it’s easy to get confused."

[via: http://boingboing.net/2015/01/02/making-a-uniform-for-daily-wea.html ]
uniforms  2014  glvo  kellycoyne  ussr  russia  nadezhdalamanova  veramuhina  varvarastepanova  design  fashion  clothing  clothes  pesonaluniforms 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Niky Roehreke
"Hello, my name is Niky Roehreke and I am a german/japanese illustrator
currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York.

I graduated from the Central Saint Martins Graphic Design in London in 2008 and since then

I've been drawing, doodling, painting and making collages (almost) every single day.

There are so many new ways to communicate, but I strongly believe that hands remain the most powerful and honest, sometimes magical way to communicate, which is why my work is hand-made and 'hands' are often a recurring motif in my work."
fashion  illustration  nikyroehreke  drawing  srg  glvo  painting  doodling  collage 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Knyttan – Defined by you
"KNYTTAN connects
Designers to People
to make clothes that last
Fashion is about individuality; we express ourselves through the clothes we wear, and yet our choices are often made for us.

What if there was a different way that meant designers could offer more to their customers? What if customers could define what is made, letting them make their wardrobe their own?

We started Knyttan to remove the layers between designers and customers – and by doing so, give everyone a better choice.

necks side on 2
141019_LAB_Knyttan_machine-085_2000px
In a world of unlimited choice, we help you to find the perfect item. The shape of our clothes is fixed by our fashion team so you know everything fits well. Our colours are chosen by each designer, so you know that everything will look good. All our products are made in the finest Italian Merino wool so you know it will last.

With KNYTTAN, you don’t need to be an expert – just know what is right for you.

Our name, KNYTTAN, comes from old English – a time when every garment was different. Our mission is to bring this idea up to date in an open and sustainable way and make the future just that little bit more unique.

We can make a different item every time without changing the way our clothes are made. We’ve brought the factory, the designer and the customer closer together, removing the barriers to production.

This is just the start. As we develop, we want to empower you, our customer, to curate the clothes you wear and we want designers to create the things that only they could dream of.

This is a world not limited by choice, but empowered by it.

Welcome to the infinite collection
defined by you"
clothing  design  fashion  generative  knitting  manufacturing  textiles  glvo  knyttan 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Ikire Jones: Lagos 2081A.D. on Behance
"I was hired by Wale Oyejide, founder of the inimitable "Ikire Jones" menswear fashion line to create a series of illustrations that combine the crowded and chaotic knot of improvised settlements and ramshackle high-rises that define many burgeoning African Mega-cities such as Lagos, Nigeria with imposing and futuristic super-structures straight out of science-fiction."

[via: https://twitter.com/senongo/status/527167269986918400 ]
lekanjeyifo  scifi  sciencefiction  lagos  2081  design  illustration  ikirejones  conceptart  future  architecture  nigeria  africa  fashion 
november 2014 by robertogreco
ying gao - designer
"2 interactive dresses, Super organza, photoluminescent thread, PVDF, electronic devices.

The project was inspired by the essay entitled "Esthétique de la disparition" (The aesthetic of disappearance), by Paul Virilio (1979). " Absence often occurs at breakfast time – the tea cup dropped, then spilled on the table being one of its most common consequences. Absence lasts but a few seconds, its beginning and end are sudden. However closed to outside impressions, the senses are awake. The return is as immediate as the departure, the suspended word or movement is picked up where it was left off as conscious time automatically reconstructs itself, thus becoming continuous and free of any apparent interruption. " The series comprising two (2) dresses, made of photoluminescent thread and imbedded eye tracking technology, is activated by spectators' gaze. A photograph is said to be “spoiled” by blinking eyes – here however, the concept of presence and of disappearance are questioned, as the experience of chiaroscuro (clarity/obscurity) is achieved through an unfixed gaze."
fashion  wearable  wearables  gaze  yinggao  presence  disappearance  chiaroscuro  clarity  obscurity  paulvirilio  absence  photoluminescence  vision 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Wears Jump Suit. Sensible Shoes. Uses Husband's Last Name. (originally titled "Marked Women, Unmarked Men") by Deborah Tannen, NY Times Magazine, June 20, 1993
"As I amused myself finding coherence in these styles, I suddenly wondered why I was scrutinizing only the women. I scanned the eight men at the table. And then I knew why I wasn't studying them. The men's styles were unmarked.

THE TERM "MARKED" IS a staple of linguistic theory. It refers to the way language alters the base meaning of a word by adding a linguistic particle that has no meaning on its own. The unmarked form of a word carries the meaning that goes without saying -- what you think of when you're not thinking anything special.

The unmarked tense of verbs in English is the present -- for example, visit. To indicate past, you mark the verb by adding ed to yield visited. For future, you add a word: will visit. Nouns are presumed to be singular until marked for plural, typically by adding s or es, so visit becomes visits and dish becomes dishes.

The unmarked forms of most English words also convey "male." Being male is the unmarked case. Endings like ess and ette mark words as "female." Unfortunately, they also tend to mark them for frivolousness. Would you feel safe entrusting your life to a doctorette? Alfre Woodard, who was an Oscar nominee for best supporting actress, says she identifies herself as an actor because "actresses worry about eyelashes and cellulite, and women who are actors worry about the characters we are playing." Gender markers pick up extra meanings that reflect common associations with the female gender: not quite serious, often sexual.

Each of the women at the conference had to make decisions about hair, clothing, makeup and accessories, and each decision carried meaning. Every style available to us was marked. The men in our group had made decisions, too, but the range from which they chose was incomparably narrower. Men can choose styles that are marked, but they don't have to, and in this group none did. Unlike the women, they had the option of being unmarked."



"To say anything about women and men without marking oneself as either feminist or anti-feminist, male-basher or apologist for men seems as impossible for a woman as trying to get dressed in the morning without inviting interpretations of her character. Sitting at the conference table musing on these matters, I felt sad to think that we women didn't have the freedom to be unmarked that the men sitting next to us had. Some days you just want to get dressed and go about your business. But if you're a woman, you can't, because there is no unmarked woman."
clothing  fashion  feminism  gender  language  linguistics  1993  via:kissane  women  hair  presentationofself 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond? - Edward Jay Epstein - (1982)
"The idea was to create prestigious "role models" for the poorer middle-class wage-earners. The advertising agency explained, in its 1948 strategy paper, "We spread the word of diamonds worn by stars of screen and stage, by wives and daughters of political leaders, by any woman who can make the grocer's wife and the mechanic's sweetheart say 'I wish I had what she has.'"

[...] sentiments were born out of necessity: older American women received a ring of miniature diamonds because of the needs of a South African corporation to accommodate the Soviet Union.

[!!!] The element of surprise, even if it is feigned, plays the same role of accommodating dissonance in accepting a diamond gift as it does in prime sexual seductions: it permits the woman to pretend that she has not actively participated in the decision. She thus retains both her innocence—and the diamond.

[...] as long as the general public never sees the price of diamonds fall, it will not become nervous and begin selling its diamonds. If this huge inventory should ever reach the market, even De Beers and all the Oppenheimer resources could not prevent the price of diamonds from plummeting [...]

[...] The "keystone," or markup, on a diamond and its setting may range from 100 to 200 percent, depending on the policy of the store; if it bought diamonds back from customers, it would have to buy them back at wholesale prices. Most jewelers would prefer not to make a customer an offer that might be deemed insulting and also might undercut the widely held notion that diamonds go up in value [...]

The firm perhaps most frequently recommended by New York jewelry shops is Empire Diamonds Corporation, which is situated on the sixty-sixth floor of the Empire State Building, in midtown Manhattan. Empire's reception room, which resembles a doctor's office, is usually crowded with elderly women who sit nervously in plastic chairs waiting for their names to be called. One by one, they are ushered into a small examining room"
finance  fashion  myth  hollywood  class  advertising  consumer  marriage  gender  WWII  africa  israel  diamonds  via:Taryn 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Mary Huang :: portfolio
"With computational design there is the opportunity to not only create beautifully intricate forms, but to define a design according to its governing processes and user interactions. This project sought to mediate between the avant-garde and ready-to-wear, between individual users and a designer's vision. Could we use technology to democratize haute couture? Could we let people design their own dress, and still maintain a cohesive, recognizable design?

Computational couture captures this philosophy and applies it toward solving the persistent problem of standardized sizing in ready-to-wear. CONTINUUM is a concept for a web-based fashion label in which designs are user-generated using custom software and made to order to your personal measurements. Its seminal collection is a deconstruction of the classic little black dress. Software allows you to "draw" a dress and converts it into a 3D model, which is turned into a flat pattern that can be cut out of fabric and sewn into the dress. Not only can the physical dress be purchased through the label, but the cutting patterns are downloadable free of charge for those who would rather devote the time to making their own. With design encompassing a continuous user experience, we can inspire changing attitudes and behaviors of mass consumption."

[See also: http://www.continuumfashion.com/Ddress/ ]
processing  fashion  wearable  wearables  triangles  glvo  computing  maryhuang 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Entfaltung: Collapsible Fashion | strictlypaper
"Enfaltung, which in german harbors many meanings: unfold, expand or develop, is the basis of this Master’s thesis project created by german native Jule Waible for her Design Products program at the Royal College of Art. This series features a yellow dress that transformes its shape dependent upon the movement of the body, a green expandable accordion styled bag and an orange umbrella which all use a style referred to as origami tessellation. It is exactly that in which it describes along with the magic of the source of her inspiration, Mary Poppin’s enchanted bag. “Collapsible structures reflect how our world is constantly changing,” she writes. “My response is to use folding as part of my design process.”"

[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/70925798
https://vimeo.com/julewaibel
https://vimeo.com/68908713
https://vimeo.com/68951582
https://vimeo.com/80056324 ]

[See also: http://www.core77.com/blog/fashion_design/below_the_fold_jule_waibels_mary_poppins-inspired_accordion-like_entfaltung_collection_25220.asp and
http://www.dezeen.com/2013/07/24/entfaltung-fashion-by-jule-waibel/ ]
fashion  wearable  folding  fabric  textiles  origami  glvo  wearables  design  triangles 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Studio XO
"STUDIO XO OPERATES AT THE INTERSECTION OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, FASHION & MUSIC.

Seamlessly integrating new technologies & special effects with innovative fashion design to create digital couture experiences.

We develop technologies & products that capture intimate physiological data, revealing emotional interactions."
science  technoilogy  music  fashion  specialeffects  physiology  technology  materials  wearable  studioxo  emotions  wearables 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Stealth Wear | Adam Harvey
"Statement

Building off previous work with CV Dazzle, camouflage from face detection, Stealth Wear continues to explore the aesthetics of privacy and the potential for fashion to challenge authoritarian surveillance.

Presented by Primitive at Tank Magazine are a suite of new designs, made in collaboration with NYC fashion designer Johanna Bloomfield, that tackle some of the most pressing and sophisticated forms of surveillance today. The ready-to-wear countersurveillance solutions include a series of ‘Anti-Drone’ garments and the Off Pocket, an anti-phone accessory that allows you to instantly zero out your phone’s signal.

Collectively, Stealth Wear is a vision for fashion that addresses the rise of surveillance, the power of those who surveil, and the growing need to exert control over what we are slowly losing, our privacy.

In Privacy We Trust,

Adam Harvey
In collaboration with Johanna Bloomfield / www.johannesfaktotum.com
Presented by Primitive London / http://www.primitivelondon.co.uk/
Hosted by TANK Magazine / http://tankmagazine.com/ "
drones  fashion  privacy  surveillance  camouflage  adamharvey  clothing  wearable  cv  dazzle  johannabloomfield  primitivelondon  stealthwear  stealth  razzledazzle  wearables 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Mass + Text
Text from the about page: http://massandtext.tumblr.com/post/51958922935/what-is-mass-text ]

"Mass + Text wants to understand the relationship between language (analogue and digital signals), physical objects, and the communities they anchor. I’m curious about how we translate thought into form, and back again.

Mass + Text happened because I like words, and I like the idea that objects are a byproduct of their cultural context. I think there’s an interesting back and forth between said things and made things, and this is an attempt to think-through-writing till I make some sense of it.

I’m not quite sure what I’m doing, but I’m going to scratch this itch anyway. What I do know is that the emergence of ubiquitous computing is going to bring together language and objects in weird and interesting ways, with implications for architecture, media, journalism, consumer technology, and fashion. This is my attempt to begin to make some sense of it.

***

The ease with which we’re able to summon and dismiss texts on glowing rectangles makes us forget that language isn’t weightless. The ways in which we call out and respond to each other are deeply anchored within physical things. Heavy things. We make meaning by spilling oceans of ink, crushing mountains of herbs and minerals into pigments, and by sliding slabs of quivering muscle against each other.

And even when we summon an idea from the depths of cyberspace,and it leaps onto our screens, that idea is bound to this plane by physical objects. Language exists within at least three dimensions.

So if language can shape mass (indeed, if language is mass), what will new forms of communication mean for the things we build, and the way we build? Can we incorporate content into spaces and objects in ways that go beyond merely turning them into display screens? How does this communication influence our relationships with our tools?

With ourselves?

***

Areas of interest:

• the evolution of media and journalism: what does it mean that ESPN is interested in the data being harvested from wearable tech such as the Jawbone UP? If the medium is the message, how will media companies design for wearable computing devices that have very little room for display screens?

• internet-connected devices: the coming wave of “smart" devices offers an opportunity to rethink everything from how these objects look to what they do. How do you design analog/digital interfaces that take into account qualities of mass such as weight, texture and temperature?

• architecture: we can speak to our spaces, and our spaces can speak back (through location-based Foursquare tips, geo-triggered alerts, changing room temperature to suit our personal profile, etc.). The built form is how we interface with the city, and changes to that form have implications for everything from our ideas about privacy, community, and to discussions about who has the right to the city.

• fashion: we know clothing can be language, but the use cases of clothing-as-tool have been surprisingly few, i.e. clothing can keep us warm, and they offer some measure of protection from weapons, but that’s about it. How can we make clothing even more useful? And how will those utilitarian scripts be reflected in aesthetics?

• histories of communication: everywhere mass intersects with text, an idea finds its way into our world, be it when a finger strikes against a keyboard, or when someone’s vocal chords rub together. I want to understand that threshold, liminal space where a concept is impregnated within an object, and given form."
text  communication  objects  emmanuelquartey  language  digital  communities  community  blogs  ubicomp  internetofthings  networkedobjects  senses  media  journalism  wearable  technology  jawbone  architecture  design  fashion  history  interfaces  ux  mobile  smartdevices  analog  wearables  iot 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Stealth Wear Aims to Make a Tech Statement - NYTimes.com
"Adam Harvey, an artist and design professor at the School of Visual Arts and an early creator of stealth wear, acknowledges that countersurveillance clothing sounds like something out of a William Gibson novel.

“The science-fiction part has become a reality,” he said, “and there’s a growing need for products that offer privacy.”

Mr. Harvey exhibited a number of his stealth-wear designs and prototypes in an art show this year in London. His work includes a series of hoodies and cloaks that use reflective, metallic fabric — like the kind used in protective gear for firefighters — that he has repurposed to  reduce a person’s thermal footprint. In theory, this limits one’s visibility to aerial surveillance vehicles employing heat-imaging cameras to track people on the ground.

He also developed a purse with extra-bright LEDs that can be activated when someone is taking unwanted pictures; the effect is to reduce an intrusive photograph to a washed-out blur. In addition, he created a guide for hairstyling and makeup application that might keep a camera from recognizing the person beneath the elaborate get-up. The technique is called CV Dazzle — a riff on “computer vision” and “dazzle,” a type of camouflage used during World War II to make it hard to detect the size and shape of warships.

Mr. Harvey isn’t the only one working on such products. …"
surveillance  countersurveillance  uniformproject  razzledazzle  light  facerecognition  clothing  wearables  wearable  privacy  2013  adamharvey  googleglass  drones  beckstern  toddblatt  joannemcneil  janchipchase  camouflage  jennawortham  fashion  technology  fabric  dazzle 
june 2013 by robertogreco
wandering wandering star • DISAPPEAR US ALGORITHMS, AESTHETICS, AND THE...
"Amidst the complicated and abundant cultural and political significances that “camo” has acquired over the past half century, we often forget that on the front lines of modern warfare, camouflage is a matter of life and death, just as in Darwin’s theory of natural selection. No matter where you stand on its confounding form and controversial function, camouflage is a powerful assimilative tool: it is a polyvalent social marker, as much in the street as on the catwalk, as seen most recently in the Men’s Spring/Summer 2013 collections by VALENTINO, DRIES VAN NOTEN, and PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND. In the field, it can completely absorb you, incognito, into an environment."
algorithms  camouflage  design  clothing  war  military  fashion  valentino  2013  driesvannoten  pingleofscotland 
june 2013 by robertogreco
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