Just wanted to post a review highlighting some interesting thinking discussed during Wearable Futures. First thanks to Cassie, Amanda and all the other people involved with organising the event. So much work in this area is coming out of London, and it is therefore very important to have a voice of so many’s creative work and visions. The event kicked off with a history of wearable as told by Clara Gaggero from bizarre hybrids such as a cigarette lighter encasing a calculator (why) to ancient Egyptian wax essential oils dipped to dry solid on a head piece to melt in the hot sun emitting perfume through the day. A wonder piece of practical yet beautiful wearable innovation over 3000 years. Thanks Clara! Followed by the enlightening James Briddle artist and technology writer highlighting the reality that our mobile, palm size devices are really controllers for the satellite infrastructure we live inside. Pointing out that as we have the command in our hands a real human is at the other end of a large warehouse with tracking devices that have the ability to monitor their actions such as loo breaks etc…
Much discussion was on the communication, tracking information gathering aspect of wearables. This seem to divide those who enjoyed this statistical info gathered data and those who wanted the freedom to discover life on their own terms gathering skills such as navigational in their own way. I can only assume this preference is deeply rooted in how we are nurtured and inbuilt learning approaches.
Suzanne Lee who I have worked with and thought I knew a fair bit about was as always deeply interesting. She has lived through the wearable evolution dating back 20 years when a computer device (CPU I think) was strapped to her back under a cape with a cut out and she held in her hand the transmitting device while she was miles away from where she was projecting images to London. I really liked her description of her move into bio fabrication as the “most radical thing” she had come across. Obviously this is what I connect with and feel it embodied the most advance thinking in the event.
There were interesting, beautifully visualised speculative ideas from the Central St. Martin’s Textile Futures alumni and staff building on this biological vision of the future. I deeply hope the course and movement gather more R&D funding and scientific input as this is, in my humble opinion, where the next accelerated technological movement will come from. We need creatives giving visions of the future to shape the development of this powerful new frontier.
The event was packed with interesting people such as Rohan Gunatillake, Di Mainstone, Simon Thorogood and Julie Legault who were on my panel and are all using technology for inspiration to heighten expression.
On the second day my hero was Christopher Raeburn. He was the voice of vision and reason. For me I felt until this point little had be discussed about the way wearables and technology can have a meaningful change at the heart of what we do as 3D designers, at manufacturing. He seemed wise beyond his years, when asked if 2014 would be the year of wearables as predicted by WIRED mag, commented I could be the year for 3D print (additive manufacturing) and will change how we make our goods, where and what volumes. For me he raised pressing issues surrounding the economic and sustainable issues the fashion industry faces try this web-site. And seemed to have a balanced view un-dazzled by apps and gizmo of how technology could and is merging with garments.
The one area I wished more was spoken about was how technology related to our bodies, to out forms, skin and beings. I invited artist Rhian Soloman of sKINship to the event. Work work focuses very much on the body where she works with reconstructive surgeons and pattern cutters to knowledge transfer skills. Her work and collaborative projects are all about people and spills over to emotions and cognitions. I have shadowed client with her and the understanding you get of the human situation grounds your approach when you go back to a design project. I wonder what would happen if this approach would be injected into a wearable future?