“I don’t want to reboot my pants” – RISD artists take on fashion and technology
The tech sector has decided that the future of digital technology is “wearable”. Why? Is this what people want, or is it a solution without a problem?
Modern apparel is already wearable technology. Hundreds of years of innovation have evolved into popular designs and manufacturing technologies that give us the clothes and accessories we wear daily.
And we already wear our technology. Cell phones live in pockets and are fashion accessories, wallets contain a myriad of chips and magnetic strips, eyeglasses and running shoes represent some of the most sophisticated design, fabrication, and materials technologies.
So why re-create something that already exists?
Fashion is driven by emotion, design and connection. People choose styles because of the way it makes them feel, look and the story it tells about who they are. Fashion designers understand this.
Fashion is an interaction.
When someone picks out a pair of pants, they aren’t looking for new features. They’re looking for something they feel good in and look good wearing. Nobody wants to reboot their pants, update their shirt, or worry about compatibility with their socks.
For the last three years, Catherine Andreozzi, Apparel Design Professor, and I have been teaching a rogue fashion and technology course at RISD where we explore new aesthetics, narratives, and styles which emerge from the latest high tech materials and processes accessible for fashion designers. We’ve thrown functionality out the window, and asked the students to go further: let’s make stunningly beautiful fashion that gets people’s attention connects on an emotional level. Let’s think like artists and create experiences people remember and talk about. Let’s tell curious stories about our relationships with people and technology.
On this page are a sample of the work that has come out of this forward looking experiment. I hope these tell intriguing stories and inspire others to explore the culture of digitalism and fashion.
Press contact: Luise Kaunert
Cristina Sirbu & Shou Jie Eng
Ka Young Jeong