I am thinking about creating design fictions about the intersection of apparel + tech. I find that right now, a lot of tech in clothing or digitally fabricated wearables tend to be gimmicky and/or without purpose. I want to explore what potential wearable tech has beyond it’s purpose today (or lack thereof). These were the initial ideas that came to mind:

– future technologies in the apparel manufacturing industry (production processes are a nightmare and there is a lot of room for improvement, there are many facets that I could address)

– trend-forecasting becoming algorithmic based on data scraped from everywhere, how that would affect the way we dress, the pace of the industry, and other implications

– can there be a purpose for digital fabrication in apparel design beyond “oh it looks cool”?

– can there be a purpose for interactive clothing beyond expression and art?


I then did a more comprehensive mapping of the potential design fictions in this space:

apparel_tech_designfiction0


Other thoughts:

About the stereotypes of fashion, and the way people generally perceive it. I’d like to make a distinction between the “haute couture” stuff which I think is very much like you said – embedded in style and glamour. Then there’s more what I think of as “apparel design”, which is designing clothing for what the average person wears everyday, and needs to be functional and comfortable, not just aesthetically pleasing. This is what I am more interested in, which aligns with what the Near Future Laboratory calls the future mundane.

Going back to everyday clothing needing to be functional, I think people haven’t really found useful purposes for tech in clothing that people would benefit from, or they don’t present them in ways that make people think, “oh I could see myself wearing and using that everyday” or even if it doesn’t have a place right now, nothing that makes people see a place for it in the future, like the way we can see the objects in Corner Convenience having a place.

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