Electric Corset: an approach to wearables innovation

Sarah Kettley, Katherine Townsend, Martha Glazzard, Sarah Walker

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    One criticism of electronic textiles and wearable technology is
    that instead of being integrated into the modern wardrobe, the electronic
    garment is perceived as the ‘other’, as an ‘unusual’ item within the
    wardrobe. Contemporary fashion is a field of play in which individuals
    constantly manage personal expressions of social belonging and
    transgression, at the same time as it closes down the potential for new
    forms as a result of increasingly fast fashion supply chains. The Electric
    Corset project proposes that the uptake of wearables is compromised
    when development is based on modern categories of dress/dressing, and
    proposes that designers look to obsolete and ‘in-between’ items of dress
    to rethink the foundations of wearables development. In collaboration
    with Nottingham Museums and Galleries Costume and Textiles Collection,
    we have reproduced a small selection of such items, and recast them as
    ‘sacrificial’ toiles to provide a non-precious basis for embodied
    experimentation. The paper describes some of the barriers to innovation
    in wearable technologies, and frames our approach through the twin
    concepts of deconstruction and reconstruction in fashion theory. It
    reports on our experiences of embodied responses to the toiles within
    the making process, and presents early findings from a pilot study using
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd Biennial Research Through Design Conference
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
    EventResearch Through Design 2017: New Disciplines of Making – Shared Knowledge in Doing - National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    Duration: 22 Mar 201724 Mar 2017
    Conference number: 3rd


    ConferenceResearch Through Design 2017
    Abbreviated titleRTD 2017
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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