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
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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