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"value" Tag


WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY


Sunday, December 10, 2017

 

WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

Our clothes are probably some of the most tactile and flexible objects surrounding us – touching our bodies at all times. This is probably also why it has been such a hard job for designers and researchers to combine it with the stiff mechanics of technology. The term used when these fields are combined is Wearable Technology. Something that fashion designer Pauline van Dongen has been known internationally for exploring. But while Pauline van Dongens works primarily exist in the span of the human body interacting with its physical surroundings, I find it more interesting to research how technology can elevate our identity through clothing.

 

solar-shirt

 

We use technology to perform our identities online.

We use fashion to perform our identities through garments.

Why not try to physically combine technology with clothes as a way of enhancing how we showcase our individuality and uniqueness.

 

For wearable technologies to become truly integrated with fashion we have to bridge the divide between aesthetics and how we understand technology’s usefulness.” – Pauline van Dongen

 

FASHIONABLE TECHNOLOGY

It is obvious that clothes functions as a protective extension of the skin, but it is just as important that they help us form our individual identities. Our identities are ‘wearable’ and changeable through fashion, and have been so for a long time now. The new aspect of adding technology to this equation will hopefully be able to offer alternative and new ways of transforming our identities.

At the moment, there is already a lot of researching going on and a lot of solutions being proposed as to how wearable technology can change our current view of fashion. This research does not only include experiments like Pauline van Dongen’s, regarding the practical usefulness of technology in fashion, but can also have a more conceptual or aesthetic focus point. These projects become interesting since this is where a lot of the ‘identity-making’ in fashion occurs.

Ying Gao is another fashion designer dealing with the concept of technology intertwining with her designs. But in comparison to Pauline van Dongen she uses technology primarily for conceptual and aesthetic reasons. However, this still interacts between the human body and its surroundings, but does not allow the wearer itself to manipulate his/her clothing. Something I think that would be a logical next step with wearable technology.

 

ying-gaos-kinetic-garments-move-with-sound-designboom-07

 

Other research exemplifies how this self-initiated interaction might become possible. Dr. Sabine Seymour, who is the director of the Fashionable Technology Lab at Parsons The New School for Design in New York, has even written a book with this exact title, Fashionable Technology, that researches the intersection of design, fashion, science and technology. On top of that, several companies are working on inventions involving textile – such as touch-screen fabric. I find this study interesting because it is the steppingstone for making fashion truly customizable at any time. And not only by the external domain of a phone or computer, but by actual interaction with the textiles you put on your body. This idea of technology leading to a more tactile and touchable communication with your clothes – instead of it being dematerialized in a device – also takes technology in a totally new direction.

 

Google+Levi+Strauss+Touchscreen+Clothing+Display+Alliance+Blog

 

INDIVIDUAL TECHNOLOGY

Of course there is plenty of ways to approach linking the gap between aesthetics and the functionality of technology. Personally, I am curious about a solution where that link would manifest new ways of projecting my personal identity. Combining the idea of a, supposedly soon-to-be, future where textiles can act as touch-screens, I have tried to conceptualize how technology can have an effect on fashion and its personal value.

 

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

 

There is no doubt that technological innovations will have a deep impact on the meaning and communication of fashion and thereby identity.

[…] we have now entered an age in which technology is not only a bodily extension, but also a physical improvement, enhancement and expression.”

Throughout your life your identity is constantly changing, so it seems only logical to design new types of clothing that can follow your personal development. As my video suggests, this would be possible if clothing became truly obedient to your personal wishes and could be customized with your own hands. You could then at any given moment change the appearance of your clothing – and your identity. A more analogue example of this is the Color-In Dress, made as a cooperation between Berber Soepboer (fashion designer) and Michiel Schuurman (graphic designer). Although my experiment is limited to colors and patterns, you could imagine that even shape or texture could be transformable too, with the rate technology is developing.

Indeed, this way of customizing your style is already possible, but at the expense of a fast, unsustainable and trend-driven industry. If my (suggestive) model of wearable technology [x] is realized, I believe that this would establish an intimate dialogue between body, mind and fabric – making fashion more valuable to the wearer. It is the relationship you have with your clothes and how it mirrors your personality and emotions, I find interesting to develop further with technology.

Pauline van Dongen’s vision is based on the belief that technology can add new value and meaning to fashion. She does this while focusing on the human body and an interactive relation to its surroundings. I believe, that it is just as important how wearable technology can add an interactive level to our projection of ourselves, and change our relationship with fashion on a very personal level.

 

‘Jewelry attitude’ as a way of looking at the world


Monday, November 21, 2016

Stone needs a special care and appreciation to shine. Conversely, any stone can shine if you care for it. In my thesis, I am exploring the particular kind of value which derives from the personal observation and appreciation of seemingly ordinary objects. Furthermore, I examine how this value can be shared with others through an inscription of observer.

 

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Roger Caillois author of "The Writing of Stones" [x]

 

There is a picture book which is called EVERYBODY NEEDS A ROCK, written in 1974 by Byrd Baylor, an American author of picture books for children. With her sparse poetic prose, she gives us ten rules for finding our own special rock. The rules of the book are highly sensuous, therefore it rather becomes a kind of tool, to switch our mind and invite us into observing mode; they change our way of looking at things surrounding us.

 

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"Everybody Needs a Rock" by Byrd Baylor [x]

 

Through the invitation to the observation of neglected objects – in the case of the book, ‘rocks’ lying on the ground start to gain our awareness and appreciation. This awareness and the observer’s eyes brings new value into existence. This value is perhaps not only applied to rocks, but also to anything ordinary around us. A piece of plastic rubbish on the ground next to the rock could get the same attention as rocks, if the one looking, could appreciate it.

 

sae_72dpi

 

My graduation project has started with an inspiration from an article about a new kind of rock found in Hawaii, which contains plastic debris. According to the article, the rock won’t be decomposed, but will remain in the ground forever. Therefore those rocks have been considered as a potential marker of humanity’s time on earth – a kind of our generation’s rock. It led me to imagine that people in the far future dig those rocks out from the ground and appreciate it like a ruby or diamond.

 

plastiglomerate2

 

Based on the principle of the formation of the stone containing plastics, I have collected plastic rubbish and natural materials surrounding it such as twigs and shells on the street. I melted them down together, cut, polished and obtained plastic gem stones out of it. From that point, I observed the different qualities in each stone that I made, and turned them into jewellery. By caring and celebrating such a neglected object – plastic trash, I tried to generate a new value of it, and give people a new way of looking at the world and new encounters in everyday life [x].

 

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graduation presentation Sae Honda ©2016

 

Writing the thesis gave me a great insight and I started to understand my graduation project more and more in the process. Moreover, it eventually led me to realize why I chose jewellery as a medium.
The essential role of a jeweler is perhaps not dealing with rare materials, but rather reading the signs in any material and inscribing them through a process of making and caring. The jewellery attitude could be a way of looking at the world, and a way of creating the new value.

 

EVNR_BOOK_COVER_A4  [click on image] to download this thesis by Sae Honda
all rights to this thesis are property of the author © 2016 www.saehonda [x]

 

An essay concerning what I think of Design and Art and Crafts and ugly glass objects and Christien Meindertsma and her PIG05049 and her Single Sheep Sweaters.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

I find Design a difficult term. When I think of Design objects, I think of the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, which I, to my rather substantial displeasure, accidentally visited once during a school trip.
The building contained a few rooms filled with all sorts of glass Design objects, ranging from a little unpleasant to straight up horrible stuff. According to Wikipedia, the museum exhibits “more than 30,000 objects representing European and Asian decorative arts.” All I saw were contemporary glass lamps and mobiles and vases pretending to be all sorts of extremely valuable and expensive.
Having said all these mean things about Design, I myself completed an education in Graphic Design not that long ago. I have caught myself calling myself a Graphic Designer quite a few times.
Christien Meindertsma is also often called a Designer. In her bio a position on this matter is not being made, but in her CV the word Design appears very often. (It also says that in 2010 she was part of the show “Dutch Domestics – Design as Research” in the Museum fur Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt)


Christien is interested in raw materials. She explores these materials in thoughtful ways, making simple books and products that lay bare complex and otherwise hidden processes. If you’d like to hear her talking about her work you can follow this nice link.

I know Christien Meindertsma from her project PIG05049 (or actually from the TED talk she gave about it). For this project she spent three years researching the afterlife of the ordinary pig, and all the products that it ends up in after slaughter. All items are presented at their real scale in a book, a visual encyclopedia. Amongst some of the more unexpected products were: Ammunition, concrete, cigarettes, heart valves, brakes, chewing gum, porcelain and cosmetics.

Only recently I discovered one of her other projects, called One Sheep Sweater. It was on display in the cliché corner Eerlijk (Honest) at the Handmade show at Boijmans van Beuningen.
Christien started working on this project in 2003, when she was still studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In 2004, she made a collection of cardigans that were each made from the wool of one sheep.
After a few years of working with all sorts of wool and yarn manufacturers for her poofs and (Texel) ottomans, she picked up the One Sheep Sweater project again. Her goal was now to make them with a 3D knitting machine, to create an industrially made product, that would still tell a story of where it came from. She used Merino sheep from Holland and was part of the whole process from the shearing to the knitting.

I can very much relate to Christiens’ work most of the time. Though I don’t really have a particular interest in raw materials, I am very much concerned with the ways society deals with agriculture, whether it being for meat, wool, seeds, crops or other commodities. We are completely unaware of production processes and I find this very intriguing.

I think some of Christiens’ works I would call Design, for example the poofs and the ottomans and these Designy lamps that unfortunately remind me a bit of the glass Design objects that I mentioned earlier. However, the two main projects mentioned in this essay I consider to be art.
In my opinion Crafts, Design and Art are all the same things, namely words. The word Design reminds me of ugly glass objects, but that is really nobody’s fault, and it will hopefully not stay that way forever. The word Art is something I have more respect for, but I have also seen horrible stuff that was called that. With the word Crafts I mostly think of handwork, (which I use quite a lot in my own work, when I think about it now) but I also associate it with exceptional skill. And, as we all know, skills are awesome.

The words Art, Design and Crafts have different associations, but I think it’s extremely difficult to separate them from each other, if it is even possible to find out what they really mean. Some things that are considered Art can also easily be considered Craft, like some old Mannerism paintings, or more contemporary Hyperrealist paintings or sculptures. Some things that are considered Design may be considered Art. And some things that are considered Art, may by some people be considered Design.

Value is one of the main themes in Christien Meindertsma’s works. Trend forecasters tell us that, as a reaction to mass-consumerism, crafts will be valued more and more in the future. I’m hoping for this trend to develop in a large scale, for I think it has great potential to contribute to shifting our views and beliefs into less destructive and more beautiful ones.

A bunch.


Monday, November 19, 2012

For this research I have chosen a brooch made by Manfred Nisslmüller [x] which is currently being shown in the design exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, and is a part of their own collection.

Here you can see it on the Stedelijk webside.

Manfred Nisslmüller studied goldsmithing but his work is maybe better suited under the category of visual art than design. Jewelry is still the main focus of his work but now he looks at it from a different view. He investigates and raises questions about the media but wearability is not one of his main considerations. For example, in this work below he uses graphite to make a brooch, ring and a bracelet. But since it is made out of this unusual material the items are way too heavy to be worn.

Let’s turn back to the brooch. What I see at first is not only a brooch like the title suggests, but a bunch of brooches. It is like looking into my own jewelry box at home, all in a mess. A fusion too complicated to untangle before going out so instead of wearing it I let it lie there for ages just to tangle up even more.
But I like the idea of wearing all of your brooches at once. Why only chose one? It seems only to occur to me to wear one piece at a time or at least only a few but never the whole pile. Am I just bragging if I wear my whole collection at once? Is it the same to actually wear the collection tidily placed side by side like an award winning officer or wear it randomly twisted together like trash in the wind. How does the value of a piece of jewelry change by it’s contact with other pieces?

I really like this question of value. This brooch is a mixture of various brooches, cheap junk you could find in a 1 euro shop along with precious metals with natural stones. Somehow, when they get mixed up in a pile like that the value becomes unimportant and not visible. I like the idea of these jewelry becoming equal and becoming one. Their value is equally divided. But does this brooch have less value than one of the fancier brooches incorporated in it, if worn on its own? Is less more or is more less?

Perhaps, in the end the effect is exactly the same.
Jewelry is something made to decorate, to adorn. That is a fact closely examined by Nisslmuller in his work. He investigates the role of jewelry and the word jewelry on it’s own. He has been dancing on the line between jewelry design and visual arts throughout his whole career, constantly becoming more conceptual as he continues to question the media of jewelry making and wearability becomes less and less important.
To him the looks of jewelry, their beauty or ugliness, doesn’t matter that much. The purpose is always the same and it is always accomplished. To him a piece of jewelry can be an object, a situation or a feeling but they all obey the same basic rules – they all adorn.

In 1984 he presented these two suggestions for pieces of jewelry that I really like:

A) Spray both ears with fluorescent lacquer and whistle a melody in intervals.

B) One hears the word “BROOCH” repeated softly from a cassette recorder worn concealed on the body.

As you can see from these two examples his definition of jewelry is very broad. I think he really brings us back to the core of this ancient tradition and keeps on investigating it and questioning it into the infinite.

Manfred Nisslmuller was born in the year 1940 in Wien where he still lives and works. He published a book about his ideas about jewelry called “Uber (und) Schmuck” In which I got my main information about his works and thoughts. This book along with a couple of other books and newspaper articles on Manfred and his work can be found at the Stedelijk Museum library.

Here you can see their website [Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam].

Golden Encounter


Monday, October 22, 2012

[publication of graduation essay by Richard Elenbaas 2012

Richard Elenbaas is interested in how value is created. He adds ideas to objects to create something valuable, but what is value these days in a time where most of the values are virtual? In the field of jewellery the theme of value is always present. A lot of times jewellery is valuable or bears a valuable meaning.

His work is based on topics that trouble all of us: newspapers filled with articles about the “crisis” and the degrading of the “euro”. As a jewellery maker he takes these themes to create work about “value”. The aim is to create connective possibilities to this theme and make suggestions.

Interested in symbols of value like gold and money, it seems this is all that matters today. So he try to triggers people with the seduction of interaction; to make them become part of the work and create value and social relations.
 
  Download thesis: Jewellery is a State of Encounter

[images of Richard Elenbaas's graduation show

 

Left out


Thursday, April 28, 2011

As I walked through the exhibition, I imagined at some point that I was not there with my fellow art students, but with a friend of mine who is a biologist. This made me feel excluded; I knew that the content of the works on show contained a lot of ‘scientific’ information of which I didn’t have the slightest clue. What’s the purpose of one of these organisms shown in a framed picture? What does it consist of, how does it function? I felt I couldn’t understand the narrative behind the representation, and that this left me unhappy, unlike my biologist friend. Had we seen these pictures in a science museum, with explanations next to the images, I would have felt better: I could try to understand. But no, not here. Then suddenly it struck me: being art students, we constantly talk about art, we recognize the rhetorics, hell we’re even beginning to use it. When we go to a museum, we understand the context. But for people who have no background in art, it can be difficult to grasp all its aspects (also because in my opinion a lot of artists can deliberately stay a bit vague). Walking in the Beauty in Science exhibition, I felt for the first time like I imagine Henk en Ingrid could feel about museums: “I don’t understand what you’re showing me, nor why, and you don’t give a decent explanation!”. For me, the exhibition underlined the importance of communicating the value art can have for its audience.


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