More than Human Centred Design


Designing Towards Inward-Oriented Fashion Technology: Demo Projects

  • Marina Toeters, by-wire.net, Utrecht, Netherlands; Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • Lianne Toussaint, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Martijn ten Bhömer, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham Ningbo, Ningbo, China
  • Kevin Russell, Domicro, Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • Corresponding email(s): m.toeters@gmail.com
  • Project webpage
  • Research group webpage
  • ACM DL Link: Associated Paper or Pictorial

Fashion technology designs typically combine sensing technology and actuators to register and respond to information about the environment and/or the human body. The ways in which designers use and integrate these data into garments, however, varies on a scale from highly theatrical and outward-oriented designs to subtle and inward-oriented applications. The Demo presents five garment designs created between 2013 and 2020, that occupy the more utilitarian and inward-oriented end of the fashion technology spectrum. We demonstrate five designs that combine sensing and actuation, highlighting the benefits of direct biofeedback and of keeping the personal data within the garment. The selection of projects aims to search the right balance between sensing and actuation.

Who is the target audience and why design for them? Fashion technology designers and developers, to give tools and inspiration to carefully consider four interconnected dimensions of wearability and demonstrates the importance of balancing sensing and actuation.

What were the challenges or limitations encountered in this project? Finding the right balance between sensing and actuation when working with many stakeholders in development processes is hard. Inward-oriented fashion technology that functions without the interferences of mobile screens and data visualizations allows the biofeedback loop to remain within the garment and with the wearer. Not all stakeholders are convinced yet about the quality that this entails.

What are the opportunities and next steps for this project? The development of project 5, Gesture shirt, should make an even better balance, based on the knowledge we gained out of this analysis.

To the Demo Visitors: Whenever you find yourself in Eindhoven, we love to welcome you at the Fashion Tech Farm! http://www.fashiontechfarm.com