Immersive Interactions for Sustainable Heritage in Fashion & Textiles
Augmented Fashion is a 36-month collaborative interdisciplinary research project involving experts in Fashion, Textiles and Computing Science from both academia and industry in the UK and China. It builds on the network created as part of the AHRC-funded ‘From Augmented to Authentic’ project completed in August 2019. This follow-on project seeks to explore ways to educate the consumer about the craftsmanship, heritage, value and sustainability of traditional fashion and textile products, using a variety of media, such as immersive technologies and Human-Computer Interactive applications, to interact and engage with new generations of audiences and consumers.
The scope of the fashion and textile industry is extensive; if it were ranked alongside individual countries’ GDP, the global fashion industry would represent the world’s fifth largest economy.
This project will explore the potential for collaborative, cross-cultural creative designs between fashion and textile designers in the UK and China, with a focus on traditional tweed and fine silk. The project will then explore how immersive technologies can be used to alter consumer perceptions, by re-valuing craftsmanship and encouraging consumers to see clothing as an investment to appreciate and cherish. The project seeks to facilitate the participation of a range of fashion and textile businesses and practitioners in immersive technologies, providing an interdisciplinary knowledge exchange opportunity among academic researchers and industry partners that will bridge digital skills gaps and encourage innovative practice.
This research project proposes to use immersive technologies and Human-Computer Interactions to visualise tangible and intangible cultural heritage related to the production of traditional and artisan fashion and textile practices. It looks to weave the past into the future, preserving history for future audiences and preserving practices for future artisans to develop into contemporary fashion and textile products. These products will embody the growing slow fashion movement, encouraging a sustainable future for designers, makers, consumers and the world we live in.
The Augmented Fashion project’s aim is ‘to determine how immersive interactions can be used to communicate the experience and value of creative, artisan fashion and textile products, with a focus on culture, provenance, heritage, the human hand and sustainable clothing consumption’.
The objectives are to:
Facilitate the co-creation of creative fashion and textile designs that visualise the culture, heritage and sustainable future of UK and Chinese artisan fashion and textile brands.
Revitalise the internationalisation and sustainable practice of UK and Chinese artisan fashion and textile brands through cross-cultural knowledge exchange and business development interactions.
Exploit immersive technologies to record the co-creation process, to show the heritage, human hand, value and sustainability of artisan fashion and textile designs.
Develop and present immersive fashion experiences for use across multiple platforms, locations and cultures, exploring the potential for immersive technologies to preserve and re-value heritage, and engage contemporary consumers and future audiences.
Create immersive technologies toolkits and training assets and through cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange develop the digital awareness and skills of UK and Chinese artisan fashion and textile brands.
Robert Gordon University
UK PI: Dr. Yang Jiang, Senior Lecturer in School of Computing, Robert Gordon University;
China PI: Professor Rong Zheng, Professor of Shanghai International Innovation Center, Donghua University
UK Co-PI: Josie Steed, Course Leader, Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University;
UK Co-PI: Karen Cross, Strategic lead of Creative Culture Business, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University
China Co-PI: Mr. Zheyu Han, Director of Shanghai Promotion Center for City of Fashion.