MADE hangout: Fashion & Technology

Last Friday, MADE Fashion Week introduced its first ever Fashion & Technology #MADEhangout to viewers. Ernesto Qualizza, the CMO of Lone Signal, which performed the first mass METI experiment on June 17, 2013, at Milk Studios, moderated the Google+ Hangout amongst the following contributors for the panel of discussion: NASA Johnson Space Center‘s Wearable Technology Engineer Cory Simon and Spacesuit Engineer Amy Ross, California Institute of Technology geo-biologist and WIRED writer Jeffrey Marlow, Continuum Fashion and CONSTRVCT Founder Mary Huang, On The Racks blogger Laura Ellner and Fashioning Tech blogger Syuzi Patchin. The panel immediately jumped right into their discussion, revolved around the topic of the relationship between fashion and technology, as each contributor shared a little bit more information on himself/herself, yet Qualizza ultimately wanted each contributor to consider fashion and technology 100 years from now, in the year 2113, and how this hand-in-hand relationship will play an individual role in our future.

Simon and Ross, hardwired engineers, touched on how they work in wearable technology (fashion) at NASA, so everyday they are working towards improving the efficiency and safety of astronauts, while in space, by augmenting their human capabilities through technology. They hope by 2113, advanced technology will simultaneously give room for conservation of fashion materials and for advancement of fashion alone. Ross brought up how NASA discusses the manufacturing of astronaut garments that remain clean and smelling fine after multiple wears, which will result in less dependency on washing machine water. Marlow talked about his idea that it would be reasonable to imagine, in 100 years, clothing made with sensors that will help keep track of the human microbial system in real time. Marlow informed listeners that he has been thinking a lot about how wearable technology (fashion) can help us know what’s going on in our bodies.

Huang discussed self customization of clothing in 100 years through the use of 3D printing and design technology, as well as, the space suit evolving into a more “civilian design” and cheaper design to support the average human’s exploration of space via space tourism. Perhaps this “civilian design” will not only lend to this idea that “once technical barriers are removed, everyone wants the opportunity to make stuff,” but will lend to “space couture” constructed in a “techno atelier.” Patchin added to this idea by expressing her interest in the roles of a fashion designer and the vocabulary that will be used with more advanced technological fashion in 100 years. She also stated, “Essentially, our identities are fluid. We are a mother. We are a business woman. We’re a designer, an athlete and all these things shift throughout the day. So it’d be really great…I guess in fashion it’s called transitional clothing, to have clothing that naturally, fluidly shifts with our identities throughout the day. It expresses us continually without having to do a wardrobe change.” Although Ellner acknowledged that she felt this fashion and technology of the future was already starting to take fruition, she believed the challenge was finding these designs to be beautiful in 100 years. It was a matter of the level of comfort for Ellner.

Each contributor of this panel ultimately proposed that it is inevitable that fashion and technology go hand-in-hand, and that we will see in the next 100 years what materials, what design and what technologies will be brought together to support human factors and needs.

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