Abstract Panel 13 March 2017

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Swatches, Switches and Britches

Sophie Skach, Rebecca Stewart and Patrick Healey, Queen Mary University

Fabrics have been our first interface to the analog world. With their presence, we divide spaces, protect ourselves (or our laptops) from exterior influences, or communicate social status. Increasingly, fabrics have also been explored as an interface to the digital world, first exposing technological innovation and later providing a surface for ubiquitous technologies.

For this symposium, we discuss this ambiguity of garments and technologies from being on display to being hidden - and the other way around, and give examples from more or less bizarre fashion trends.

And fashion, or furthermore clothing is what “makes our body culturally visible”. But which clothes we put on display to which extent has changed throughout history, creating different social rules through the choice of material, patterns and technical details.

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