“Can I Wear This?” Blending Clothing and Digital Expression by Wearing Dynamic Fabric
Angella Mackey, Ron Wakkary, Stephan Wensveen, Oscar Tomico
We explore the future scenario of wearing garments with digital display capabilities, or dynamic fabric, in everyday life. Our study, called Greenscreen Dress, investigates the experience of wearing dynamic fabric and how this type of garment quality might alter our daily interactions with clothing and have implications for designers. In the study, we adopt an autoethnographic approach that materially speculates on dynamic fabric by wearing green every day for ten months and using a chroma key (“greenscreen”) mobile application to give the garments a digital display. We reflect on the behavioural and mental shifts that emerge from integrating dynamic fabric into one’s wardrobe with regards to expression through personal style, fashion design processes for and with digital content, social acceptance of dynamic displays on clothes in mass fashion and engagement with digital media for expressive purposes. Broadly, we argue that exploring wearable technologies through the lens of socio-cultural perspectives and clothing practice, as opposed to material or technological developments, can reveal insights with regards to the opportunities and challenges of blending clothing with smart technologies. More specifically, we explore the future notion of dynamic fabric clothing through the act of wearing dynamic fabric in everyday life and an engagement with digital expression.
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