What do you want people to know about your graduation project?
Many people don’t realise that clothing is made by human beings (the majority of which are women). In contrast to the narrative of tech-solutions and tech-futures, clothing manufacturing is actually still quite far away from technologies of full automation. I wanted to visualise the amount of human energy, care and handling that goes into the making of basically any garment, so I decided to cover my hands in fabric paint and sew. The human touch becomes literally imprinted on the garment.
What or who is your inspiration and why is following this route important to you?
I have always enjoyed sewing and engaging with a community of textile makers and (mostly female) clothing engineers. I am inspired by the drive these people have, and how creating something useful or beautiful – or sewing just for the sake of it – seems to empower them. At the same time, the majority of the clothing industry is built on socially and environmentally exploitative practices. I think it is important to shift the power dynamics in the industry and build on the positive potential of sewing technology.
What has been your favourite thing about ECA and Edinburgh?
The best part of my time at ECA was meeting so many bright minds. Every day at uni, I would learn something unexpected but insightful from a fellow student’s comment, presentation or just within a casual conversation. My main course, Design for Change (MA), hosted students from almost every continent. Hearing and discussing everyone’s thoughts fundamentally impacted and enriched my view on the world.
What are your hopes for life after ECA? Do you have any plans?
I hope to work in a position that is as intellectually and creatively stimulating as the work I engaged with at ECA. Luckily, I am open to both a career in clothing technology, as well as projects in environmental and social sustainability, which broadens my job pool quite a bit. Ideally, I would combine the two, for example by building a fashion and sewing studio.
I feel extremely privileged to have had this year in Design for Change (MA), as I had the freedom and support to engage with and explore deeply the topics that I was personally interested in – all the while receiving incredibly diverse input from other disciplines and other thinkers.
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