Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Where Good Ideas Come From

Where do good ideas come from? This new book by Steven Johnson explores the natural history of innovation. The video clip below explains in more detail... I have just purchased this from amazon so a mini book review will follow.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Sew Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld has designed a two piece open source pattern collection for online sewing community Burdastyle. These fashion forward patterns are available for download (approx $10 for both) with detailed instructions.

I can't wait to attempt both pieces. Following the feedback from Burda's online community the skirt the is much easier out of the two to produce. There has been a lot of discussion in regards to other star designer's following Lagerfelds offering and lots of speculation, hopes and wishes for a collection of star designers to follow suit!

There has also been some reference to the SHOWstudio Design_DOWNLOAD project which invited participants to access a collection of open source patterns by Alexander McQueen, John Galliano ,   Maison Martin Margiela and many more. This project invited the participants to reproduce the designs and upload images of their finished work. Entries were judged by a panel of experts and the winners were invited to showcase their garment within the SHOWstudio Fashion Revolution Exhibition (2009) London. 

This approach is accessible, affordable and extends high end fashion to a wider audience... With a little 'know-how' and support people can make the garments for themselves. I love this approach but have to admit some of the patterns are very complex therefore support of an experienced dressmaker might be required! However, I find both projects really exciting... Is this a new way of consuming fashion for the future? We will need to wait and see. 

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Voice Knitter

A new approach to 'interactive knitwear' from Berlin based fashion label Trikoton... This interdisciplinary team have designed a production process which enables users to create personalised knitwear. 

In the 'Voice Knitting' collection, users can convert their own audio messages using the pattern generator  to create an individual pattern. A built in web application converts sound into pattern allowing users to play with pattern and apply it to a selection of different garments. 

The Trikoton team are interesting in exploring new ways of making the garment manufacturing process more interactive, as well as more personal therefore hopefully less disposable for the wearer.  Fusing traditional and new technology, they have converted some domestic knitting machines by hacking the punch card slots and converting them with micro controllers which connect to a computer for audio transfer. 

This project presents lots of possibilities for producing personal products which makes custom clothing really accessible. 

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Design Council: Design Glossary #1 - 'Co-Design'

The Design Council are in the process of 'crowdsourcing' a series of design terms to help designers define their value to clients. The first term is: co-design...

The term 'co-design' is frequently used within the field of design but use, application and principles vary depending on context and discipline. Last year I carried out come research into co-design and presented on open lecture to a large group of students, tutors and my PhD supervisors.

Co-Everything: Defining Co-Design within the field of fashion & textiles was a thirty minute presentation followed by a question and answer session. This was a really valuable exercise for me as a designer and researcher... I found that the landscape is huge and the term co-design is associated to  multiple modes of design practice. The question and answer session enabled the audience to challenge co-design, contribute their opinions and share their insights with me. 

Following on from 'Co-Everything' I designed and facilitated a series of exploratory co-design workshops with textile design students. These workshops are going to be expanded upon over the next twelve months... If you are interested in participating please send me an email.

What is co-design? Instead of a definition I have made a list 

Co-design is a method / an act of collective creativity / it bridges the gap between the designer and the user / goes beyond specialist mindsets / welcomes the unexpected / should encourage a playful approach / is a shared experience / ...

To add your definition visit the design council facebook page... I am going to submit something more specific this afternoon.

My Crowdsourcing / voting Experiment: The End

And so my experiment comes to an end... It have been an intense experience and I have learned lots in the process. I love 'crowdsourcing' as a concept but had no prior experience of participating or contributing within such projects.

I got through the whole experience with very little negative comments and was supported by my friends who supported, voted and encouraged others to vote. The final results have not been tallied officially but I made it into the top 50 out of over 500 entries which is not bad for a first attempt!

My Reflections

1. Establish a network first - it's difficult to establish support and pull in votes from scratch
2. The WOW Factor - don't play it safe, people need to remember your design and talk about it to others
3. Be Strategic - have a game plan, everyone else does

I continue to believe in crowdsourcing as a concept and I do think that it has the potential to produce good design. I previewed all entries and two of the strongest designs (in my opinion) made it into the top five. 

However, lots of fantastic entries failed to attract support and should have been rated much higher. A lot of the comments within the community profiled the platform as a popularity contest... and when you begin to pull in votes from family and friends of course it gets personal. Maybe designs should be submitted anonymously?

What I like about the approach is that after the competition closes you still have all of your supporters backing your profile page. Within a week I have an established profile and have almost 200 supporters, which would have taken me a lot longer to achieve... They are star making and giving everyone an opportunity to compete for their 15 minutes!

I would like to say thank you to everyone who supported me throughout this experiment, especially Green my Style for promoting the call for participation and supporting, and also  Social Alterations for backing my entry.

Monday, 4 October 2010

My Crowdsoucing / Crowdvoting Experiment!

My Entry 2010

I am participating in a little project inspired and driven by my research project. As well as exploring co-design concepts for fashion and textile design, I am really inspired by social networking and new technology. Therefore I have set myself a 'crowdsourcing / crowdvoting' challenge and would love you to participate!

Crowdsoucing is an act of outsourcing tasks to the crowd through an open call for participation. The designs produced are openly revealed to the pubic who can cast votes and submit comments.

"Talenthouse is a platform providing opportunities to the world’s creative community – a place to participate in unique projects with artists and brands, collaborate, gain recognition and compensation."

I have submitted a fashion design concept for their creative invite to design a stage outfit for Florence from Florence and the Machine. 

The Process

Stage 1: Create a design concept and submit
Stage 2: Gather support
Stage 3: Collect votes 
Stage 4: Voting closes

Stage 5: the votes are counted
Stage 6: the top ten awarded a runner's up prize
Stage 7: the final five are sent to the artist who chooses the winner!

How it Works: all participants need to gather a bit of a following... they can use twitter, facebook, google news and email to promote their design and invite people to support them within this process. So, I have uploaded my design and am now working on stage two - gathering support!

If you would like to participate and support me carry out this experiment visit my Talenthouse and click the 'support jen' button. Stage three: voting, begins tomorrow and all supporters will be invited to vote via email or facebook.

I am going to blog about my progress and the experience itself throughout the duration of the week. 

Will it be easy to collect votes or will I fail miserably... how will be design be received... do people love/hate it? It is officially out my my control and in your hands... 

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Creative Review Tweet Up

I unfortunately could not attend this event - but I love the concept!

Creative Review staged their first ever 'tweetup' event at the Design Museum last week in co-ordination with the London Design Festival. On arrival participants were greeted with a free drink and gifted a moleskin journal and bag of lego...

They were asked to bring a piece of work with them which was used to produce an impromptu exhibition within the gallery. Activity tables were set up and participants were asked to draw onto an endless roll of paper inspired by a frequently updated brief... that's where the twitter component come in!

Tweets were streamed live and projected onto a screen within the venue... this allow outside participants to contribute and follow the event in real time. 

The participants also got to work using their free bag of LEGO and you can see the concentration within the room as lots of participants got to work to produce a new invention.

I love this concept. As designer's begin to use twitter and other social networking / digital applications it presents us with new platforms to be innovative, collaborative and challenge traditional models of working together. 

This does not need to be a group event, I think the individual designer can use twitter to work with a larger audience and the work of Textile Designer / Illustrator Johanna Basford is the best example which comes to mind. I have embedded a video below!

Fringe Cover from Johanna Basford on Vimeo.