Sunday, March 28, 2010

IFFTI 2010 Conference: Fashion: Sustainability and Creativity

I am back from Taipei and Fashion: Sustainability and Creativity, from what was simply a fantastic conference. Thank you to the organizers - not just for the quality and richness of the papers but also for the other activities throughout the three days. I was going to post a full report on the conference here, but since I've just posted a report on my top three papers on 560: Magazine for Parsons School of Fashion, it's easier to simply link there.

In addition to the three papers by Holly McQuillan, Daniel James Cole and Patricia Lockren, I'd like to commend and briefly comment on the following papers:

Katherine Townsend & Yumi Chon, Nottingham Trent University:
Remaining Beauty: A Sustainable Approach to Surface Pattern Design
Chon was not able to come to the conference but Townsend presented Chon's work in a beautiful light.

Yu Han Au, Joe Au & Raymond Au, Hong Kong Polytechnic University:
Development of Theoretical Framework of Ultimate Fashion and Textile Design Process Model
Having read most of Joe Au's papers on fashion design process, it was exciting to hear from one of his research students - in short, it is good to see rigorous research into fashion design process. This may have changed, but a couple of years ago a read-through of the keywords for Design Studies, one of the key journals for design research, did not include fashion design while around 20 other design disciplines made it.

Kritika Dawar, Pearl Academy of Fashion:
Collaborative Efforts Towards Sustainability
Dawar reported on Shared Talent, a heart-warming collaboration between six Indian and six UK designers, and students from India, UK and the Netherlands. I was so immersed in listening that my notes were somewhat brief, but here's a tidbit: "Sustainability need not compromise creativity or quality."

Kathryn Brownbridge, Manchester Metropolitan University:
The Impact of Advanced Knitwear Technology: Fashion, Sustainability and Innovation.
Brownbridge presented interesting findings from three UK companies that had implemented complete garment technology. It certainly sounded like the investment paid off for all three. This was Kathryn's first conference presentation; if the moderator hadn't said so, we would have never known. Congratulations!

Patricia Brien, RMIT:
Imagination, Inspiration, Imitation: A Preliminary Exploration of Rudolf Steiner's Theories. Holistic Clothing and Sustainable Fashion Design
Perhaps the most left-of-centre paper I heard - in a good way: so rich and interesting. Brien made an interesting link between Rudolf Steiner, Joseph Beuys and AF Vandevorst. I hope Brien continues with this endeavour.

Ok, I missed the following two; it was so difficult to have to choose between six parallel sessions. Yes, six. I can cope with three or four but at times I wanted to go and see all six at the same time. I should note that Holly, Todd and Kate had their presentations at the same time and I went to Holly's, hence missing these two.

Todd Robinson, University of Technology Sydney:
Thematizing Change: Creativity, Dynamic Practices and Sustainability
Todd is a former colleague whose PhD project is promising to be of great interest. Watch out.

Kate Fletcher, London College of Fashion:
Systems Change for Sustainability in Fashion.
Kate wasn't in Taiwan to present; instead, Helen Thomas presented for her. Kate discusses systems change in her book and I would have loved to have heard where she's at with this, but I will have to wait until next time.

IFM will host the conference next year. The race is on, folks; to top the calibre of papers from 2010 will be a truly exciting challenge!

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