Fashion, Innovation, Research, Evolution: Developing a Designer Fashion Knowledge Landscape
12.00 - 13.00, Friday 29th April 2016
Room K020 - Ground Floor, King's College London
Little is known about the networks and collaborative process that form the ecosystem of the designer fashion and textile sector. Our Creativeworks London project enabled a collaboration between software developers Minified and Prof Sandy Black of London College of Fashion, UAL (with researcher Gabrielle Miller) to test a new method of mapping interactions within the designer fashion and textile sector. This hard-to-reach creative community largely comprises individual freelance designers and micro businesses. Their networks, however, extend both locally and globally. Despite the high value of the fashion industry to the UK economy, little research has been conducted into the networks and collaborative practices that fuel this creative community. We developed an interactive survey targeted at fashion and textiles designer businesses - visually attractive and simple to use - in order to gain deeper understanding and insights to inform stakeholders from industry and academia. Importantly, the survey data is linked to the graphic visualisations, giving immediate feedback when inputting information, and potentially increasing the survey uptake.
We will present the project, the prototype survey and data gathered so far, followed by a panel discussion with the project team and invited fashion and textile designers. Issues to be discussed include: developing an R&D culture for fashion and textiles, fostering collaboration and open innovation in a culture of secrecy; the digital shift in relation to fashion design cycles.
The discussion will draw upon research recently completed under the F.I.R.E umbrella (Fashion, Innovation, Research, Evolution) – a series of projects researching aspects of the designer fashion ecosystem in relation to the digital economy and sustainable business practices - see www.fire-fashion.uk
Illustration credit: Josie Wiley for the F.I.R.E project
Prof Sandy Black of London College of Fashion, UAL