New digital processes are changing how garments are designed and developed. From wearable electronics to motion capture, to crafting a pattern on a virtual mannequin, what does rapid digitisation in fashion education and industry mean for touch? Has the role of touch and tactile material engagement in the garment design development process been fully understood yet? How does one go about studying touch practices in the contemporary fashion studio? In this episode, Lili Golmohammadi speaks to UAL lecturer, researcher, and fellow IN-TOUCH PhD candidate Douglas Atkinson about how he came to frame his study, and the ethnographic approaches he employed to understand how fashion students and tutor-practitioners use touch. Now in the final stages of the PhD, Douglas reflects on how digital touch technologies might best support fashion designers’ touch practices in the future.
The notion that it is possible to ‘see with the hands’, as Descartes once put it in Dioptrique (1637, see Paterson 2016), chimes with the popular imagination of the sense of touch as somehow enhanced in people with impaired vision. It is linked to centuries of philosophical debate and scientific research of how blind people… Continue reading Visual touch or sensing with the eyes