Douglas Atkinson

Profile image of Innovation Research Fellow Member of the Digital Anthropology Lab

Innovation Research Fellow Member of the Digital Anthropology Lab

London College of Fashion

Biography

Douglas has a background in fashion pattern cutting, working with sustainable micro businesses and large international luxury brands.

Having used wearable electronics in his Masters Degree collection to map the motion of the wearer and translate this into a live soundscape, Douglas continues to conduct interdisciplinary research into sensory intersections between fashion and technology.

As Research Assistant on the EPSRC funded Digital Sensoria project he explored the potential of synesthesic, cross-modal cues to influence our perception of the haptic qualities of interactive digital textile samples. He then worked with the Designer Manufacturer Innovation Support Centre (DISC) at London College of Fashion (LCF) to explore biosensor technologies as a means of tracking the emotional experience of garment machinists during manufacture. The use of such technologies to bridge technological and fundamentally human experience has now become a major theme of his research.

Most recently Douglas was Co-Investigator on the ESRC funded MIDAS: Embodiment project, guiding the lead ethnographic researcher in exploring digital practice at LCF in relation to the body and concepts of embodiment within the fashion domain.

He lectures and supervises student thesis projects for the MA Fashion Futures and MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation courses at LCF.

Research interests

Digital mediation and tracking of emotion experienced in relation to fashion artefacts and their production. Post-Industrial fashion practices and detachment from material making. Multisensory interactions with fashion artefacts.

Research statement

Douglas' research can broadly be categorised as exploring the ways in which the digital can be used to infer and represent the most intangible, sensory and emotional aspects of human experience, those which are crucial to our relationship with fashion items and identity and our experience as fashion makers. Moreover attempting to map the ways in which digital technologies change our interaction with materials in the making process, our aesthetics and capacity to design, through the loss of sensory and or emotional engagement.

To this end his current research explores the use of physiological data, particularly skin conductance, to digitally capture the response of fashion practitioners to making and designing activities.

Another key interest, relating to changes in design and making in a digital world is the application of speculative and critical design to fashion practice in a landscape of offshored, post-industrial making, materially detached from the designer.

Selected research outputs

  • The tactile triangle: a design research framework demonstrated through tactile comparisons of textile materials

    Atkinson, Douglas and Baurley, Sharon and Petreca, Bruna and Bianchi-Berthouze, Nadia and Watkins, Penelope (2016) The tactile triangle: a design research framework demonstrated through tactile comparisons of textile materials. Journal of Design Research. ISSN 1748-3050

  • Making, Emotion and the drive to re-shore UK garment manufacturing

    Atkinson, Douglas (2014) Making, Emotion and the drive to re-shore UK garment manufacturing. In: The Colors of Care: Design & Emotion 2014, 9th International Conference, Colombia. Ediciones Uniandes, Bogotá, Colombia, pp. 127-130. ISBN 978-958-774-070-7

  • The Future of Textiles Sourcing: exploring the potential for digital tools

    Petreca, Bruna and Atkinson, Douglas and Bianchi-Berthouze, Nadia and Furniss, Dominic and Baurley, Sharon (2014) The Future of Textiles Sourcing: exploring the potential for digital tools. In: Proceedings of "The colors of care: 9th International Conference on Design & Emotion". Ediciones Uniandes/Elsevier, Bogota, Colombia, pp. 366-377. ISBN 978-958-774

  • An Embodiment Perspective of Affective Touch Behaviour in Experiencing Digital Textiles

    Petreca, Bruna and Bianchi-Berthouze, Nadia and Baurley, Sharon and Watkins, Penelope and Atkinson, Douglas (2013) An Embodiment Perspective of Affective Touch Behaviour in Experiencing Digital Textiles. In: ACII '13 Proceedings of the 2013 Humaine Association Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction. IEEE Computer Society, Washington DC, USA, pp. 770-775. ISBN 978-0-7695-5048-0

  • Applying Technology Adoption Models to UK High-End SMEs

    Atkinson, Douglas (2013) Applying Technology Adoption Models to UK High-End SMEs. In: Digital Fashion 2013, 6-17 May 2013, London College of Fashion, John Princes' Street, London, UK.

  • Tactile Perceptions of Digital Textiles: A Design Research Methodology

    Atkinson, Douglas and Orzechowski, Pawel and Petreca, Bruna and Bianchi-Berthouze, Nadia and Watkins, Penelope and Baurley, Sharon and Padilla, Stefano and Chantler, Mike (2013) Tactile Perceptions of Digital Textiles: A Design Research Methodology. In: CHI '13 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, New York, pp. 1669-1678. ISBN 9781450318990