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London College of Fashion

Techtile Jungle: rethink the animate at the Fashion Space Gallery vitrine

Written by Fanny Allart
Published date 23 July 2019

Techntile Jungle Vitrine.  Image credit: Pearline Yeo

MA Fashion Curation students set upTechtile Jungle, an interactive display exploring the relationship between textiles and technology was exhibited at the Fashion Space Gallery vitrine.

Marrying digital textile fabrication techniques and curatorial strategies, Techtile Jungle examines the difference between animation and automation. Made of silicone, lace, and nylon mesh and equipped with sensors, these objects are brought to life - sometimes unnoticed - when a passerby’s movement is detected.

Textile wrapped silicone pin cushions  Image credit: Pearline Yeo.

The vitrine project was an extension of Alice Chen’s Collaborative Unit ‘Active Programmable Matter’. Joined by fellow MA Fashion Curation student Pearline Yeo, they began the project in March this year.  Maria Dada, Co-Coordinator of the LCF Digital Anthropology Lab, led the experimentation in creating the animated objects, with an intention of giving an innovative response to ‘active programming’.

The team discussed regularly the effects of different fabrics and material used in prototypes and was intrigued by the animation technology brought to those textiles. The exhibition aimed to challenge the usual static presentation in the vitrine space and explored ways to deliver visual effects.

About her experience, Pearline Yeo stated:

We wanted to push the boundaries of the usual presentation of textiles. We also wanted to bring awareness to students of what the Digital Anthropology Lab can offer when it comes to working and designing with technology.

Close up pattern of a pincushion.  Image credit: Alice Chen

MA Fashion curation student Alice Chen said:

We began to ask questions about the process and vitrine display, and audience responses. What can be animated? Is technology bringing us closer to textiles than before? The process helped us reflect how textiles and technology are each playing a role in these fields today.

During our three-day vitrine installation, we saw various reactions from passersby who were curious about how the objects were created, and how the digital fabrication technique can be applied into fashion. Altogether these responses proved to us how an exhibition or a display like this can trigger dialogues between one other and help to encourage conversations on textiles and technology.

Side view, vitrine Image credit: Pearline Yeo

Curated by Alice Chen and Pearline Yeo, MA Fashion Curation.

Animate pincushion creatures by Digital Anthropology Lab, London College of Fashion.

Special thanks to Maria Dada and Ragnar Hrafnkelsson from the Digital Anthropology Lab.