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London College of Fashion

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The Money Debate: Designing Alternative Values

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Published date 05 March 2015

On 19th March, LCF will be hosting a debate focusing on money, its influence upon our decisions, creativity and wider issues of sustainability. In this digital age where new forms of currency are tweeted, posted or exchanged in moments, this may well prove to be a key moment for the creative industry and economic system.

money pic

Image from BA (Hons) Fashion Photography ‘zine project

In light of this exciting event, LCF News asked MA Fashion Futures student Rachael Taylor, who will also be leading this debate, to give us her views and tell us how this affects the fashion industry…

RT: In the 21st century we are entering a time when cash is no longer king, pounds are changing form into bits, bytes and things. Possessions are being swapped into spaces that build relationships and a social currency is creating moments of exchange. The monetary moving from physical to digital, virtual worlds enabling personal and collective actions subject to need.

Money is central to our everyday lives and choices which can result in positive and negative consequences. The future of money and creation of alternatives is the subject of debate. A shift is emerging in new concepts for finance and economy, bringing with it possibilities and opportunities as designers. This was evident at the V&A Museum: Money No Object Series in 2014 and work of Patrick Stevenson-Keating, participating in the current Design Museum Designers Residence: Disruption.

Social media has expanded the collaborative consumption movement to a global platform for sharing, renting and swapping. Localism in the form of Brixton pounds has enabled small businesses growth and connected communities with local heritage, visualised on every pound. Social networks and digitisation are creating virtual currencies; VEN and Bitcoin are used by members of hub culture for purchasing goods and services. In fashion a social currency where tweets using a hashtag act as forms of payment. (Truong 2014) at Fast Company reported on Daisy Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop, customers paid for samples and other products by posting on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Design offers an ability for creativity and imagination to provide alternative opportunities for how fashion is consumed and distributed. Depending on what lenses you look, how this is framed could be the difference between; life becoming a commodity or creating a better world.

As part of my Final Major Project for MA Fashion Futures, I am designing a series of alternative systems and exchanges. The first part of this series will be The Money Debate: Designing Alternative Values, to be held at London College of Fashion. This will act as a design intervention to create dialogue around the concepts of money, selected speakers will offer knowledge upon how they put into practice new systems of exchange. This will bring attention to alternative possibilities within the design process, innovative approaches using different modes of exchange and evolving systems. When situated with sustainability this provides creative opportunities for using digital, physical and social currency as a way of widening an inclusive freedom of choice, that being central to building a sustainable world.

The Money Debate: Designing Alternative Values will take place on 19th March at 6.30pm.