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Education for Fashion Tech

Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Fashion in the Digital Era

Project summary

London College of Fashion - University of the Arts London (UK) in partnership with Polytechnic University of Milan - Italy, and the Swedish School of Textiles at University of Borås, have established an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for higher education within the new field of Fashiontech. The project started on 1 September 2017 and continues until August 2020.

The project will, by developing interdisciplinary curricula for better higher education within the fields Smart Textiles, Wearable Technologies and Digital Manufacturing, improve higher education, strengthen the collaboration between apparel and fashion universities in the European Union, and contribute to the prosperity of the European apparel and fashion sector. The project is financed by the European Union through the Erasmus+ strategic partnership for higher education.

Visit Education4Fashion-Tech for latest project updates.

Project team

  • Principal Investigator: Jose Teunissen, Dean of the School of Design and Technology at London College of Fashion, UAL, and Professor of Fashion Theory.
  • Project Manager: Jerneja Rebernak, j.rebernak@arts.ac.uk
  • Key Staff: Michele Danjoux, Kathy McGee and Douglas Atkinson

Intellectual outputs and project events

Intensive programme for higher education learners

Digital manufacturing workshop

Milan, June 2019

At the end of June, approximately 15 students from the partner universities met at the Polifactory, the digital fablab of Politecnico di Milano for the week-long intensive programme for higher education learners.

Colleagues at Milan hosted a week-long workshop on advanced manufacturing, in collaboration with Orlando Fernandez Flores from MAISON 203. The workshop focused on collaborative design process, where the students worked in transnational teams with 3D models integrating light.

​The results will be out soon, so watch this space...

Multiplier event at the Footwear and Wearable Tech Symposium

London, June 2019

On 6 June, London College of Fashion, UAL organised and hosted the Footwear and Wearable Tech Symposium. This was our first multiplier event to disseminate the projects results to a wide network of stakeholders in the field of fashion-tech.

​The seminar focused on the effects of digital technologies on education, business models and new design practices for the fashion, textile and footwear industries. The event opened by Jose Teunissen and was followed by presentations from Catherine Williams, Future Footwear Foundation and Pauline Van Dongen, the project Advisory Board Member.​

Train the Trainers Workshop

Borås, March 2019

From 26-28 February, the first workshop for teaching staff took place at Do Tank, at the Textile Fashion Centre in Borås, Sweden.

Teaching staff from our partner universities, from a variety of different backgrounds, including design, technology, engineering came together to initiate transdisciplinary collaboration and to test and refine the third intellectual output of the project: the Teachers toolkit.

The toolkit is composed of workshops, work-based learning and interdisciplinary group work and the participants were asked to test the toolkit within the application of a fashion-tech course at master’s level.

The aim of this workshop was to refine the toolkit, providing teachers with a set of appropriate methods and approaches to teaching and learning of fashion-tech around the themes of design, technology and engineering, and entrepreneurship. It aims to guide and assist teachers through open and collaborative practices to offer fashion-tech education within Europe.  

Through live testing of the toolkit, teaching staff were prepared in delivering these intensive study programmes for higher education learners and were able to test the novel approach to teaching and learning in further workshops, as developed by the project. As the participants and other teachers are encouraged to implement the toolkit in their work, it is expected to impact a wider audience of students to inspire them to pursue the fashion-tech field, focusing on topics such as smart textiles, wearable technologies and digital manufacturing. 

The next step is to refine and finalise the toolkit based on the workshop results, feeding into the development of subject-specific course units and learning objectives specifically created to cater for the needs of fashion-tech learning.

At a later date, the curriculum will be tested and refined in real-life situations to ensure that the developed courses are relevant, transferable and sustainable.​

Tuning Document

October 2018

The Tuning Document has been developed by the project partners forming a basis for the novel field of fashion-tech design. This work responds to a market and industry need for hybrid professionals, and the document will establish the interdisciplinary education within the field of fashion-tech.

The Fashion-Tech Design Tuning Document (PDF 1.3MB) is available and free to use for all higher education institutions to (re-)design, develop, implement, evaluate and enhance quality of their study programmes focusing on educating and preparing professionals for the fashion-tech market.

Fashion-Tech Hackathon

London, September 2018

Hosted at the Digital Anthropology Lab (DALab), London College of Fashion, UAL ran a fashion-tech hackathon that invited international students from Politecnico Milano (Italy), University of Boras (Sweden) and LCF to collaborate and address design challenges in the fashion-tech space. Responding to rapidly changing times, this hackathon bridges the fashion field with that of innovative technologies, aiming to test and explore new approaches to fashion-tech design. Successful applicants will work in small interdisciplinary teams and will respond to ‘real life’ briefs set by industry in the areas of digital manufacturing, fashion and smart textiles which will converge to identify wearable solutions.

The hackathon ran over 5 days, and was led by a team of academics, industry experts and technicians including Bridgit Freundorfer (ADIDAS) & Massimo Bianchini (POLIMI), Matthew Drinkwater (UAL-LCF) and Fredrik Timour (Neue Labs AB).

Below are 5 emerging fashion-tech directions that the teams have worked with:

  1. Protection and body enhancement through artificial second skin: wearables and smart textiles with embedded sensors are able to monitor physiological, neurological and body kinematic parameters that are critical for healthcare.
  2. Culture driven wearable: art, technology and interaction: generating thoughts and knowledge around human behaviours, interaction with the body, other people and the environment.
  3. Hyper-body: connecting senses and materials: involving three of the five senses (eyesight, hearing, touch) enhancing or “substituting” them.
  4. Fashion takes care: sustainability across design, production and retails covering the entire supply chain and it is intended as efficiency, recyclability, transparency, mission orientation and ethical upgrades.
  5. Real/Virtual mixed environments: analogical/digital places created and customized with mixed reality as result of the addition of virtual and augmented reality; new dimensions for self-assembly and programmable materials; artificial intelligence for all the supply chain.

Benchmarking report online

The benchmarking report maps and identifies the best practices among 60 HEIs, 57 RCs and 171 companies (total of 288) active in the fashion-tech field in Europe and worldwide. Through a desk research complemented by face-to-face and long distance interviews, the benchmarking report offers a broad overview of processes, resources, tools and contents characterising the current fashion-tech offer. The result is a fragmented, disjointed reality with various and heterogeneous professionals, trends, disciplines, products, competences, methodologies and applications and a set of highly heterogeneous companies, HEIs and Research Centers and a lot of variety in size, nature and scope.

The report also provides an overview of current and upcoming trends in the fashion-tech field.

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