BiographyDouglas 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.
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.
Grants and awards
(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), MIDAS, £3,412.00, (2013-2014)
- Petreca B, Saito C, Baurley S, Atkinson D, Yu X, Bianchi-Berthouze N. Radically Relational Tools: A Design Framework to Explore Materials through Embodied Processes (2019)
- Atkinson D, Baurley S, Petreca B, Bianchi-Berthouze N, Watkins P. The tactile triangle: a design research framework demonstrated through tactile comparisons of textile materials (2016)
- Jewitt C, Price S, Leder Mackley K, Yiannoustou N, Atkinson D. Interdisciplinary Insights for Digital Touch Communication (2020)
- Jewitt C, Leder-Mackley K, Atkinson D, Price S. Rapid Prototyping for Social Science Research (2019)
- Atkinson D. Post-Industrial Fashion and the Digital Body (2017)
- Petreca B, Atkinson D, Bianchi-Berthouze N, Furniss D, Baurley S. The Future of Textiles Sourcing: exploring the potential for digital tools (2014)
- Atkinson D. Making, Emotion and the drive to re-shore UK garment manufacturing (2014)
- Petreca B, Bianchi-Berthouze N, Baurley S, Watkins P, Atkinson D. An Embodiment Perspective of Affective Touch Behaviour in Experiencing Digital Textiles (2013)
- Atkinson D, Orzechowski P, Petreca B, Bianchi-Berthouze N, Watkins P, Baurley S, Padilla S, Chantler M. Tactile Perceptions of Digital Textiles: A Design Research Methodology (2013)
Conference, Symposium or Workshop item
- Mitchell V, Wilson GT, Leder Mackley K, Jewitt C, Golmohammadi L, Atkinson D, Price S. Digital Touch Experiences: Educating the Designers (2019)
- Atkinson D. Applying Technology Adoption Models to UK High-End SMEs (2013)