“I want to give the fashion industry the opportunity to see how computation can be more than a means of execution. It’s a medium for design, a fresh way to think and as much about aesthetics and culture as it is about production and performance.” – Francis Bitonti
Last month, 12 students from a variety of design disciplines participated in the New Skins: Computational Design for Fashion workshop, led by designer Francis Bitonti at the Pratt Institute’s Digital Arts and Humanities Reaserch Center (DAHRC) in New York City. The objective of the workshop was to use digital design and prototyping tools to explore how novel structures and forms could be deployed across human topograhies. The end result was a 3D-printed garment entirely designed and visualized in a digital environment.
The workshop was chronicled in a series of articles in Core77 (see Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3). In these articles, Bitonti expresses his goal for the students to “embrace computation as a means of artistic expression.”
During the first week of the workshop, students generated a 3D scan of a human body and used these measurements to start exploring the digital forms that would become their garments. In four groups of three, the students collaborated to develop their ideas in a virtual setting, then visualized their designs using LAGOA.
“With new technologies, the design process can now be linked directly to the manufacturing process with no translation, no loss of resolution. It’s a very powerful time for designers,” says Bitonti.
The accessibility of LAGOA as a web-based and cloud-powered tool allowed Bitonti’s students to quickly create high quality renders of their designs directly on their own laptops. The LAGOA renders for each team’s design are shown below (click on the image for the hi res version).
Each team presented the LAGOA renders of their designs to a panel of critics that included architect Vito Acconci, mononymic fashion designer Jona from INAISCE and representatives from Makerbot, the company that provided the 3D printers for the workshop. The critics were asked to select their favourite design, which would then be worked on by all the students collectively to produce the final 3D printed garment. Two dresses were picked: one for it’s intricate patterning and the other for its unique silhouette. The students were asked to combine the two designs, thus creating the dress shown below, named Verlan by the students.
“I cannot believe what the students have accomplished in only one week,” says Bitonti. “Each team has produced some amazing work and is thinking critically about the discipline through the new technologies. I think they are all walking away thinking differently about their design and production processes.”
Watch Francis Bitonti and his students explain the process that led to the creation of the Verlan dress here.
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