Friday, January 19, 2007

Nanotechnology and shoe wearables

The new vogue shine (soft) fabrics seen nearly in every desigers portfolio reflects the impact of new polymers but the future of wearable technology involves much more than fashion, music and sport, or so the experts tell us. As new technologies are developed ironically there is a large gap between what the technology can do and how this can be applied to practical, worldly things. The creative thinking process necessary to bridge the gap will come from artists and innovators. The reSkin project is held at the Australian National University in Canberra (ANU) and is a show case for artisans researching, experimenting and making prototypes of wearable objects. The idea came from an initiative of the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT), Craft Australia and the ANU. Much of future wearables (technology incorporated into clothing) are likely to be embedded into shoes according to the organizers. Wearable technology brings not only scientific advancement, but also a blurring of the boundaries between fashion, art and technology. Some of the ideas arise from fashion, military or medical applications, but many are akin to performance art. Participants at the reSkin workshops are artists of media and sound as well as object designers. The reSkin workshops include how to develop electronic circuits, exploring the interface between skin, neurology, and clothing, and social value of clothing as a medium for better interpersonal communication. Joanna Berzowska, professor of computational arts at Concordia University, Montreal is a designer of squishy circuitry will be in attendance. Berzowska works with electronic textiles to make reactive and interactive garments.
WearNow is a public forum discussing the reSkin results and the wearable future at the National Museum of Australia.

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