Bodily ways of knowing in fashion: connectedness between clothing and the body is a research- and design-based exploration that examines methodological approaches that might help us in developing new ways of designing.

 

Initially, the project explored the potential of “touch” as a counterpole to the overtly visually-centric focus in fashion. Curious about how we can (re-)think and do the relational entanglements between designers, uses of and knowledge about material resources and the human body, our exploration was guided by the question of how we might study embodied knowledge in relation to garments and thereby find spaces for bodily ways of knowing to explore our relationships with resources and garments in new ways.  In our research, we have dived into use-abilities by combining a concrete garment with a more abstract yet personal reference, creating a space to recognise the attachments connected to embodied knowledge. Analysing our exploration, we developed a diagram to further understand and thicken the seemingly mundane encounters between clothing and the body, based on the three levels of product, use-abilities and connectedness. 

 

We understand bodily ways of knowing as approaches toward knowledge production that emphasize and explore the body and its sensual capacities. We argue that designers and design researchers could become engaged with bodily ways of knowing by embracing more than human worlds in their design practice, approaching alternative and anarchistic design methodologies.  With the learnings brought forward in this video article, we want to challenge the human exceptionalism dominating the existing fashion system and explore which methodologies might help us come closer to an understanding of relational entanglements - whether it’s the larger picture of care for resources and the planet or the closer relations of care for the garments in our wardrobe. Find the link to the videoartcle at the Journal of Embodied Research 

Bodily ways of knowing in fashion                                                                                        

Design research, 2020

Project management by

PhD Louise Ravnløkke,

Anna-Mamusu Sesay &

Research assistance Louise Permiin

 

Supervised by

Professor in design Thomas Binder

 

Collaboration

  • MA Design for planet students

 

Funded by

  • Design school Kolding, Lab for sustainability and design

What if embodied explorations of cotton can alter human empathy and consumption behaviors?

Design researcher, educator and consultancy

"The choreography is an interesting way of approaching more-than-human perspectives, and it would be interesting to add all the cultural layers attached to the industry of a cotton sock"

 

- Professor in Design Mathilda Tham