Soft Construct. Not the style, but the space.

Camilla Bruerberg, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Department of Design

Background
The wide field of fashion spans from hard‐core commercial industry to strong individual artistic practises. It is a craft based subject, we work with garments -­ tangible, wearable products. The textile and garment is destined to be worn. It has a purpose. It has potential.
My earlier work within knitwear design has led me to my main enquiry which will be into the discoveries which can be found in the intimate relationship between body and textile, and the space between them. I see this relationship as both powerful and everyday‐like; wearing textiles is one of the few things all people share. We communicate our identity, our desires, our needs and how we want to be approached.

In this light I will explore the possibilities that lie in the use of textile technology as a design
tool. This includes research into materials and their affordance ‐ which actions do they
evoke? With this I hope to discover new ideas and approaches for garment and textile design.

Methods
I will divide my main methods between theory and practical research. Material and technique research is my artistic starting point. Spanning from the textile fibre to the
possibilities that exists with knittng machines as well as other technologies like 3D printing
and modelling, full body scanning and methods for shaping clothes virtually before making them. I will visit production sites and institutions to explore the possibilities for collaboration
or training in specific machines. Acquiring self sufficiency in technical abilities and the deeper understanding of these processes is paramount, as oppose to having someone else complete the technical work. I will further investigate how textiles move in the space
between and around the body. I will use photography, installations and video/sound to stage the clothes/textiles in different settings and surroundings.

I will explore relevant theories concerning materiality and our relationship to our surroundings, such as affordance theory, sociology and archeology. I will incorporate
this in the research using experiments involving participants, where I will facilitate experience of surroundings and textiles.

Why
New ways of integrating materials and digital techniques in fashion design are relevant across the field. Today the machines developed for knitwear are highly advanced with great potential for the different practices within fashion. Still designers often are not in a position to utilise these possibilities in a meaningful way, partially because of how the textile production is organised. My hope for this project is to gain further knowledge into how a designer can explore and use new technology.
I expect to gain insights into new methods of intervention or inclusion that I can use as part of the further exploration of artistic form and presentation.

Context
I place my work within the field of knitwear, textile design and new textile technology. There are several research projects, designers and maker spaces that work within this context, such as: Manchester School of Art, Royal College of London, Textilhögskolan i Borås, designer Iris Van Herpen, the Neuro project, Bradley Rothenberg Studio, artist Ulrika Elovsson.

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