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11 OCTOBER 2009

Charmed: A Case Study of Interactive Jewellery

Hazel White's "work investigates how interactive jewellery can be integrated into our lives. Whilst most studies into wearable technology have focussed on how the technology can be miniaturised, the Charmed project looks into what exactly it is that users want from this technology – from storytelling to transportation devices to whatever else they may think of – and how it can be incorporated into users' everyday wardrobes in a way that allows an emotional involvement of the sort we might associate with 'ordinary' jewellery.

In order to address the question, Hazel has developed a series of 'charm' jewellery incorporating bracelets, necklaces, pins, or even keyrings. The charms were then given to a variety of different participants – from technophobes to technophiles, and from jewellery wearers to non–wearers – along with a pack that allowed them to log their responses. The participants themselves were allowed to choose the type of jewellery they received and how it would be worn, leading to a greater engagement with the pack and the project.

Through interviews with the applicants, Hazel was able to demonstrate that a user centred approach – working closely with the people who would wear the jewellery and responding and adapting according to their observations, values and needs – can lead to suggestions for interactive jewellery which can be experienced on multiple levels: from cultural, social and personal resonances to the narrative carried by the object and the physical interaction with the jewellery."

(AHRC, UK)

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TAGS

AHRCbraceletcalm technologycase study • Charmed • creative practicedecorative artsdesigndevice • Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art • emotional involvementenquiryexperimentationfashionform • Hazel White • industrial designinteraction • interactive jewellery • jewellery • keyring • narrative • necklace • objectproduct designresearch • technophile • technophobe • theory buildingUKUniversity of Dundeeusability • user centred approach • user-centredwearable technologies

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 OCTOBER 2009

Mainstreaming sustainable fashion

"4,5 Katharine Hamnett in a video interview explained how in the late 1980s she had been prompted to check, to make sure the company were not doing any harm. That meant looking at the entire supply chain to make sure that every phase was as good as possible. They had to apply very stringent standards from the very beginning. It started with the farmers given the millions involved in cotton agriculture who are exposed to pesticides, on a daily basis. It lead to focus on organic cotton but regrettably not using silk and considering all the packaging, dyes and printing inks. She has used certification, traceability and accountability, right the way through the supply chain but found taking complete control of this complex supply chain was the only way to enable this. She believed that the most effective to target were the CEO's, of clothing companies and fashion retailers. Mainstreaming sustainable fashion was happening because large retailers were realising that it was increasingly what consumers wanted: products that don't do damage to the environment, or that use child or sweated labour. Retailers ignored this at their peril. Sustainable clothing had to be sophisticated, glamorous and the bottom line was always economic. Sustainable clothing did not have to be more expensive. It could and should be affordable. She though that the ETI labour code should be compulsory and governments should act to have country of origin labelling for fibres."

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TAGS

art for housewives • art of recyclingbelongingblogbricolagechangecommoditycommunityconsumptioncraft • crochet • Cynthia Korzekwa • design intelligencedesign responsibility • domestic arts • dyeecologyembroideryemotive manipulationengagementenvironmentenvironmentalethicsfashion • fiber arts • folk arthomemadejewelleryjunk art • Katharine Hamnett • knittingmaking art with recycled materialsobsolescenceorganicpaperpesticideproductionprotest • reconstructed fashion • recyclerecyclingremakereusesocial changesocietysustainabilitytextile artstransformation • trashion • urban crafts • waste

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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