We’re at the Adafruit factory in New York City with Anouk Wipprecht, Alex Glow of hackster.io, Limor Fried, founder and lead engineer of Adafruit Industries.
What does fashion lack? “Microcontrollers” according to Dutch based Hi-Tech Fashion Designer and Innovator Anouk Wipprecht. As she is working in the emerging field of “FashionTech”; a rare combination of fashion design combined with engineering, science and interaction/user experience design. Producing an impressive body of tech-enhanced designs bringing together fashion and technology in an unusual way: she creates technological couture; with systems around the body that tend towards artificial intelligence; projected as ‘host’ systems on the human body, her designs move, breath, and react to the environment around them.
Strangely ahead of her time; Anouk combines the latest in science and technology to make fashion an experience that transcends mere appearances. Sensors embedded in the design monitor the space around the wearer, and body-sensors check in on stress levels as comfort or anxiety. Her Intel-Edison based ‘Spider Dress’ is an perfect example of this aesthetic, where sensors and moveable arms on the dress help to create an more defined boundary of personal space while employing a fiere style. “This robotic dress attacks when you come to close” she mentions. Facilitating and augmenting the interactions we have with ourselves and our surroundings in an bespoke manner. Other than handheld devices, Wipprecht researches how we can interface in new ways with the world around us through our wardrobe.
Partnering up with companies such as American multinational technology company INTEL, software producer Autodesk, internet giants Google and Microsoft, car brand AUDI, jewellery brand Swarovski, and leading 3D printing innovator Materialise amongst others – she researches and develops how our future wardrobe would look as we continue to embed technology into what we wear.
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