I have just recovered from the intense but totally amazing Cultures of Resilience project (lead by Professors Ezio Manzini and Jeremy Till), which held an 'exchange' event at the London College of Communication (LCC), between 23rd - 27th March 2015.
Following on from the Fashion Revolution movement, Who Made My Uniform? that I delivered in April 2014; and the subsequent essay written by myself and Bridget Harvey - 'Elastic Learning Tools' for the CoR book, I decided that time in the gallery space would be best spent further testing the idea of tools for children for the creation of resilient textiles.
The adage 'never work with children or animals' is so not true. OK, it was messy, but I believe we should really focus more on working with children and sustainability. (I can't speak from experience about working with animals… but I watched Blue Peter in the 70's so maybe it's true!?)
Using a skateboard to overprint a school shirt (previously over-dyed in the washing machine) created great excitement amongst the kids. From M&S, new and white; to used, dirty and ripped; then made green and over printed in this manner - the journey in visual and physical terms has a magical effect on the kids and their view of their everyday uniform.
Using fingers to make marks is not only pleasurable in a sensory way, but the dramatic nature of the mark which is transferred to the up cycled garment adds to its aesthetic appeal. In other words - the kids loved that their clothes were printed with the evidence of their play and pleasure.
This gallery based project aimed to test the ideas for a 'Design Researchers in Residence' week that I would like to run at the school in July. It's my way of taking the Fashion Revolution movement forward - with the next generation of consumers who will need to be more 'resource' and self aware.