The Swedish research workshop focused on the sense of hearing. Not in a narrow sense, but expanded in such a way that the human body was considered a resonating body. Under the supervision of Professor Clemens Thornquist and doctoral student Vidmina Stasiulytė and based on acoustic experiences the participants fathomed multiple creative opportunities. This generated innovative fashion-sound-concepts.
With its red brick buildings and its unagitated and calm atmosphere, Boras may look like any other Swedish town. But appearances are deceptive – Boras was the center of the Swedish textile industry at the beginning of the 19th century. Today most of the production has been relocated, but with its state of the art textile museum and its high-tech university Boras has kept its textile spirit. The kind of spirit that is needed for a project like BEYOND SEEING. After previous research workshops in Berlin and Paris, the Swedish participants of the project have now gathered here to explore fashion using their ears instead of their eye.
Fashion is a multisensory experience that can be created using sound. This statement is the guiding thread of BEYOND SEEING’S International Research Workshop in Boras. Through a presentation held by Lithuanian student Rugile and visually impaired actress Irma, participants are introduced to innovative ways of rendering fashion perceivable to the visually impaired. Rugile has invented a new way of drawing fashion sketches beyond seeing: she perforates thick paper with a needle-like tool according to her imagined design sketch. Her multisensory embossage-like technique allows for a dialogue between fashion designer and customer, due to perceiving fashion in a comparable way.
Guest lecturer and scientist Emilie Giles of Open University in London has found a way to bridge the senses of touch and hearing with an innovative form of e-textile. Giles and her team facilitate hand-on making workshops, in which blind and visually impaired people are taught to add useful or aesthetically pleasing vocal information to their everyday clothing. Her presentation gave insight in the scientific opportunities that evolve from multisensoryl approaches to fashion.
PhD candidate Vidmina Stasiulyte has dedicated her thesis to the connection between sound and design. For BEYOND SEEING, she is presenting different methods of creation to the participants. The group is invited to participate in a number of exercises entitled Sonic Silhouettes, ranging from the selection of audio-focused tactile material to a ritual-inspired group performance. The participants use different forms of sounds to create sonic identities that will be an essential contribution to the upcoming exhibition.