An open notebook with drawings of mannequins in beautifully colorful dresses Foto: Goethe-Institut

During six months several workshops took place in the participating institutions of all four countries. Seeing and not-seeing participants as well as scientists, artists and designers develop in a participatory, dialogical process creative approaches of how fashion can be experienced beyond the sense of vision.


  • Alexandra

    Alexandra, Australia

    Fashion and disability are not yet connected enough but I think there are some amazing opportunities for the future which we are discovering within this project. The only designer I know working with a disability is Bianca Von Stempel. I admire the way she designs as it is raw and imperfect, something which is not usually the case in the fashion industry. Fashion will reach a point of artistic saturation I think in which we will be forced to rethink the most basic elements such as cloth and thread and material possibilities and sensory experience. Or maybe our clothing will be digital…. Sound effects in fashion, smells in garments… these more basic connections to senses will no doubt be explored as we push the boundaries of what existed before.

  • Elisa

    Elisa, Belgium

    My motivation comes from my interest in the relationship between humans and objects. I think it is fantastic that objects accompany us all our life, some of them are ephemeral and some of them are companions throughout one’s entire life. Through an object, the designer has the opportunity to introduce his vision of the world, his personality and his sensibilities into the daily life of people. I wonder, for example, whether fashion could be different if there were a deeper thinking about the materials, the way of production, the texture, the sensations on the body… After all, the touch and the smell of the materials, the cutting lines and the sensation of the weight of the clothes on our body are just as important as elements of sight.

  • Emma

    Emma, Sweden

    The point of creating is to take inspiration from something already existing and make it unique again. So when we really have to use other senses and then sit down to make clothes, we will be able to create in an entirely novel manner. This way of creating is a new way of thinking and will hopefully lead to a more exciting and more practical fashion. I really admire Bianca von Stempel! She is a fashion designer with a seeing disability which she uses to create unusual fashion.

  • Joyphie

    Joyphie, China

    Fashion is generating lots of open conversations and trying to break norms. However, strangely, by breaking old norms and stereotypes, fashion is then building new stereotypes and it is back to the circle again. I want to see beyond fashion as an identity imposed by the industry. Fashion education and the industry never teach people to work collectively. Why can’t working and sharing together generate creativity? The fashion we live in is a result of the power of people working together and sharing resources, and this will become increasingly significant in the future. I have faith in the strength of positive collective contributions.

  • Kevin

    Kevin, France

    Fashion doesn’t take enough risks at the moment, and there is a lot of repetition. I wish there would be more fashion houses hiring young unknown designers instead of always playing it safe and hiring old T-Rexes who have been in the business for decades. I in particular am from a generation that wants to change things. My motivation comes from the fact I am deeply interested in exchanging with people and my influences can come from anything as long as it is embedded in real life. I enjoy things that are not meant to be pretty and useful and when two opposites collide together. Beyond Seeing offered me the opportunity to challenge our perception towards design. It made a big impression on me and it was a fantastic experience that needs to be shared.

  • Maxi

    Maxi, Germany

    Especially in our digital world, the most important sense is the visual one. So many people shop online and don’t feel the need to touch and feel, and even less to smell and hear the material to order it. It’s difficult to communicate all these senses to a broader audience. But I do believe that considering more than the visual sense while designing ¬– or in our case ignoring the visual sense entirely – can improve your work as a designer.

  • Spencer

    Spencer, Canada

    To me, Beyond Seeing was eye-opening because the world of design is visual and looking beyond that is often forgotten, but when you do pay attention to it there is a whole world beyond the visual to experience. Things are taught and constructed differently around the world and by working with an inclusive and intercultural approach you can bring all this knowledge and abilities together to design and create smarter and better.

  • Verena

    Verena, Germany

    Fashion should turn its attention to the whole person with all his senses, feelings and needs, but also his disabilities. I like to let people participate in the design process. Especially in the current project I want to work with and for disabled people, for example with blind and visually impaired ones. The intercultural approach is already well-advanced; to mix aspects of different countries in fashion can help to transcend cultural borders and arouse curiosity and empathy.