Can games save fashion?

Designing games in the pursue of a more sustainable fashion culture.

After my first thesis project, fashion sustainability and its design opportunities became an obsession for me. So I decided to expand my exploration on my second thesis project even further.

Driven by an envisioned potential of merging theories and practices of play with studies of fashion sustainability, I went through a play-centric design process to explore the question of How can play and games help reduce fashion waste? I investigated different game impact goals through seven design experiments that could have a positive effect on the pursuit of fashion sustainability.

My main research findings were:

  • Games can create a safe space for players to challenge their own conceptions of fashion:
  • Games have great potential to assign meaning to garments through shared memories, secrets, stories and meaningful words:
  • Modular clothes designed as games have the potential to playfully engage their wearers for long, sparking social interaction and inspiring new playful ways to engage with fashion.

Among the research findings, I believe that my biggest contribution was exposure this design problem framing. Fashion sustainability is a pressuring topic that needs people to be engaged in what they do and know best, in order for transformation to happen. Can games save fashion? The answer is probably no, but I feel my research is an initial proof that play and games offer a fruitful path to start trying.

Year: 2017
Design experiment #7: We are Malmö. A fashion collection created by the hands of many through an installation at the City Library.
Design experiment #7: We are Malmö. A fashion collection created by the hands of many through an installation at the City Library.
Participants were invited to draw their avatar over the textile.
Participants were invited to draw their avatar over the textile.
After drawing their avatar, the participants were asked to register them at the booth, and leave a message.
I then created the We are Malmö collection with the resulting textile. Each garment carried the avatars of many, each carrying a message from their owners.
I then created the We are Malmö collection with the resulting textile. Each garment carried the avatars of many, each carrying a message from their owners.
I finally exhibited the collection back at the library. Some of the same participants came back and could see their avatars in the garments.
I finally exhibited the collection back at the library. Some of the same participants came back and could see their avatars in the garments.
Some of the social sharing of the installation by the Krut group from the City Library.
Some of the social sharing of the collection was done by the Krut group from the City Library.
Design experiment #6: Velcro Play Parade. A game made out different pieces of garment that could be rearranged everyday.
Design experiment #6: Velcro Play Parade. A game made out different pieces of garment that could be rearranged everyday.
Interaction with the jacket from the Velcro Play Parade.
Interaction with the jacket from the Velcro Play Parade.
Design experiment #4: Pattern War. A card bluff and strategy card game created for players to paint on textile.
Design experiment #4: Pattern War. A card bluff and strategy card game created for players to paint on textile.
The game 1h long game play was played on a 5-meter piece of textile.
The 1h long game play was played on a 5-meter piece of textile.
I then created a clothing collection from the gameplay textile: The Appendix Bluff Collection (name chosen by the players). The garments carry shared memories from a great game night.
I then created a clothing collection from the gameplay textile: The Appendix Bluff Collection (name chosen by the players). The garments carry shared memories from a great game night.
Design experiment #1: Wear What? I designed a game designed over a private Whatsapp group, where friends were challenged through 7 days to dress according to rules and share their looks. The winning looks gained points to win the game.
Design experiment #1: Wear What? I designed a game designed over a private Whatsapp group, where friends were challenged through 7 days to dress according to rules and share their looks. The winning looks gained points to win the game.
Players were forced outside of their comfort zones, while exploring their wardrobe and challenging their conceptions of fashion.
Players were forced outside of their comfort zones, while exploring their wardrobe and challenging their conceptions of fashion.

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