From smart textile to on demand, locally fabricated design

2019-09-13T09:18:31Z (GMT) by Zoe Romano
In the last ten years mass production of goods has been recognized as highly responsible of having critical impact on the planet. Many companies are pushed by institutions and policy makers to embrace circular economy nevertheless new studies show that recycling is not enough, if production does not decrease. In this context a driving force for digital fabrication research is developing the ability to manufacture multiples of one without loss of complexity. This emerging approach is demonstrating that sustainable, high quality, long lasting and affordable products can be implemented through the set up of new business models based on locally manufactured, hi-tech, on demand products. Through the presentation of the results of a transnational collaboration funded by EU on design-driven services, the paper highlights a preliminary set of implications of the assumed shift from centralized mass production to a distributed micro-factory model. The workflow implemented during the project is focused on digitally fabricated items personalized through a fabrication system based on a hand-woven textile sensor matrix able to capture unique data from the body of customers. Moreover the paper describes the key role makerspaces have into enabling an interdisciplinary work environment and creating bridges between textile craft tradition and digital fabrication processes in order to lowering the barriers for design and fashion enterprises to benefit from technological textile innovation in a sustainable manufacturing environment.

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