Keywords: Knowledge society and digitalisation - values of the future in fashion and textile design, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Emotional Intelligence (EQ), recourse to values of the (Weimar) Classicism, exhibition Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt (Berlin), Barbara Kasten (WOB), multi-perspective and multi-sensory - fleur de Fashion ...
"What does 'good' mean? ...good smells a lot. A bunch of lavender smells good. Soup meat smells good. The gardens of Arabia smell good. How does a...?" ... a newborn human being? "Well ... their feet for example, they smell like a smooth stone - no, more like a curd cheese ... or like butter, ... and on the body they smell like a cake that you have put into milk ..."
(Patrick Süskind, The Perfume - The Story of a Murderer - and by Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born in the 18th century in Paris, p. 16 f, translation: F.Poddig, HN.)
Fleur de FASHION: Inspiration and discovery following the Humboldt brothers or other representations of nature, added by postmodern expressions by Barbara Kasten's œuvre. Including - multisensory - material, this interdisciplinary project serves to search for alternatives, for a change in the world of the 21st century. Fleur de Fashion wants to generate hybrids and collaborations, collaborations of media + sciences, analogue + digital, yesterday’s world of knowledge (Humboldt's) + tomorrow’s (avatars), of design disciplines + cultural studies. - “Le groupe de recherches Cultures Sensibles est né, à L’université de Liège, … tout un réseau d‘affinités qui s’est développé entre histoire, anthropologie, histoire d’art, philosophie et sciences …cette significance du sensible: travailler, toujours, dans l’inquiétude heureuse d’une juste perception; travailler … dans l’entre-deux de réalités - <objets>, <sujet>-, que seule une parole <sensible> est en mesure de nouer.“ (nouer – to interlink, braid) (vgl.: web.philo.ulg.ac.be/culturessensibles/)
Inspired by the "Culture Sensible" (cf.: Université de Liège) and a networked thinking, working and researching, it provides a fund to actively create hybrid systems in design. Specific task of the semester: outfits for the day, casual fashion at work, which can be converted into a fitness outfit in the evening... the blue hour changes towards a relaxation hour, the “Sustainable and Smart Fashion Solutions” can be experienced with more senses. The voyage of discovery begins in April with the exploration of the cosmos of Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt in the same named exhibition at Historical Museum in Berlin.
"I have the great idea of representing the whole material world, everything we know today from the phenomena of the heavens, from the nebular stars to the geography of the mosses on the granite rocks, all in one work" (Alexander von Humboldt, 1834). "Between his early years and this point in time (note: refers to Humboldt's 1834 quotation), a multitude of innovative measuring instruments involved a radical change in the consciousness of perspective, scale and totality"
(cf: Blankenstein/Savoy, 2019, Matrix Europe in: Catalogue, Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt, 2019, Introduction, p. 13, translation: Franziska Poddig, HN)
The Age of (Weimar) Classicism, named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Italian Journey" in 1786, Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) are just a few examples of what was important for the European enlightenment through knowledge, (accidental) inventions and discoveries. Discoveries that sometimes require not only knowledge, but passion, instinct, the "flow" in creating, in design, which is not nourished by intellect alone... Not only the digital possibilities to transfer know-how of today are important here, but also Emotional Intelligence (EQ), which will be discussed - in the "Age of the Avatar" (B.B. Financial Times Weekend, 14/15 Dec. 2019). Although Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now more than ever shaking up industrial processes in the sustainable textile industry. It is also the textile cultural heritage that shapes and influences the designer's work, in order to extract design elements from it.
These different perspectives are moulding identity of people, also through people... These culturally located design elements are transformed into a new, multifunctional design, in fashion, textiles and textile devices: these communicate and connect Europe in a special way: The design language expresses a message and an attitude (of designer) at the same time.
"Fleur de FASHION and Hybrid Design" means Smart Solutions and Sustainability in the digital age: Innovative trends in materials and in the socio-cultural sense reviving commerce in the field of new value – questioning: What is man in the 21st century? When the Financial Times Weekend from 14-15 December 2019 proclaims that the "Age of the avatar" for the year 2020, narration and fiction is mixed by real technical representation with the help of virtual celebrities:
“[…] digital celebrities are only the most visible aspect of growing trend. As the technologies behind them become cheaper and more accessible, you might find yourself listening to music released by a digital avatar, interacting with one in a convenience store or dealing with them in your workplace. Soon, you may have one of your own.“ (Bam, B. 2019, FTWeekend, p. 6 Life & Arts).
Virtual avatars and -youtuber are creating reality and human connections, like other examples are showing in art objects like “Bina48” (Antonelli, A. et al, 2019). We are following „synthesising software“, synthesised objects, ideals, which are influencing our feelings and actions. (Wachs, Marina-E., DK, 2020)
Nature facts oppose artifacts: Here, the work of the "textile artist" Barbara Kasten, that we will analyse forms one of many (post-)modern positions by working with a different material, today: Light (current exhibition until 08/2020: BARBARA KASTEN - WORKS, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg https://www.kunstmuseum-wolfsburg.de/exhibitions/barbara-kasten-works/
The European cultural design heritage, objects, places that have shaped our textile heritage and are shaping our future, are decisive in how Italy and Germany were shaped during the classical period, not only by discoverers such as Alexander von Humboldt who also made an impact as educators and stylists. Art as a creative element connects in a multisensory way, just as art and culture are also an expression of every time, every epoch, with nature, and intervene in social life. Shaping together, with European forces from the common cultural heritage, that is our concern in interdisciplinary (textile) design engineering… come along with us.
(Prof. Dr. Marina-Elena Wachs, 02/ 2020)