Computation and Technology as
Expressive Elements in Fashion

Elise Dee Co

B.S. Art and Design
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
June 1998

Submitted to the Program in Media Arts and Sciences,
School of Architecture and Planning,
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
June 2000

Copyright Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000
All rights reserved

This thesis explores technology and computation as elements of fashion. Far beyond the definition of clothing as a necessary protective covering, fashion axists as a way for people to express themselves to others, to reflect portions of their personality in their outward appearance, and to distinguish themselves as individuals. How can technology enhance these expressive aspects of what we wear? The goal of my research is to create examples of new types of clothing based on computation, which provide modes of expression unachievable with traditional garment techniques. In this thesis, I define an area of design and research which is a synthesis of technology, computation, and fashion. I explore the constituent properties (axes) of the design space through research experiments, and present basic software and hardware architectures on which to build relevant examples of computational fashion.

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