Recently, I attended this seminar organised by Centre for Fashion science at London College of Fashion on October the 21st, 2009.

Clash! Creative Collisions in Fashion and Science
A series of sessions organised by the Centre for Fashion Science, LCF to learn how collaborations work and to spark ideas

Collision 1: Helen Storey and Dr. Phil Waywell – Catalytic Clothing

The Centre for Fashion Science helps in bridging the gap between the fashion-related research and science and it is the synergy of the two which results in innovations in both the fields and the production of better, sustainable products. These approaches are targeted toward the well-being of the society and the individual.

Catalytic clothing is one such cross-disciplinary research project conceived in February 2008 by Prof. Helen Storey in collaboration with Prof. Tony Ryan of the University of Shellfield. To put it in their words, this projects sets out to use textile substrates and the surfaces of clothing to purify air. Working at nanoscale, and combining the collective minds of arts, design and science, they hope to reveal Catalytic clothing over a period of 3 years. Hopefully, they are managing to get it ready for the upcoming London Olympics by 2012.

The seminar was presented with a marvellous graphical presentation, an animated representation of both the researchers who explain the entire project and make sure no one in the audience doze off. I believe it was quite astounding for somebody from a research background to utilise modern graphic design technology to market their concept so well.

It was a radical, innovative idea conceptualised of a mere thought whether “Wearing clothes can benefit oneself and the people surrounding you". In todays fast fashion world where we buy clothes that don’t make sense but just because it is in vogue, I believe such concept can take us on a benevolent pathway.

The success of implementation of this unique co-creation lies not only in the hands of these two individuals but ordinary people like us who can make a difference by adopting it in our daily lives. Well pointed out in their presentation that “We want ordinary people to make an extraordinary movement”.

I am certain that this seminar has sparked ideas in my new approach for design, sustainability and future endeavours.

Lavanya Venkatraman
Student - MA Design Management for the Fashion Industries
London College of Fashion

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