Social Construct

What if clothing was understood and used as elements for a conversation?

Why look to conversation? We think that there are links between mechanisms of conversation and the way we use clothing. The public act of wearing is inherently linked to the social. Our innate tendencies to imitate our contemporaries’ clothing can be viewed as an embodied desire for mutual understanding. Social Construct is a series of social scenario explorations intended to encourage discussion about and insight into issues connected to clothing consumption and expression on the body. It is space that we are using to help establish shared understanding and routes forward between the project’s different stakeholders with specializations in Industrial Design, Wearable Technology, Human Computer Interaction, Fashion and Sustainability.  

Each scenario event pulls and plays with revised social contexts and interactions and is connected to one of our three conversation based themes: Yawn, Concept Pacts, and Distributed Communication. Held in distinct settings and involving unique clothing and designed artifacts each event invites members of the research team as well as guests external to the project to consider novel propositions connected to the design, production and use of our clothing. Participant responses (gestures, dialogue, clothing, etc) fuel our concurrent research stream, Material Artifact, providing us with crucial commentary, social context and creative direction for our ongoing design-led inquiry and material research.


Year 1

‘Yawn’ will explore communication in casual contexts with casual contacts in face-to-face communication.

Yawn 1
An evening event held at: Makerlabs, Vancouver  – November 2014

Yawn 2
A 3 day workshop held at : Emily Carr MoCap Studio, Vancouver – May 2015


Year 2

‘Concept Pact’ will explore communication in more formal contexts, in social spaces involving local groups and focus groups.

Seeking Stillness
A 3 day retreat held at: Point Gallery, Salt Spring Island – June 2016

Liminal Lab
2 weeks of design explorations conducted in Milan, Italy  – July 2016


Year 3

‘Distributed’ will explore communication in more universal contexts enabled by digital media and where the communicants may be unknown to one another

Clothing and the specific choice of combinations of articles worn on the body is often understood and referred to as a statement.


Concept Pact-3

Conceptual Pact