The opportunity to involve customers in the co-creative process while also building a resilient artist community.
The project aims to develop a design-driven platform where visual artists and customers co-create fashion items, through novel collaboration processes. The aim is to build a working prototype that enables testing and validation of the business value using a series of co-creative workshops and to test it in real market conditions by producing a series of physical garments.
The idea started some years ago when Ruxandra Lupu was wondering how she and her printmaking colleagues could use in a very original way the prints they were doing. Thinking further about the possibility to design a print for a shirt or another type of garment that could reflect better the identity of the wearer, Ruxandra imagined another way of producing fashion and design objects, where client and designer/artist would work closer together. This idea of co-creation goes beyond hyper-customization and prosumerism, which are not new trends in design.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT
The birth pf the project WeAr Design took place when Ruxandra met Anca Rosca and Dana Tanase. Together they shared this interest in co-creation and took this idea further by envisaging a different approach to co-creation, one that does not depart primarily from the functional perspective on design that addresses customer needs or preferences, but rather from a more humanistic and empathetic approach that takes into account a different motivational form behind the creation of design and fashion objects. Bringing together competencies in co-creation practice and digital humanities (Ruxandra Lupu), with skills in digital ecosystems and product design (Anca Rosca) and with a long-standing experience in the fashion design sector (Dana Tanase), we embarked on the WORTH opportunity as a challenge to prove and test how we could further expand the boundaries of co-creation.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
WeAr Design is an experimental project looking into the possibilities of co-creation for the fashion and design sector. The core aim is to develop a novel framework through which artists/designers can create new design and fashion objects in closer collaboration with their clients. During our project we mapped through interviews and dialogue the needs of designer and artist communities, focusing on the Romanian context, we undertook an experimental workshop during the Romanian Design Week in 2020 where we assessed the affective, psychological and emotional potential behind co-creation practices and lastly conducted co-creative experiments with 6 pairs of designer-client, using a workflow that we have set up as a result of our research. The resulting prototypes are what we called ‘speaking’ design objects in the sense that they manage to capture personal identity and address a more deeply rooted motivation behind the creation of such products.
The selected Romanian designers and artists who underwent the co-creative process are:
Emilia M. Bosoi
Larisa E. Croitoru
Our collaboration has combined the complementary competencies of all three team members to successfully implement all project activities and reach the objectives set. Althrough tasks were divided, our collaboration process was mostly a participatory one, where each contributed to her own skills and knowledge to the implementation of the project.
Our future goal is to extend these experiments to further creative communities around the world and to extract a working workflow that can be transformed into a modular digital system supporting co-creative processes between designers/artists and clients. The long-term vision of our co-creative concept is one where material and process sustainability meets a humanized face of design, in which care, self-knowledge and mutual understanding drive the way we think about and create design objects.
Through WeAr Design we would like to inspire artists and designers to open up their creative process to the public and encourage the public to embark on a journey of co-creation with these artists/designers in order to shape together the future of fashion and design.