On the one hand, the sweatshop was protested against its cruelty but the high-street fashion still has the serious problem of waste and overstock. On the other hand, the Swiss Made FREITAG bags become worldwide popular because of the recycled fabrication; 3D Printers are widely used by the design industry and craft studios. The eco-friendly and high-tech design become the forefront. Now it is the right time for hosting “The First World Symposium for Fashion. Jewellery. Accessories” (WoSoF). The conference was hosted by the College of Design and Innovation of Tongji University in Shanghai, in collaboration with Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD – Genève) and other design institutions around the world.
In this reason, on the 16th of December 2018, there were 17 speakers gathering in HOW Design Center of HOW Art Museum in Shanghai to discuss the new trends of sustainability and digitalization in design, to share their research projects about how these new contexts influence the curation and management, to show the innovative materials, design project and craftsmanship of jewellery and different kinds of accessories,
One of the Initiator is the Swiss Prof. Elizabeth Fischer. She is the Dean of Fashion, Jewellery and Accessory Design at HEAD – Geneva, gave the lecture from culture-historical perspective about jewellery and fashion. She emphasized that jewellery and dress enjoy different life spans – “diamonds are forever” whereas dress is made of perishable materials. However both are necessary elements in the play of social appearances. She explained that, for centuries precious jewels, intimately linked to dress, were the preserve of the elite, worn as patrimonial symbols of rank, prestige and antiquity of lineage. The major social and industrial shifts of the 19th century deeply changed the manufacture, materials and market of jewellery. The trappings of the new wealth of businessmen and industrialists increasingly rivalled the prized ornaments of the long-standing aristocracy, while a growing affluent middle class aspired to new kinds of jewellery.
The other Swiss speaker - Katharina Sand - elaborated the future prospects of design in the era of digitalization. Currently as a lecturer at the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD), she analyzed the way recent innovations in technology such as Augmented Reality and (RFID) Radio Frequency Identification systems, which can be applied to the fashion and accessories industry for a more sustainable future. She introduced the digital fashion shows launched through social media live videos and the apps that use AR to match clothes for users with their virtual 3D-Image. In her speech, she combined analysis of technology innovations in production, retail distribution, fashion communication and human-garment interaction to creatively rethink how we create and perceive fashion. Her focus is combining speculative design thinking in regards to fashion and technology with real world haptic experience of garments and their “being in the world”.
The two Swiss speakers drew together a whole complex but bright landscape for future design. The participant - many Chinese design experts and students from local universities asked questions in the panel discussion and talked with the Swiss speakers after the conference. Co-working with swissnex China, all the research papers including the new feedbacks from the conference will be published in 2019.