What happens when sustainable fashion and immersive technology collide? The Design Futures Lab 2022 prototypes are here to answer this question.
After an open call for nominations, nine teams of South African creatives were selected for the first-ever Design Futures Lab 2022, a creative economy project, hosted by Crossover Labs, Electric South and Twyg, supported by the British Council. During the Lab in March 2022, each team presented a concept they want to bring to life and were tasked with creating an immersive media prototype.
“The Design Future Lab initiative is playing a pivotal role on how creatives can imagine themselves beyond their limits. Exposing information about sustainability and environmental impact that design has on the planet, is a step closer to building actual sustainable businesses for the future,” says Ntando Ngwenya one of the 18 creators selected to participate in this year’s Design Futures Lab.
While Matthew Edwards says, “This project allowed us to create a prototype of an idea that we’ve been talking about for a while and bring it into the world, and not only that but to push it into the digital space too. It’s really exciting to see how material translates into the digital world and how we can tell stories of recycling, remanufacture and design for sustainability through a digital media like Augmented Reality,” says Matthew Edwards, another one of creators.
With all prototypes now complete immersive media specialists Crossover Labs will facilitate market access and feedback.
“All selected concepts will gain access to South African and UK markets with a keen focus on grants, funding and festival strategies,” says Jackie May, founder of Twyg, “And this is all made possible with the support of the British Council’s Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Arts programme.” The Design Futures Lab 2022 forms part of their Creative Economy programme in South Africa and is aimed to support young creatives with skills, opportunities, and knowledge that they need to build sustainable creative enterprises, build rich and provocative digital content and facilitate greater access to markets.
“The result is an exciting mix of 360 sustainable fashion stories, AR prototypes optimised for social media sites such as Instagram and Snapchat. We even have a showroom you can visit in social VR and a fashion film featuring 3D garments created using Marvelous Designer,” says Antoinette Engel, producer at Electric South.
This immersive technology has the potential to transform the way we think about, engage with, and experience fashion. “The Design Futures Lab is playing a pivotal role in how creatives can imagine themselves beyond their limits. Exposing information about sustainability and environmental impact that design has on the planet, is a step closer to building actual sustainable businesses for the future,” says Ntando.
- Cover image: A still from Oliver Hunter Porohille and Holly Bell Beaton’s prototype ‘All Is Precious’