There is a new level of communication when a person uses a light an plays with the empty space of Shadow. CUTE CIRCUIT does that by applying new technologies, like led lightning, to their clothes. Led technology has been in clothes for some years, but applying it with an elegant sense of design is what CUTE CIRCUIT does best.
They been showing their collection in London, Rome, New York and other cities. Their products roars at FASHION DECODED in NEW YORK. The path of innovation is guaranted with these group of innovative designers. We will be waiting their new collection.
Julio Melara, Multidisciplinary Designer and Editor in Chief of COSMOPOL MAGAZINE talked with them. Here are the questions they answered:
Could you tell us about the beginnings of CUTE CIRCUIT?
Francesca was a designer at an Italian haute couture house, in 1998, she proposed to make an
evening dress embroidered with electroluminescent thread that would light up in reaction to the
wearer’s movement. Nobody else wanted to experiment with something so new, but she kept
dreaming that one day fashion and technology would come together. In 2001 when she was
designing accessories for a German RTW label, she proposed to create a purse with a GPS
built in, that would send the owner a message if it got stolen or lost. Again, sales figures from
previous “normal” designs prevented the idea to being developed further.!
Francesca was really convinced that one day these kinds of interactive fashions would become
the new “normal”, and reading an article on an Italian design magazine she found out about the
Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, in Italy, where beautiful minds from all over the world were
gathering to explore how technology would change people’s lives five to ten years in the future,
and one of the research areas was the integration of fashion and technology.! !
Finally Francesca resigned her position from these commercial ventures and received a
research scholarship to join IDII. At IDII she met Ryan, that was coming from a design and
anthropology background and believed that interactions should not only be on screen, using
computers, but out in the real world through physical interfaces. When they founded CuteCircuit
in 2004, all their amazing ideas started to become a reality.! !
Many people think that Ryan is an engineer, seeing CuteCircuit’s designs as very advanced
pieces of wearable technology. Ryan is actually a designer, but when CuteCircuit started, he
was so frustrated by the hired engineers trying to design hard, square circuits, that he decided
to learn how to design the circuits himself. And since he has been doing this for more than ten
years, as the saying goes “practice makes perfect”. CuteCircuit wouldn’t be called CuteCircuit if
the wonderfully lightweight and flexible smart textile circuits embedded into our garments
weren’t cute for real. !
How do you see the merge of technology and fashion in the near future?!
Wearable technology integrated into a garment is definitely the future of fashion, some people
might think it is not, but these would be the same people that when washing machines came out
said that women would keep washing their clothes by hand :). There is a need for having out
devices or disconnecting from our devices that can be brought about and satisfied more
beautifully and intuitively by wearing a garment that has special functionalities. The more
complex garments can be seen as art installations that are worn on the body, and then their
components can be translated to daily life through the ready to wear line. As Alan Kay once said
“the best way to predict the future is to invent it”. At CuteCircuit our vision of the future is that all
the devices we need to carry with us today, such as cameras, phones, trackers, etc; will
disappear in favor of micro technologies embedded into the fabric of our garments that will be
able to have some of the same functions but with an added intuitive and emotionally engaging
interface. So, unless the whole world decided suddenly to go around naked, the ultimate frontier
will be the body and our clothes which will become a second skin, a true interface to the people.
What emotional experience you seek in your users?
We see garments like the HugShirt or the Mirror Handbag from the latest collection becoming
displays of our state of mind, a magical tool for sharing emotions with our friends close and far
away. This is why we integrated social media aspects into the garment App functionality, to
really amplify our human connections, creating technology that brings us closer together rather
than further away. Sometimes when people think about technology they imagine friends at the
dinner table each one lost in their digital space, we try to remove that layer of mind/
space disconnection by shifting the focus back to each human being in the present, still able to
communicate with someone far away but present in the moment through a personal display that
is engaging and playful.!
This is also why we extended our App functionality to include pattern download and sharing,
creating a sort of “iTunes for fashion”, so that friends can send visual messages to each other,
sharing visual thoughts rather than texting. Fashion should make people happy and make them
feel invincible so that they can go about their life with a strong and positive attitude.
You can know more about CUTE CIRCUIT here:
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