Journal publication

ArtEZ Platform for Research Interventions of the Arts, 2019

journal publication, design research, Issho, mindfulness


In Touch with the Now: Stimulating Mindfulness Through a Smart Denim jacket

ArtEZ Platform for Research Interventions of the Arts, 2019

In a 24/7 economy, mindfulness is the new luxury. The ‘always-on’ society causes restless and stressful states of mind at the expense of our ability to simply ‘be in the present’. Using a responsive garment that gives the wearer gentle haptic feedback as a case study, this paper explores how smart fashion can encourage a more mindful relation between the wearer, the garment, and their environment.

This paper proposes a postphenomenological approach to smart fashion, acknowledging the ways in which interactive garments can mediate human experiences and practices. First, the postphenomenological notion of ‘material aesthetics’ (Verbeek 2005) will be employed to emphasize the central role of materiality in enabling more ‘mindful’ wearer experiences. We will use interview data to provide insight into the role of materiality in actual wearer experiences of our case study: an interactive denim jacket that echoes social interactions through the sensation of a subtle stroke on the back. Based on these personal accounts of the garment, we will then discuss how the integration of haptic technology into fashion influences the wearer’s embodied experience. Finally, we will address how smart fashion can stimulate wearers to become more mindful of their bodies and, ultimately, more in touch with the now. The paper is unique in combining design practice and theoretical reflection, with insights gained from interviews with wearers. Noting how technology often tends to direct our attention away from, rather than towards, our embodied subjectivity, we develop a critical argument for designing intelligent fashion from and for embodied experience.

Source: APRIA, issue #00, 30 May 2019

Read the full article here

At Pauline van Dongen we design and develop smart textiles and clothing in a holistic way. We believe in sharing our experiences and knowledge with others to jointly change the current fashion system that relies on unethical and unsustainable practices and causes devaluation of clothing.