GUEST BLOG - HOLITION: ‘MORE THAN A DRESS…THE ALCHEMY OF DATA AND FASHION’
Our relationship with Helen Storey started a number of years ago when we were developing links with London College of Fashion by hosting inspirational lectures, to Masters students and offering internships. We have now just launched our second major project with the Dress For Our Time at the Science Museum.
For each project we have developed a four step iterative process. It starts from insight (academic, market and primary research), which then informs the strategy (plan and outcomes), which directs the creative (aesthetic concept), and ONLY THEN do we decide upon the technology (software or hardware) to build.
At the heart of the process is UX (User Experience) which means researching, planning and testing after each of the four phases, how the ‘user’ (the viewer of the dress) will think, feel and do with what we create.
Matt Nelson was PM on the project, has a long-time interest in all kinds of refugees, he said, “a seed may be planted in the visitor/viewer’s mind that becomes a question or intrigue that makes them want to learn more, and then do more, about the refugee crisis”
Five different programmes were used for the project, including Adobe illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Openframeworks and Resolume Arena 5. The latter was used for the projection mapping, whilst Openframeworks was utilized to code and programme the refugee data from the UN. The data visualisation was based upon the geographical movement of the refugees. Miguel explains that “we were trying to tell stories that were very human, through actual numbers. Data alone cannot describe or simplify the journey of a refugee”. At Holition, we believe that art and science can and should co-create in order to provide new perspectives and this project is a perfect example of this notion. Noah adds, “the difficult part was creating a map no one has seen before, and that it was both an abstract artistic piece and logical and legible enough for the visitors to understand”.
The main visual concept emerged that ONE dot of light should represent the lives of ONE HUNDRED real people who have been forced to move home and therefore are described as ‘refugees’.
Our head creative Tommy said, “Dress For Our Time is a canvas to express a global problem through the innovative alchemy of Holition’s skills in creative data visualisation with Helen’s skills as an artist and fashion designer”. Our CEO Jonathan finally adds, “we wanted to encourage viewers to see the scale of the refugee crisis and to start to realise that, faced with the same set of circumstances, they too might have been forced to make the same decisions, and that in reality we are both no different”