Utilising Virtual Environments in a Clothing Design Process

Sanna Konola

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

Abstract

Virtual or digital clothing or clothing design is a concept yet to be defined. Virtual, today, is usually something created with a computer, or existing on the Internet. Digital, or digitalisation usually refers to electronic technology that converts data like text or sound into an electronic form or something that creates or processes data (FDS 2015). Digital watches convert time into electronic form while digital televisions use digital signals. Body scanners today can digitalise human form, create a virtual avatar. Digitalisation can also refer to a phenomena of business activities transitioning to electronic channels and contents (Teknologiateollisuus 2014). The Fashion Digital Studio at the London College of Fashion understands digital fashion as a very all-encompassing concept that that connects to ways we research people and clothing and how we design, manufacture and consume fashion (FDS 2015). Digital technologies create not only avatars and game characters with fancy clothing, but also new product design and management tools, computer aided manufacturing, new shopping and communication possibilities as well as new business models and content. Research has already been conducted on virtual product design and management in Finland, for example in the VIRTA (Virtuaalinen tuotesuunnittelu ja -hallinta) project in 2013, that was coordinated by Finatex and funded by Tekes (Finatex 2013). It is noteworthy that here I am not even mentioning wearable technology and the Internet of Things that can in a way physically digitise garment pieces and turn them into data processing objects.
At the University of Lapland, we are utilising as well as researching the formation of these new virtual and digital possibilities with the means we have in our possession. Computer aided design is embedded into the curriculum in the form of digital visualisation software programs as well as 2D patternmaking and 3D virtual fitting software. Researching the possibilities of using virtual patternmaking and fitting in clothing design processes is continuous at the University of Lapland. This is done in courses as well as in the context of projects. The Body Fit project, for example, researched virtual patternmaking, fitting and visualisation with protective clothing, sports and outdoor clothing. We have also had a Symcad –bodyscanner in our possession for a few years now. Bodyscanner related research that has been conducted before, is summarised elsewhere in this publication. As digitalisation connects with any possible field today, a project dealing with artic and protective wear cannot escape it either. In the ArticPro Lapland project it wasn’t a special focus area, but since interviewed companies expressed interest in further research and examining possibilities of virtual fitting, it was adopted as one development theme. This article is a brief overview on how virtual learning and innovation environments were developed and utilised in the context of clothing design. A pair of students researched how the 3D virtual fitting software translates into a tool in designing and fitting workwear. The possibilities of utilising the virtual environment of Service Innovation Corner (SINCO) laboratory at the University of Lapland, as a tool or a method in user-centred clothing design have examined. We also examined possibilities to connect clothing design with pLAB, a software engineering laboratory at the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, and their game and virtual environment development know-how.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArctic Wears
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives on Arctic Clothing
EditorsSanna Konola, Päivi Kähkönen
Place of PublicationRovaniemi
PublisherLapland University of Applied Sciences
Pages138-152
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-316-086-6
ISBN (Print)978-952-316-085-9
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoEC publication typeB2 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

SeriesLapland University of Applied Sciences Publications series B. Reports
Number10/2015
ISSN2342-2483

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design

Citation for this output