Thursday, January 30, 2014

Glow Stick

The garments flaunted in tonight’s In the Dark fashion show will be glowing, but it’s won’t be from the gleam of silk or the glint of sequins. Some of the pieces will literally light up as part of the 7 p.m. Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland event that showcases wearable technology pieces created through collaboration between six Cleveland Institute of Art students and two Case Western Reserve University engineering students. 

“It’s trying to blur the lines between analog in digital, especially in art culture today to find a complex between what should be analog and what should be digital,” says Graham Baldwin, a participating designer and Cleveland Institute of Art student.

Back in October, Baldwin began working on his avant-garde garment titled “Compendium,” which is a crinoline dress made from 4 pounds of 3-D printed nylon filament that will allow light to shine through it.

“In this piece, I’m hand-sewing 3-D printed structures together, and the 3-D printed structures reference smocking [a way to embroider and fold fabric] used in old-time dresses, so it’s kind of this back and forth balance between the two ideas,” Baldwin says.
The competition is an opportunity to connect arts with engineering, says CIA adjunct professor Barbara Chira. The designers are using 3-D light refraction, glowing LED lights and motion sensors to make one-of-a-kind, futuristic pieces.

“We are very proud of these students' passion for and aptitude in emerging technologies, and in their desire to collaborate across disciplines and work toward creative outcomes that are innovative and new,” Chira says.

The students will also present their high-tech creations at the Brite Winter Festival Feb. 15, the Cleveland Mini Maker Faire March 29 and Great Lakes Science Center’s Yuri’s Night Space Party April 12. Designers will have a chance to revise their pieces throughout the competition until the April show, which features a judging of the garments with one lucky winner taking home a cash prize.

By Cassie Neiden

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