Utrecht – In Pursuit of Tactility is a multifaceted installation designed by Utrecht-based PMS Studio, which aims to address overconsumption in the fashion industry.
Presented at Dutch Design Week 2018, the installation features a combination of 3D photography, animation, virtual reality and reactive soundscapes to replicate typical clothing characteristics such as texture, movement and touch in digital form. Each stage of the installation is designed to gradually introduce visitors to the idea that fashion can become a fully digitised industry, if we can redefine the tactility now associated with clothing.
The first introductory stage is a fabric expo featuring digital renderings of textiles printed on Plexiglass. These realistic forms are designed to ‘invoke the brain to visualise what it thinks is a tangible material’, without the sensation of touch. The next stage is a fabric animation that emulates the movement of real fabrics, pushing viewers to participate the installation’s final section – a VR experience featuring PMS Studio’s complete digital fashion collection. The lack of physical garments is compensated by audio feedback when viewers interact with the VR garments, creating a new way to digitally ‘touch’ and perceive the fabric.
Digital Gratification is becoming increasingly prominent in the fashion industry, as designers provide new methods to enjoy clothing in the digital realm.