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Susan commented on 2nd Skin Fashion Challenge

Alison Gibbins and Michelle Li both of you are inspiring in your observations of the lived experience with AD. So far as a 2nd Skin Fashion Challenge it seems there are many different ways to a comforting solution when it involves clothes. I've reached out to Dr. Francesco Mazzarella, Research Fellow in Fashion Design for Social Change at the Center for Sustainable Fashion (CSF), London College of Fashion, to see if we might develop a project for his students. They study design activism, fashion and textile artisanship, holistic sustainability, service design, and social innovation. They believe service design can be used to activate textile artisan communities in transition towards a sustainable future. While I don't think they've applied that to solving a healthcare challenge, I think there could be interesting synergies in presenting them with a design challenge to solve for a "Second Skin"....that go beyond developing new textile fibers to sit next to the skin. To that end, I've also reached out to Marylou Marsh, a fashion and textile designer who was a pioneer in the 1990's with sustainable textile processes, now semi-retired with a focus on painting for self expression. She also still retains a small textile mill and fashion shop called Spiritex in the mountain town of Asheville, where I now live. She's always used her tacit knowledge of fashion and the textile industry for social impact...and would be a terrific resource to help write a more tailored (pun intended!) design brief for the CSF students to solve for Second Skin. I know this is the end of the iteration phase, but this might be a project well worth pursuing. What do you think? Stay well, here's to the US Thanksgiving holiday, much needed in the spirit of the times:-)

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Susan commented on 2nd Skin Fashion Challenge

Hi Alison Gibbins Congratulations on being chosen for the Shortlist! I see Michelle Li 's idea was selected also...you're both in Toronto, do you know each other? Your ideas have some synergy....might inclusive fashion become a useful resource in her directory?....Do you both share an AD support group who might participate for user's feedback on any clothing design prototypes your idea generates? One of the review criteria for the Challenge's Final Awards is focusing on local solutions that can scale....using your local AD community for benchmarking design ideas might be helpful. Also, on the Challenge page for "Additional Resources" there's a link to an IDEO podcast on 8 Design Abilities of Creative Problem Solvers that might help you with the process defining a Brief. My secondary contact at the London School of Fashion hasn't been fruitful (no surprise w/people distracted by COVID!), but I'm thinking about approaching their program admins directly. In the meantime know of a woman educated at Pratt and the Fashion Institute in NYC who's been professionally recognized for her long-time accomplishments in design, textile sustainability, and patterning....I'll ask her about becoming involved, at the very least to give feedback re: a brief, and see if she suggests additional helpful resources. Will look forward to see how your idea blossoms!

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Susan commented on 2nd Skin Fashion Challenge

Alison Gibbins How might you think about what to ask someone designing clothes for AD? It seems comfort and being practical are most important, along with accessibility (fabric, cost, the "making" of it). Michelle Li 's comment about the clothes her mom made for her were silk/cotton sparked an idea - what if designers were asked how might they help moms of the world make clothes for their loved ones that would be of comfort physically and emotionally? Fabric suggestions, style. Maybe how to adapt a style over time as a child grows? And maybe a local or virtual meetup group for moms to share ideas and outcomes? For designers to share/comment on style or technique or color combinations? Where/how to source local textiles? Meanwhile, here' a TED Talk from Frances Corner OBE of the London College of Fashion, who advocates for fashion as an agent for innovation and change, in sustainability, health, and well-being (sorry, you may get a brief YouTube ad at the beginning!) https://youtu.be/sjLBbWbBTPc