Necessity breeds innovation. Clothing designers have two approaches to designing garments; imagining how it will look or physically making the design to see how will turn out. University of Tokyo, Japan, Amy Wibowo falls into the later category. After spending the large sums of time to create pieces just to be thrown aside, she set out to create a way to virtually design. The result was "Dress Up Clothing Design System," and augmented reality program that can let a designer create in 3D space.
No colored pencils or cutting tools are necessary. Only the system's surface and a couple styluses are needed. There are six ceiling-mounting cameras that are placed to watch over a mannequin (dummy) and the designer. The user has two wireless mice attached to a frame alongside tracking spheres. When you start designing and moving the dummy, the cameras pick up the movement of the styluses and the dummy position, and transfers it to the system to see your design come to life. In this case, Wibowo projected the design image on a screen.
After the design is finished, the software makes "patterns" out of the design for physical construction. Patterns are the shapes that sections of fabric are cut to be sewn into a complete garment. Some could argue this is lazy for fashion students who have to learn how to make patterns. Unfortunately for purists, Wibowo has already created the software. The ripple affects soon to follow.
The Dress Up Clothing System is ideal for most people to set up in their house. Wibowo considered that fact when thinking about one day creating a similar system using something like a Wii remote.
Wibowo stated, "The idea is to make it easy for people to design clothes.” It does make it easier. The system may be fast, but would you agree it bypasses the whole learning process of making clothes? Before we know it, six year olds will become renowned fashion designers. That is the point of technological advancement, right? Anything is possible.
See Wibowo's software in action at the TEI conference in Kingston, Ontario February 19-22.