Startups technology

Fashbot robot explores analogue vs digital in projected fashion designs

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Brooke Roberts and Ed Vaizey, Britain’s minister for culture, communications and creative industries, alongside FashBot during London Technology Week

Meet Fashbot, a life-sized robot that took to London Technology Week this week to showcase numerous famous fashion designs in hand-drawn form.

Juxtaposing analogue craft with the latest in digital technology, the installation saw looks from the likes of Alexander McQeen, Christian Dior, Gianni Versace and Valentino all slowly appearing in projected form as though they were being drawn onto the dress in real-time.

The installation was concepted and created by designer Brooke Roberts, as part of a commissionion by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional company. She wanted to demonstrate fashion and robotics, with a human sensibility, so approached 3D-printing robotics company InMoov to help her.

The result was a robot draped with a piece of clothing upon which projections of the various fashion imagery appeared, produced by digital agency Holition’s in-house creative artist, Gintare Zukauskaite.

Holition CEO, Jonathan Chippindale, said: “As an anti-tech technology studio, Holition has always been more focused on the experience, the engagement and the digital anthropology between humans and technology, rather than the wires and circuit boards and the algorithms. This installation fits this ethos nicely – although on paper it is a collaboration involving 3D printing, robotics, fashion and projection mapping, it is actually a narrative that discusses the connection between analogue and digital, a story of fashion told through the medium of technology and ultimately a study of what it is to be human.”

Correction: an earlier version of this story wrongly stated Brooke Roberts was just the designer of the dress and not full creative behind the installation.

Blocks technology

Brain scan knitwear designer launches campaign starring women of tech, media, medicine and more


Brooke Roberts, a digital knitwear designer inspired by scan images of the brain and sciences, is promoting her spring/summer 2015 collection with a campaign featuring leading women from the fields of tech, business, media and medicine.

The Super Women campaign, as it’s called, aims to “highlight the [collection’s] fusion of science, technology and fashion”.

It stars 12 pioneering names, including Jemima Kiss, technology editor at The Guardian; Olivia Solon, technology editor at The Daily Mirror; Rachel Bremer, EMEA communications director at Twitter; Kate Russell, technology reporter and author; Reshma Sohoni, founder & partner of Seedcamp; Dr Laura-Ann McGill, cardiologist; Kathryn Parsons, co-founder and co-CEO of Decoded; Sue Walter, CEO of The Hospital Club; Jude Ower, founder and CEO of Playmob; Elizabeth Varley, founder and CEO of TechHub; Amalia Agathou, program leader at London College of Fashion; as well as Roberts herself.

Each appears in a triptych portrait captured by photographer Philip Meech, as well as in a behind-the-scenes film (as above) that includes an interview with them about their work and their involvement with Roberts.

“We’re seeing some really interesting start-ups come up and I think Brooke is just one of a very exciting and very London trend,” says Kiss of The Guardian.

Roberts continues to work as a diagnostic radiographer within the NHS. She previously gave a TED talk explaining how she combines radiography and knitwear design in her clothing range, as below. The full campaign can be seen via Roberts’ website.

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