1 National Interuniversity Consortium of Materials Science and Technology (ITALY)
2 Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 7754-7762
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.2064
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Workshop is a powerful method to teach designers intuitive and durable knowledge about materials. By experimenting and experiencing materials, participants get a prospective on the properties of the materials they use and are able to learn which possibilities are given by them. Having an up-todate knowledge of materials, from technical and engineering properties to expressive-sensorial perceptions is essential for designers to produce an aware design and exploit the potentials and limits of materials.

In this perspective, the workshop “Filo di Luce” ("Light Fiber") focused the attention on the application of Dreamlux, a patented textile product with illuminated fibers, in design concepts. The workshop was dedicated to students and postgraduates of Product and Fashion Design courses at the School of Design of the Politecnico di Milano. Workshop brief for product and fashion designers concerned two different topics, as the final application field requires different needs. Thus, product designers had to develop concepts relating outdoor furnishing complements while fashion designers were asked to design sportswear. All participants attended the launch presentation, then workshop modality was diversified according to the design section, as time and tools available didn't permit to product designers to build a prototype of the final product, while was possible for fashion designers to have it. Product designers workshop started one month after the launch, ensuring them the time to set up the possible concepts to be taken forward over the four days workshop lasting. Fashion designers began immediately to present moodboards, concepts and paper patterns till the creation of final products, through a series of established review sections.

The involvement of participants with diversified academic backgrounds allows to analyze the design method approaches relating to the textile material. Dreamlux is an innovative fabric which comprises light guiding fibers consisting of a central core capable of transmitting light, and of an external sheath that presents a refraction index allowing the transmitted light to partially escape from the fiber. A light source supplied by an electric battery allows the fabric to become bright, and fibers and fabrics color range and typologies available permit numerous combinations, allowing to fuel designers creativity.

The approach in the use of a textile material has shown differences in participants design method application and some critical factors as several aspects to be taken into consideration. Being a two-dimensional material, Dreamlux was firstly reduced to a cover by product designers, as if it was a second skin, fitted for a priori designed three-dimensional product. This is due to the fact that teachings received during Product Design university courses mostly provide design skills in which fabrics are not included as materials for product development, or if they are, they have a marginal function. Both design sections have found critical issues related to the textile technological configuration, as the fibers positioning places constraints in cutting and shaping the material. Thus, product design teaching section aimed to improve participants skills in recognizing a textile material as an essential component of a three-dimensional product. On the other hand, workshop method gave to fashion designers the possibility of acquiring technical capabilities when handling a non conventional fabric.
Workshop, design approach, fashion design, product design, textile material, optical fiber.