Ophir El-Boher MFA Collaborative Design Practicum 2019

The Eternal Return of the New

The clothing we all wear is produced through a broken system. The fashion industry is confronting huge challenges in its relation to environments. In both sides of this linear system, we are reaching the limit of exploiting our natural and social ecosystems.

How might we produce, acquire, use and dispose of clothes in ways that benefit environments rather than harm them?

Upcycling is a process of bringing wasted resources back into a production cycle with added value. During the last few years, a growing interest in upcycling appeared within the fashion industry, from bloggers refashioning old clothing to engineers respinning shredded and melted fibers, making new fashion out of wasted materials is the hottest trend of the season.

Beyond the boundaries of the fashion field, citizens create clothes in the spirit of Bricolage—reclaiming not just the physical materials, but the crafts of mending and making, back into their everyday life. This movement of makers challenges one main factor in waste production: consumption.

How might we use fashion to balance global growth in consumption?

This project provides makers with reclaimed materials and full instructions to create “your own designer outfit” with minimal expertise needed. Through the activity of making a desired fashion item, I explore opportunities to empower the maker and inspire a behavioral shift. This intervention in the everyday life acts as a catalyst for systemic design, centered around designing the experience rather than focusing on the object.

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MFA in Collaborative Design and MA in Design Systems Thesis Works