Hacking design and fashion with Otto

(segue in italiano)

Three years ago, in an interview with We Make Money not Art, Otto Von Busch talked about “fashion renegades” as the people using unconventional strategies to modify the fashion system in order to injecting liberation and empowerment in its channels:

This is what makes hackers similar to heretics; they oppose the hierarchical role of the interpreter, administrator, or author, but not the power itself – code or faith. The heretic is not an atheist, but someone hacking the institutional and hierarchical interpretation of the faith. Like the hacker, modder, or tinkerer the heretic is keeping the power on, not renouncing or opposing the core or energy of a system. Using faith for liberation and empowerment.

Interpreted in this way the sewing machine can become a tool for liberation, and fashion is transformed int a collective experience of empowerment, of sharing methods and knowledge of craft.

I’ve been in touch with Otto through email in the last year to share with him our work in progress with Openwear and to involve him in some of our future activities. His work as fashion theorist and hacktivist was a great source of inspiration for my personal and collective activity.
I’m preparing 5 questions to send him for a short interview to publish on this blog and to share with you what he’s been up too recently. In the meanwhile I wanted to show you a couple of resources useful to give you an idea of what it means to mix hacking and design:

A video about one of his workshops on upcycling:

And here you can download a web version (in PDF) of his thesis called: ”Fashion-able: Hacktivism and Engaged Fashion Design”, where he explores artistic research projects around fashion that unexpectedly become a form of social activism.


E qui potete scaricare la versione web (in PDF) della sua tesi di dottorato intitolata: ”Fashion-able: Hacktivism and Engaged Fashion Design”, dove esplora alcuni progetti artistici intorno alla moda che in modo inaspettato diventano una forma di attivismo sociale (e parla anche di Serpica Naro, l’associazione con base a Milano di cui faccio parte).

Fashion-able cover
Fashion-able cover

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