FORWARD THINKING: London Technology Week started today and aims to highlight the growing influence of technology across a variety of sectors, with its economic output predicted to reach up to $2 trillion by 2020.
Technological innovation in fashion has been a focus of this year’s event. The Mayor of London’s promotional company, London & Partners, has commissioned designer Brooke Roberts to oversee an exhibition showcasing the works of some of the British capital’s best fashion technology designers.
Roberts, who used to work as a radiographer and is a knitwear designer, showcased a digitally knitted dress of her own design as part of the exhibit. The designer also partnered with Holition, a 3-D digital experiences agency to create a robot which is draped in a garment by Roberts. Holition also animated a series of her fashion illustrations by the designer and projected them onto a robot to create an interactive experience.
Also on display was a “Bruise Suit” designed by students of the Royal College of Arts, aimed at disabled athletes with loss of sensation. The suit was created using a recyclable pressure-sensitive film and can detect injuries as soon as they happen and alters color on the area of injury to alert the wearer.
“Brands in London have been leading the way by incorporating the latest tech advances in their fashion messages, from the rise of fashion start-ups, to the extensive use of 3-D printing and social media,” Roberts said. “It is through the continuing collaboration of the London fashion and tech scenes that this crossover has become possible, opening the door for more collaborations on a larger scale in the future, limited only by our imaginations.”
Creative communications agency Village also participated in the event by creating an immersive 360-degree video showcasing behind the scenes content from the runway shows of designers including Ashish, Holly Fulton, Peter Jensen and Zandra Rhodes. The video shows glimpses of the process of putting a runway show together — from meetings with the designers, to setting up the catwalk and getting ready backstage — and aims to provide consumers with the ability to make experiential purchases and to create content they can then share on social media.
Louise Page, the agency’s cofounder, explained that the video highlights the shift in consumer demands and the ways a brand has to communicate its message.
“Marketing used to be about creating a myth and selling it, now it’s about finding the truth and sharing it,” Page said.
The event also aims to highlight the influence of technological advances across a number of other sectors, including the health and services sectors.
Inspired by a series of predictions by the Imperial Collage London’s tech foresight research team, the London Mayor Sadiq Khan commissioned a survey which highlighted that in the next 20 years 3-D printers can be used to produce human organs, while driverless cars and space flight will become a norm.
“London Technology Week demonstrates how our city is open to trade, ideas and people across the globe; it is crucial that we harness those ideas to help the capital work,” Khan said.
The event runs until June 26.