Fashion is a compelling component of contemporary culture, it forms and expresses identity and belonging in physical and digital communities in which we live or spend time. Fashion is not the starting point of our social and environmental challenges, but it can play a distinctive role in solving and dissolving some of symptoms of our imbalanced lifestyles. As a powerful visualisation of our cultural habits and as a personal and collective expression, its exploration offers potential points of intervention in the status quo that is currently hurtling us towards irrevocable damage to our home, the planet, and to many of our fellow companions here.
Another vital place for consideration is our geographical locations. The seeking of safety and socialisation, the making of culture and commerce, are all elements that seeded the first cities and indeed remain the elements of their increasing development towards a planet where it is anticipated that 75 – 80% of us will be living as city residents by 2050. A city is a place of dynamic interaction and congestion, a microcosm of the challenges and possibilities of humanity, a place of both resourcefulness and, in places, passive consumption.
Habitat is an emerging body of research, led by Professor Dilys Williams, which seeks to explore our habits of living through fashion’s actions, relationships and locations framed in the context of the city, as well as to engage fashion as a mediator to explore our concerns whilst living in these locations. First stop, London, where we are.
Habitat is being explored through a range of experimental approaches and events.