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Fashioning the Future

Established in 2008, Fashioning the Future aims to inspire curiosity, encourage the testing of ideas and create a platform for emerging thinkers, doers, designers and innovators. It facilitates interactions between people in education and business, steering a course towards a better future.

The Fashioning the Future Awards were conceived as a means for CSF to share and exchange knowledge, skills and experience with others. So far, we’ve connected over 3000 students from a host of fashion institutions worldwide with global businesses and NGOs. Resources, developed from our expertise, act as a guide to participants and outcomes are showcased through exhibition, catwalk and digital mediums.

Building on a methodology developed by Dilys Williams to engage designers in active participation, empathy and collaboration, Fashioning the Future has evolved into an immersive summer school. Currently the summer school engages students and tutors from leading fashion institutions across Europe.

Fashioning the Future is currently based around Habit(AT) a research project that explores the possibilities for fashion to contribute to resilience in an increasingly urbanized world. Participants work to a brief developed and supported by industry partners, focusing on building innovative ideas into relevant concepts and prototypes.

The project is was part funded by the Eurpoean Union’s Erasmus Lifelong Learning Programme, enabling participants to take part in an immersive incubator, located in London, with insights from across Europe.


2008 - 2011 Fashioning the Future Awards

Image by Sean Michael

Image by Sean Michael

Image by Kerry Dean

2008/9  New Definitions of Luxury

Categories include Enterprise and Communication, the Role of Materials in Fashion, Systems for a Sustainable Fashion Industry and Design in a Thriving World.  Finalists are selected to take part in catwalk show as part of a CSF global Summit exploring new definitions of luxury.

2009/10 Water: The Right for All Citizens of this Planet

Finalist’s work is featured in an exhibition, held in the LCF Fashion Space and at City Hall, as part of Professor Frances Corner’s role as a London Leader.

2010/11 Unique: Honouring Biodiversity

As part of the decade of biodiversity and partnering with UNCTAD, finalists are selected to be featured in an experimental multimedia exhibition and  catwalk show supported by Canary Wharf and held in the imposing East Winter Gardens.

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January 2013 - Fashioning the Future Summer School

Image by Katy Davies

Image by Katy Davies

June 2013 - City Maps

Image from city maps

Image from city maps

Selected participants capture images of their home cities and embark upon daily tasks under identified themes of seeing, knowing and doing. Each participant documents their daily experiences, creating a personal map of their city and sharing their reflections through a blog.

July 2013 - The Brief

Image from city expedition

Image from city expedition

Participants are asked to consider some of the world’s fastest growing cites and the environmental challenges and opportunities of urban cultures. Working in inter-disciplinary groups, they are challenged to imagine London in 2025 and to use fashion as the starting point for developing a ‘City Survival Pack’.

Over the course of the incubator, students work with researchers and tutors from CSF, European partner universities, Forum for the Future and the Sustainable Angle to support the ideation and prototyping process.

July 2013 - Nike Making App Challenge

Image by Katy Davies

02 JULY 2013 – NIKE MAKING APP CHALLENGE – Participants are invited to the launch of Nike’s Making App and are briefed by CSF and Nike on the 2025 London Making App Challenge. Working in their groups with guidance from either a member of CSF or the Nike design team, they explore and use the newly launched Making App. Their challenge is to redesign a single item from ‘the urban uniform’ based on the needs of the wearer in London 2025. Outcomes are presented to Nike’s Sustainable Business Innovation team.

July 2013 - Final Concepts

Image from Future Riders student project

18 JULY 2013 – FINAL CONCEPTS – Each team presents their City Survival Pack Concept and Prototypes to a panel from academia and industry as well as their peers and other guests.  Successful students receive a Fashioning the Future diploma and research from the summer school is collated as part of the Habit(AT) project.

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