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Wearable Utopias: Imagining, Inventing, and Inhabiting New Worlds

Wearable Utopias: Imagining, Inventing, and Inhabiting New Worlds

Current price: $45.00
Publication Date: September 24th, 2024
The MIT Press


A collection of thought-provoking interviews with cutting-edge designers who transform ordinary wearables into extraordinary sites of personal expression, public engagement, and radical political action.

Wearable Utopias explores the promise of wearables for re-imagining social and political problems of today for diverse and inclusive worlds for tomorrow. Kat Jungnickel, Ellen Fowles, Katja May, and Nikki Pugh entangle science and technology studies, gender studies, and cultural studies with contemporary issues to highlight the role wearables can play in forging alternative paths through conventional landscapes. Featuring 23 interviews with new and established international designers, the collection covers everything from coats designed to protect digital privacy, to high-performing jeans that combat air pollution, to hi-vis cyclewear as a response to urban harassment.

The interviews in Wearable Utopias are organized into six key themes addressing a selection of pressing civic issues: expanding (wearables that push physical, social, and political boundaries); moving (wearables that enable participation in a wider range of sport and activities); concealing (wearables that defend privacy or keep secrets); connecting (wearables that link individuals to large scale issues); leaking (wearables that challenge the idea that urinating and menstruating are problematic or taboo); and working (wearables that address inequalities in the workplace).

Wearable Utopias offers insight and inspiration for students, researchers, designers, and anyone making things to wear who is frustrated with daily inequities and normative limitations and wants to do things differently.

About the Author

This book is part of the European Research Council–funded project Politics of Patents (POP): Reimagining Citizenship via Clothing Inventions, hosted at Goldsmiths, University of London, led by Kat Jungnickel with Ellen Fowles (Research Assistant), Katja May (Postdoctoral Fellow), and Nikki Pugh (Research Assistant).