Wearables by Design Show to continue this fall


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

An Iowa State student walks in the first-ever Wearables Design Show put on by the Design Studies 102 classes in the College of Design Atrium in 2019.

Makala Cox

This upcoming weekend marks the second annual Wearables by Design Show. The event showcases first-year design student creations that interact with the human form as a kinetic display of design.

The show was put together by Rachel Moylan, Patience Lueth and Nathan Edwards and is filmed by Jacob Martin.

Students will present their wearable designs by walking down a runway to original music created by John Osorio, an instructor for the design studio. This event celebrates first-year students in the design program and opens doors to the community.

The show had been originally postponed with the emergence of COVID-19 in spring and was set to take place Sept. 19 along with Design Week and Cyclone Family Weekend. Both Design Week and Cyclone Family Weekend have been canceled, but the Wearables by Design Show is still set to launch.

A decision was made several weeks ago to celebrate the students’ work through videography as opposed to having a live audience. Different teasers, called features, have been prerecorded and will be released throughout the month. These clips will showcase five different mobiles. Dates of these will be announced later in the month.

Much of the spring season is dedicated to the construction of the wearables. Students are originally tasked with creating kinetic pieces that are inspired by sound.

Nathan Edwards, an associate teaching professor of art and visual culture as well as a co-director for the Wearables by Design event, described the process.

“It’s a unique experience for each team,” Edwards said. “So for me, when I originally started with the Mobile Project… I did a lot of classical music, and as it got to the Wearables project I have slowly been changing the genre of the music that I would give to my students to work with. Which kind of turned into EDM and more ambient like music in nature. Each instructor, for the most part, is choosing the music.”

Some instructors also had students record sounds and create a wearable project based upon that. In the end, each group’s final product is a kinetic visualization of their sound.

The background music heard at the event is inspired by each groups’ music piece and is done so to amplify the Wearable Design’s message.

Students work in groups of three to six and have several weeks to draw up sketches, experiment with material and create their final wearable design. The 2019 Spring Wearables by Design Show featured 200 students and 50 wearable designs.

Due to COVID-19 complications, the numbers have been reduced to five designs this year, as students were asked to work alone after two weeks into the project. Looking ahead, the Spring 2021 Wearables by Design event will have 260 students.

Although the virus has added some additional obstacles, the executive producers of the event remain optimistic. Patience Lueth, an associate teaching professor of architecture, explained what was learned this year in light of coronavirus.

“COVID is awful, but also COVID is also kind of a blessing because we begin to realize the potential that we have as designers,” Lueth said. “I am excited to see the possibilities of virtual nature- editing, video editing and how we can incorporate that into our curriculum.”

Spectators can view last year’s event on YouTube and look for this year’s event updates on the Design College website or the Wearables by Design’s Facebook page.