Attention digital and fashion designers, applications open for Design Futures Lab 2023

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For the ultra-creatives out there, an opportunity has presented itself. If you happen to love both fashion and technology then Design Future Labs is the programme for you.

This lab “allows for the worlds of fashion and immersive technology to merge in a radical exploration of storytelling, world-building, and reimagining futures by combining the skillsets of fashion practitioners and digital technologists.”

That’s word salad to say you will have to develop experiential and immersive digital narratives about sustainable fashion and design. And you must know that when they say immersive technology, they mean Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR). So, fashion in VR and AR, basically.

18 creators participated in the inaugural Design Labs last year and calls are now open for 2023’s edition. The call is for digital and fashion, (including accessories and footwear) designers to apply for the Design Futures Lab 2023.

Design Futures Lab call for applications

We are looking for six teams (12 artists in total working in creative pairs) – three teams from South Africa and three from Zimbabwe – to create immersive media prototypes of sustainable fashion practices.

Immersive media refers to forms of media such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) that provides a sense of presence and immersion by allowing a user to enter and interact with a simulated or augmented environment in a seemingly real way.

Think: a highly interactive and engaging experience for the user, that blurs the line between the physical and digital world.

Each team will be awarded a grant of R60,000.00 to develop their digital prototype/proof of concept.

The programme will include both a sustainable fashion workshop and a digital lab that will challenge successful applicants to explore and expand their digital production skills in XR (extended reality) including VR and AR.

Using new creative technologies and software, accessing international distribution channels and exhibition platforms, the lab will facilitate access to new markets for sustainable livelihoods.

To apply, click here and fill out the form. Applications close on the 15th of March 2023.

Design Futures Lab 2023 will take place in Cape Town from 21 – 24 April 2023 in person. Prototyping will take place from May-August 2023 while market access feedback will take place virtually in September 2023.

Find out everything you need to know about Design Futures Lab here.

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