Fashion and technology meet to create explosive designs

Image: Central Bus Station, Nairobi/Supplied

Can you imagine wearing the data of your city on your body? Well, look no further than the FABRIC project, a thought provoking initiative that demonstrates how data can transform African cities. The Siemens -led initiative, which was showcased at a glittering event in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, saw three designers create garments made create garments made with fabric patterned with data collected from different cities. To create the data patterns, Siemens collected information such as network connectivity, a variety of patterns from power grids, and population densities.

Image: Siemens - FABRIC visual - Ilupeju, Lagos/Supplied

According to Keshin Govender, the group head of corporate communications at Siemens South Africa, the project was conceptualised to tell the story of African cities in the form of data.  “This project has highlighted the need for access to data in order to make sound urban planning decisions,” said Govender. “This is how we thought to express the aspect of digitalisation. As urbanisation rapidly increases, cities need to start preparing for the effects it will have on infrastructure, energy,water and transportation systems.”

Image: Palesa Mokubung/Supplied

Johannesburg-based designer, Palesa Mokubung, said working on the project had transformed the way she thinks about her city. “It opened so many new elements of inspiration. I see Johannesburg as more dynamic, with hidden opportunities underneath highways, pipes and houses.I’m forever changed when it comes to what I do and how I see the city.”

Let's take a look at some of the designs:

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