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

For the ultra-creatives out there, an opportunity has arisen. If you love both fashion and technology, then Design Future Labs is the program for you.

This lab “enables the merging of the worlds of fashion and immersive technology in a radical exploration of storytelling, worldbuilding and redesigning the future by combining the skills of fashion practitioners and digital technologists.”

It’s a jumble of words to say you need to develop experiential and immersive digital narratives about sustainable fashion and design. And you have to know that by immersive technology they mean virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR). So fashion in VR and AR basically.

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18 developers took part in the first Design Labs last year and calls for the 2023 edition are now open. The call is for digital and fashion designers (including accessories and footwear) to apply for Design Futures Lab 2023.

Call for proposals for Design Futures Lab

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

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

Think: a highly interactive and immersive experience for the user that blurs the line between the physical and digital worlds.

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

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The program 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 (augmented reality) including VR and AR.

Through the use of new creative technologies and software, as well as access to international distribution channels and exhibition platforms, the laboratory will facilitate access to new markets for sustainable livelihoods.

To apply, click here and fill out the form. Application deadline is March 15, 2023.

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

Here’s everything you need to know about the Design Futures Lab.

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