Cliff : the automatized zipper

M.Z. Baharom, M.J. Toeters, F.L.M. Delbressine, C. Bangaru, L.M.G. Feijs

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    It is our strong believe that fashion - more specifically apparel - can support us so much more in our daily life than it currently does. The Cliff project takes the opportunity to create a generic automatized zipper. It is a response to the struggle by elderly, people with physical disability, and ladies who have problems zipping the back-zipper dress. An iterative “research through design” approach was applied (Toeters et al., 2012) to develop a working mechanism and identify the important factors to generate efficient traction mechanism. In between the iterations, the stakeholder and user feedback obtained from exhibitions has been used for the next iterations, which then led to the miniaturization of the Cliff prototype. The development progress of Cliff shows the tremendous potential of developing a generic automatized zipper, and it might be one of the approaches towards the “future of fashion” (Dunne, 2010). Problematic is that wearable systems are almost exclusively discussed with a functional focus. The functional benefit is entirely lost if a user refuses to adopt the technology because of social factors argues Dunne (2014). During the next steps, Visual Perception Aesthetics (Dunne, Profita and Zeagler, 2014), Dynamic Functionalities (Seymour, 2008), and Cliff’s Ease of Use (Starner et al., 1999) must be reconsidered depending on its context of use. It is crucial to ensure users could positively perceive and use the Cliff as an assistive device for the zipping and unzipping process. With this paper, we hope to share tools and insights to enlarge the social engagement of the fashion industry by product innovation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGFC - Global Fashion Conference 2016, 20-21 October 2016, Stockholm, Sweden
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2016


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