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app-development education fashion-design Uncategorized Virtual Reality Vr

Project Concept: A VR Application for Fashion Design Education


I previously wrote about an idea for an application to teach textile science in virtual reality. But, what if we don’t stop there? Could VR help teach draping and patternmaking also? These are skills that are normally taught in a design lab with fabric, dress forms, pins, and rulers. Fashion design students log many hours, in and out of class, working on projects in the design labs. Can we use VR to maybe cut down some of these hours in the lab and even streamline the design process?

Courtesy of Elena Fashion Design Workshop

There are many new virtual reality technologies on the horizon that could transform fashion design education. In particular, I would like to explore the possible implications of Augmented Reality, eye tracking, and haptics for a fashion design app.

Augmented reality has great potential for fashion design, both for the inception and implementation of a project. At the beginning stages of a design project, students could use AR to superimpose their designs on real models or to superimpose fabrics and colors on their designs. Students could also use AR to learn basic techniques for pattern development by draping fabrics on mannequins.

Draping virtually would give students the ability to practice their skills even without fabric and dress forms. It would also save students substantial time by removing the step of preparing fabric for draping. However, new technology is required to make this a real possibility. Great strides are being made in developing technologies such as eye tracking, haptics, improved depth perception and graphical fidelity. Together, these technologies could make it possible to drape garments virtually. Eye tracking would improve focus where the student’s eyes are looking, thereby allowing students to be more accurate in draping. Haptics could allow students to feel the fabric’s texture, weight, and stretch. The ability to feel the properties of the fabric is essential for successfully manipulating it. Finally, improved depth perception and graphical fidelity would allow students to see the very subtle differences in thickness of fabrics and the depth created by folding or otherwise manipulating fabrics.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for students to finish advanced degrees in four years. Fashion design programs in particular often require a maximum number of required courses, of which many are time intensive lab courses. A fashion design VR application could make an advanced degree more accessible while improving student performance and learning. Let’s make this application a reality in the next two years.

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