2016 Lucy Jones

I have called my practice “Seated Design.” It is a method of analyzing our existing design infrastructure and encouraging implementation of functional, attractive and more comfortable design solutions for seated individuals.This project grew out of a personal response to a comment made by my younger cousin Jake, who is hemiplegic. He told me he wished he could dress himself independently. In fashion design, we traditionally use the “standing body.” We can eyeball a “good” neckline, a suitable length for a sleeve and so on. However, if we begin with the seated body, many of these measurements and our assumptions of garment construction become disrupted due to the anatomical variations and disabilities of seated individuals.My project offers a series of what I have termed “advantage blocks.” These advantage blocks target the problematic areas of garments and display them through relatable archetypal garments such as shirts, jeans, suit jackets, active wear and so on.The advantage blocks can be inserted into traditional industry standard blocks (e.g. a shirtsleeve pattern). The advantage blocks displayed therefore present design solutions that show how to attractively and comfortably control and enhance a shirtsleeve in action that are not medically distinctive in appearance. In the future, I hope that my approach to seated design will create a conversation between differently able individuals and designers. It is up to designers to better the fit, practicality and comfort of our garments, and it is vital that we see the value of this practice to our society. To that end, designers should share, design, develop and listen to the needs of all individuals.