Exhibition celebrates style and visibility in the dark

Friday 27 July 2018

The exhibition, which continues till Sunday at the Wellington Public Library, celebrates the designs of stylish, wearable and effective textiles for walkers, runners and bike riders exercising in the dark.

It features the work of School of Design students and graduate from Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, who in 2016 and 2017 were challenged in a competition run as part of Project Glow Wear by project leaders at Wellington Regional Council to identify dangers to pedestrians and cyclists and create solutions using light reactive elements in their textile design. The regional council’s sustainable transport team has this year been working with third year textile design students to explore innovations in the development of new reflective textiles and materials.

Caitlyn Jones winning exhibit used retro-reflective yarn designed especially for motorcyle safety gear, though textile design senior lecturer and programme leader Dr Faith Kane says the exhibition of work showcased the originality and variety of all the student’s designs working with reflective wear. “This exhibition shows design inspiration, a selection of final textiles and illustrations that communicate how they might be used within fashion and beyond.”

With access to workshops at Massey’s School of Design, the students were able to use traditional textile processes such as weaving, knitting and felting, alongside digital fabrication technologies, including laser processing, 3D printing and e-textile techniques to incorporate retro-reflective, glow in the dark and LED materials.

“We hope that the exhibition promotes the use of retro reflective wear, but also demonstrates the potential of textiles as a space for design innovation through the opportunities it presents to fuse traditional making processes and cutting-edge technologies,” Dr Kane says.

Wellington Regional Council sustainable transport team spokesperson Melanie Thornton says the Project Glow Wear competition and subsequent exhibition are ideal avenues in which to highlight the council’s commitment to exploring ways to encourage active commuters to enhance their visibility at night.

“Our team is out on the streets observing cyclist and pedestrian behaviour on a regular basis, and we know we need to get people thinking about what they wear when they are out in the evening. Wearing reflective fabric is such a simple thing to do, but it can be a life saver.”


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