Design for Minimalist Fashion
2021. Zaiqiao Ye, Zitao Zhang, Tingyu Chen and Eli Blevis. “Supporting Sustainability through Minimalist Interaction Design Aesthetics”. Accepted to Proceedings of 9th World Conference on Design Research (IASDR 2021).
The frequent consumption and discarding of clothing are unsustainable. Some minimalist practices in fashion can reduce fashion waste and the cost of carbon, one of them is the practice of capsule wardrobes. To support the sustainable practice of capsule wardrobe, we designed Minnie, the Musical Clothes Hanger — Minnie for short. Minnie is designed to help people who want to build a capsule wardrobe or other form of minimalist practice in their wardrobes. Applying the method of Research through Design (RtD), we investigate how people perceive minimalist lifestyles and reflect on Marie Kondo’s minimalist wardrobe practices. Based on the design research, we formed the appearance design, system design, and sound interaction design of Minnie. We propose that our study provides insights for designing artefacts to support minimalism in fashion.
By designing and developing Minnie, we explored the boundary space of connecting minimalism and sustainability in fashion. Minnie is a design concept built for supporting capsule wardrobe - a minimalist lifestyle. We designed the hanger with the idea of minimalist appearance and minimalist sound interaction. Based on our design research on Instagram, we specified natural wood materials to give our hangers an elegant look and feel. There is a relationship between the quality of materials used in the construction of the Minnie hanger components and durability, with sustainability as an emergent consequence of choosing high-quality materials. We apply minimalist/Zen music as the output of the interactive system. We use the musical fragments as the musical IDs for different hangers. By repeating the musical IDs each time people open the wardrobe, we want to provoke people’s feelings and memories of each clothing.