Curious about how fashion & technology work together? Or ever wonder what a Yawn (yes – you heard correctly!) Chorus sounds like? Then read on, as we have the inside track on this year’s Festival of Curiosity.
The Festival of Curiosity
Dublin’s International Festival of Science, Arts, Design & Technology, the event kicked off in Temple Bar late last month and featured the best of innovative technology. An action-packed few days, one of the highlights of this year’s event came all the way from Canada. Make Fashion brought their innovative mix of fashion and wearable technology to Dublin for the occasion – and showcased how fashion can make technology more relatable.
Catherine Larose, artistic director of Make Fashion reveals: “We think of it as fashion technology. Every year, we do a collection where we have about 50 designers and engineers who work with us. They submit proposals, we pick a shortlist and then pay for the creation of a wearable technology outfit that breaks new ground. We work with some of the leading wearable technology providers around the world and they provide us with cutting-edge technology that they’re creating. We work it into fashion to teach people about the possibilities of this type of technology.”
With each piece boasting interactive technology, Catherine adds: “Technology can be quite complex and people can feel overwhelmed. By creating something wearable, we can reach a more diverse and inclusive audience. All of the pieces are unique, have sensors, and have sophisticated programming that speaks more to the technology.”
Machine Learning Meets Yawning
Along with wearable technology, the festival also showcased machine learning and AI in practice in The Yawn Chorus. An interactive installation – both for visitors at the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios and online – the Chorus uses the mix of technology to create a user-generated chorus of yawns in response to relaxing images. Thanks to the innovative interactive technology, the chorus changes shape, sound, and dynamic, as more yawns are added and more people respond to one image over another.
Sparking Curiosity with Technology
Vincent McCarthy, festival CEO and co-founder, says: “It’s about sparking people’s curiosity about yawning and showing people about machine learning and AI. The aim is to get people to think about that. The idea is to show how yawning is contagious and how it also signals a changing state. So you don’t just yawn when you’re tired, you yawn in response to changing states like waking up or moving into a more relaxed state.”
Along with the key exhibitors, the event also featured an interactive city-map and walk of Dublin, a family-focused programme and a nightime series of events in the Curious Nights programme.