Insight: Aldo Sollazzo and Laura Civetti on Reshape Competition
RESHAPE is an international platform promoting emerging talents and innovative solutions that operates at the meeting point between technology and social change, driven by innovation and sustainability. CLOT Magazine spoke to Reshape Director Aldo Sollazo and Reshape Coordinator Laura Civetti ahead of the V edition of the Reshape Competition, a contest organised by Noumena in collaboration with Fira Barcelona, IED Barcelona, and INDUSTRY-From Needs to Solutions that takes place every year in October in Barcelona (Spain).
Reshape ‘aim to connect innovative creators, Industry leaders, cutting-edge experts in Tech, and research centres, to refocus the challenges of our time and rethink digital disruption in the fields of wearables and product design.’ We live in an era in which digital technologies have become the main character in our daily life (Nicolas Negroponte predicted twenty years ago). ‘Technology is valuable only when responses to specific needs. Needs coming from societal and ecological challenges, envisioning a shift towards more sustainable Ecosystems informed by new Values.’ Solazzo and Civetti continue. With Reshape they are ‘creating the right platform to allow all the main actors to set a common ground where to redirect this visions into solutions with the final goal to produce a positive impact on our Society.’
RESHAPE Competition focuses on tech in fashion and smart products and explores the impact of tech on design solutions on our daily life, habitats, and social behaviours. While RESHAPE Forum – a three days event of meetings in the framework of the Barcelona Design Week – connects fashion companies, institutions and industry players. This year the winner of Reshape Competition will receive a full scholarship to attend the new educational program of Design For Wearables. A program organised in partnership with IED, Reshape, and INDUSTRY-From Needs to Solutions, they told us.
During these three days they are offering a wide series of appointments: Reshape Exhibition, 1:1 Corner, The 1:1 Corner, the Symposium, the Round Table, and the Networking Night, they continue. RESHAPE Exhibition showcases valuable project submissions from all over the world aiming to compete for the Reshape prize. The designers selected in the framework of the Reshape competition will present their projects on the stage as part of Reshape Forum, those creators shortlisted will pitch their research in front of a large audience of experts and companies from key sectors.
The 1:1 Corner is a face-to-face session in which talented designers meet entrepreneurs and experts in the field of education and research to present ideal solutions to market needs. For the Symposium, Reshape Forum will set up a panel of specialists presenting previews of their lectures in design, innovation, science, and technology. The Round Table is a panel of experts in the areas of fashion design, product innovation, and wearable technology that will discuss topics around opportunities for further business development. The Networking Night is a unique opportunity for our partners to find a connection in a generally more formal event. Meetings enable the parties involved to explore interests, strategies, backgrounds, and possibilities for future cooperation. Reshape as well celebrates the winning designers on the main stage of INDUSTRY-From Needs to Solutions and during Reshape Forum, a team of experts defines honourable mentions and winners of the Reshape Competition.
Text by CLOT Magazine (Twitter @clotmagazine)
Could you tell us a bit more about the intellectual process and concept behind the Reshape competition and Forum?
We strongly believe Technology is valuable only when responds to specific needs. Needs coming from societal and ecological challenges, envisioning a shift towards more sustainable Ecosystems informed by new Values. With Reshape we are creating the right platform to allow all the main actors to set a common ground where to redirect these visions into solutions with the final goal to produce a positive impact on our Society. The operation of Reshape is structured into 3 main actions. Launched on a yearly basis, the Reshape Competition focuses on tech in fashion and smart products. The contest, organized in collaboration with INDUSTRY-From Needs to Solutions and Fira Barcelona, attracts designers worldwide willing to explore the impact of tech in design solutions on our daily life, habitats, and social behaviours.
Three days of meetings and appointments give life to Reshape Forum, our event at INDUSTRY-From Needs to Solutions in the framework of the Barcelona Design Week – counting more than 5 000 visitors. Connecting fashion companies, institutions and industry players, our speakers and attendees include key actors in the wearables and product design markets such as: Adidas, Luxottica, Autodesk, Sony CLS, Institutional parts as The Parsons School of Design, Waag Society, IaaC, Fab Textile, IED Barcelona, and a range of experts from the design scene. This year we are also introducing a new opportunity. The winner of Reshape Competition will receive a full scholarship to attend the new educational program of DESIGN FOR WEARABLES. A program organized in partnership with IED, Reshape, and INDUSTRY-From Needs to Solutions. In such multidisciplinary ecosystem, industrial key players, design and market experts, and research institutions provide students with mentoring and career opportunities. IED, Reshape and Industry find their ultimate goal in fostering research, empowering creativity, exploring new design and manufacturing solutions. The next generation of tech leaders and innovators has here a chance to blossom, inspired to tackle the emerging challenges shaping future market needs and applications.
What makes reshape different from other similar initiatives?
Reshape is not different from any other initiative promoting disruptive ideas, young talents, collaborative innovation, transdisciplinarity and ethical technology applications. We are part of an ecosystem pushing everyday young minds, challenge the Industry with new solutions. Reshape represent a movement of creator responding to the emerging societal need of reassessing our values, using technology as an activator of new models of design, production and consumption.
The Fashion Industry is notorious for being the second most polluting on Earth, next to the one oil and gas. Fast fashion brands have made clothes cheaper, trendier, and more accessible than ever, but this comes at the high cost of diminished resources, dangerous production conditions, chemical exposure, energy spent on transportation, and GHG emissions when these items are thrown in a landfill. Reshape believes alternative models are possible, and only by creating a common ground of discussion and creative solutions involving all actors we can drive a change.
Research and innovation are at the core of the competition. What do you think are the top materials (or innovations) that might ‘reshape’ the future?
We believe in the ability of new materials in responding to contemporary challenges. From graphene to bioplastic, we are interested in exploring a programmable matter that can be augmented the way we intend textiles and goods. Textiles are a layer we wear that can start thanks to technology to activate a novel relationship with our environments. Why can’t we use them as a substratum for a new protocol of interaction within our habitats? We can augment our senses, reframe our ecological impact. It is not only a challenge related to materials, but to the digitization of an entire sector. The contemporary model of the Textile and Fashion Industry needs a necessary reframe. Its internal organization relies on a structure operating over separated compartments. Nowadays this model represents an obstacle to introducing novel material, design, production protocols. New technologies, software and hardware, enable to increase knowledge transfer and new innovative practices.