London’s BB Studio – Taking Innovative Fashion To Another Level. Reporting from London, UK. Fashion is an intimate part of everyone’s personal story. Fashion has always facilitated the distortion of self-perception by augmenting and enhancing one’s perception of the self. By adding an extra depth of tactility filtering our material world, ‘digital’ has become the new look of fashion.
Digital fashion has the power to create new feelings, unheard stories, and sense-of-self. And this is exactly what the BB Studio owner and creative director Bushra Burge has been exploring within her innovative and immersive VR-haptic experiences.
Bushra’s eclectic journey began back in the ’90s as a graduated biochemist from the Imperial College of London, followed by a career as a data technologist within the finance sector.
But as she went on to study ‘Applied Imagination’ at Central Saint Martins, Bushra developed a tangible personal story triggered by interest in dementia care, to an extent that made her do a complete shift to ethical fashion.
Innovative Fashion – Augmented by visuals and audio within the VR
Some of Bushra’s concepts from that period turned into commissions and consultancy within the wearable technology segment, including an electro muscle stimulation wearable haptic, for use in VR healthcare and gaming.
Informed by regular user feedback, Bushra wanted to move away from the retro-futuristic dehumanising aesthetic of the utility, to develop a soft-wearable using innovative materials to facilitate the multi-sensory worn experience as a second skin.
T0 Bushra, the feeling of touch augmented by visuals and audio within the VR is not about electronic actuators attempting to simulate reality. It is more about the effects of perception as part of an overall experience, as enhanced by the blended sensation of the fabric. It is about diffusing the feelings of the electronic device and the layers of clothing on one’s body.
Bushra’s exploration of nuanced external touch felt more authentic and dissociated from unnatural electronic triggers. Moreover, Bushra has founded ‘enclothed cognition’ garment as an enabler for spatial immersion.
The apparel was a reference narrative for the wearer and the audience waiting in the queue for the experience.
Integrated VR haptic using blood-pressure machines
Eventually, Bushra’s visceral creative ideas materialised into her own multidisciplinary creative technology company, the BB Studio.
The first BB Studio released experience was the award-winning ‘Dark Matter’ – which explored storytelling through integrated VR haptic using blood-pressure machines and buffered buzzers, embedded in a deliberately striking piece of garment, synchronised with a VR science communication story.
The ‘Dark Matter’ creation led to many fashion innovation projects, including an ‘interactive projection map dress installation’ for The King’s Road.
‘Dark Matter’ was quickly followed by an eco-ethical kinetic experience, ‘The Great Wave I’ which incorporated organic fabrics with hand-crafted flower illustrations used as textile prints.
Also, interactive VR visual assets were added, with the aim of highlighting ‘Anatomic’ the eco-ethical luxury fashion collection of BB Studio.
Intel Mentoring BB Studio For Innovative Fashion
Nowadays, Bushra is engaged with another innovative VR-haptic story which, this time, highlights the problem of ocean pollution, ‘The Great Wave II’.
With an EU innovation funding award and the Head of R&D at Intel as BB Studio’s mentor, the multi-disciplinary team has refined their in-house development of ‘touch-visual-sound-sensory framework’.
The platform now integrates untethered VR headsets, all in a multiplayer environment.
Using the circular design methodology and sustainable alternatives such as reclaimed electronics and organic certified fabrics, their bespoke inflatable haptics embedded fashion pieces have been inspired by soft robotics and partly produced by Heba, a charity for immigrant women.
What’s your take on London’s BB Studio and its bleeding edge fashion innovation approach by combining original technical expertise with tactile augmented and virtual reality technologies? Make sure you leave your support comments below.
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