Continuum is the latest project by Mary Huang, past student of Design | Media Arts at UCLA, and Interaction Design at CIID. The project is an attempt to blend rapid fabrication, interactive software, and the accessibility of the web, to let individuals participate directly in the design and production process.
Software developed in Processing allows you to “draw” a dress and convert it into a 3D model, which is turned into a flat pattern that can be cut out of fabric and sewn into the dress. The physical dress be purchased through the label, but also the cutting patterns will be downloadable free of charge for those who would rather devote the time to making their own.
Computational couture captures this philosophy and applies it toward solving the persistent problem of standardized sizing in ready-to-wear. CONTINUUM is a concept for a web-based fashion label in which designs are user-generated using custom software and made to order to your personal measurements. Its seminal collection is a deconstruction of the classic little black dress. Software allows you to “draw” a dress and converts it into a 3D model, which is turned into a flat pattern that can be cut out of fabric and sewn into the dress. With design encompassing a continuous user experience, we can inspire changing attitudes and behaviors of mass consumption.
The generated dress models can be exported as .obj files. While you could export the flat triangles directly from the application, for production it was not favorable to have hundreds of individual triangles that have to be cut and pieced together. For the prototype pieces, Mary imported the .obj files into Blender, and then was able to fix stray triangles and export flat patterns using the UV unwrap. She has now completed 3 dresses for the prototype line, in three different materials: cotton poplin, silk dupioni, and a synthetic nylon blend. One dress was designed for herself; the other two were designed by individuals using the software.
The project now also includes a web-based application created using Processing.js which allows you to create a dress online. The future iterations will also include ability to save your measurements, create and save designs, purchase the physical dress, or download the cutting pattern for their design.
UPDATE 09/03/2011: The project is now on Kickstarter. Please support.