The culmination of more than a year of research and development, A P P A R E L is an experimental fashion prototype by the Paris-based ‘anticipatory’ design studio N O R M A L S. Imagined for a fictional neighbourhood called Trudent where – thanks to the wonders of widespread automation – “above all things, residents care about their clothes,” garments have reverted to simple functional form (i.e. T-shirts) and ‘style’ is displayed via animated data-derived mesh geometry overlays that are only viewable through augmented reality. A “speculative piece of clothing in the age of data accumulation and machine learning,” like all N O R M A L S projects A P P A R E L provides as much commentary on the present as it does about their jaggedly rendered near-future. Data is already identity, network activity is already style (or more crassly, ‘personal brand’) – this project just pushes both of these truths to a logical conclusion.
CAN goes in-depth with the Paris-based ‘anticipatory’ design studio N O R M A L S to learn about their forthcoming dark, dense, and dizzying graphic novel series. Working process, representational techniques (that bridge illustration and code), and a critical reading of contemporary design fiction.