"The Electric Corset and Other Future Histories"

Katherine Townsend, Sarah Kettley, Sarah Walker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The Electric Corset is a speculative ‘archives to wearables’ practice research methodology with potential applications for fashion, textile, e-textile and hybrid designers working across discipline boundaries. Established by the authors in 2014, this creative enquiry was initiated in collaboration with the Lace, Costume and Textiles Collection (LCTC), held by Nottingham City Museums and Galleries for the exhibition Crafting Anatomies (Bonington Gallery 2015). The aim of the project was to demonstrate the wealth of archival references available to designers of ‘smart’ or electronic textiles (e-textiles) by considering the anatomy of historical dress as a catalyst for future wearable technology platforms (wearables). The chapter discusses different theoretical perspectives and practical stages informing this empirical investigation, including: the rationale for accessing the archive and ‘responding to the materials’ within it; our approach to ‘tracing the body’ via the absence of presence evidenced in historical artefacts; the development of the ‘remake: remodel methodology’; the speculative role of the things made in ‘from accessories to ontological objects’ and how these playful experiments informed a series of ‘networked toiles’ to visualise and actuate ‘networks on and between bodies’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrafting Anatomies
Subtitle of host publicationArchives, Dialogues, Fabrications
EditorsKatherine Townsend, Rhian Solomon, Amanda Briggs-Goode
PublisherBloomsbury Visual Arts
ISBN (Electronic)9781350075504 , 9781350075481
ISBN (Print)9781350075474
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2020


  • archive
  • body
  • wearable
  • fashion fragment
  • accessory
  • e-textiles
  • ontological object
  • design methodology
  • network
  • constellation


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