• Technology as Social Instruction: Ursula Franklin and the Dematerialized Fashion Marketplace

    Author(s):
    Mark Joseph O’Connell
    Editor(s):
    Kanishka Sikri (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/z288-nt06
    Abstract:
    COVID-19 necessitated the accelerated growth of a powerful and aggressive new form of fashion retail: online, device-based consumption. This online migration has radically altered modern retail, from invasive marketing to engage consumers, through virtual selection and ultimately the dematerialization of the body and understanding of the self in relation to others. Canadian physicist and technology theorist Dr Ursula Franklin provided valuable insight into the processes wherein emergent technology and human behaviours enmesh within quotidian engagements. In her (brilliant) 1989 Massey College lecture series The Real World of Technology (1999) stated of the adoption of nascent technologies that “Many technological innovations have been introduced in order to change the boundaries of human and social activities with respect to time and space” (194). Time and space have certainly been disrupted with the technological migration of the boutique, and this virtualizing of fashion has in turn dematerialized garments completely. Thus, the engagement is primarily with the technology and not the tactile. The impacts of this are staggering as current models used for fashion manufacturing are deeply imbricated into transglobal “Fast Fashion” supply chains, a process extremely harmful to both workers and environment.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Online publication    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    Attribution

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