Abstract: Gleaning, when adopted as an attitude and an action, is useful in seeing and utilising the value in what has been cast aside. This is gleaning through the physical collection of what is left behind, alongside gleaning that is slow, incremental and epistemological. These actions reveal the lore embedded within an existing fashion design practice; a body of knowledge and wisdom connected to the traditions of persons and place.
This project-based research explores a propositional model where fashion design and gardening join to form a redirective practice (Fry, 2009), aiming to develop systems that support a self- sustaining future. The design propositions that emanate from this site are inherently ontological. There is an awareness and appreciation of the time, life and associated living that ushers in the stuff that design is made from, alongside a perception of the life and living that might project outwards after the juncture point of design.
Both gardening and fashion design are craft practices. They require tacit knowledge and intuitive leaps, and cultivate what Richard Sennett (2009) understands through Polanyi as “focal awareness”. This is a situation where the craftsperson becomes what they work on; the gardener merges with their tended plants, the fashion designer fuses with their processes and materials of design and make.
This paper presents ideas for how the craft based knowledge embedded in both the practices of gardening and fashion might amalgamate through the gleaning activities playing out within the studio. A series of generative investigations grouped under the categories of wholeness, waste and use give an overview of the findings to date.
In developing a framework for re-use, this series of fashion relatable objects and constructs incite provocations. When am I usable? When am I used? When am I used up?