How would you call the invisible mental distress caused by the pressure of an oppressive social system like patriarchy? If there was no term to define this condition before, you can now find it in The Feminist Textile Glossaryand spread it out!
The purpose of my project is to design a product in the form of a physical dictionary which aims to capture the many shades of feelings , facts and conditions which have always exist into our patriarchal reality but that have always been neglected from a social and , consequently, from a linguistic perspective.
If you don’t have a name for something, then it is harder to talk about and it is taken less seriously. From a design perspective my project aims to translate all the neologisms of the feminist glossary into textile pieces thanks to coded algorithms ruled by visual-linguistic parameters established by the designer.
The textile and graphical aesthetic which will couple each term of the glossary is in fact generated from a specific data source. The visual data which are feeding the generative design algorithm are taken from Instagram, a social digital platform whom media content have been always affected and influenced user’s engagement.
The parameter of this system takes advantage of Instagram trends, that is hashtags : specific keywords combined with a hash symbol that let people share specific content with other users.
These keywords will be chosen from word to word in base of the content of reference of the glossary term.
The application I decided to design is a textile tent — made out of the digitally generated cloth — whose function is to accompany young activists in the urban areas of the city and provide them with a ready-to-use activist kit that you can fold and bring in a black backpack, part of the same kit.
Beside showing the visual meaning of the feminist glossary words, the colourful textile tent wants to suggest the importance of a simple gesture as wearing a backpack and occupy a public space talking about known and unknown feminist issues.
The Feminist Textile Glossary is a design project halfway across a public service, a design product and a live political performance.
Hence the designer physically impersonates the project itself and the meaning behind, acting at the same time as the spokesperson of the glossary and of the itinerant feminist movement.
Each word of The Feminist Textile Glossary has a strong value and meaning behind it.
Each word of the glossary needs to be claimed and reclaimed, and it needs to take a space in our way of communication. All these terms represents a step toward social equality between people of all genders.
This is why they are customised with a specific font which makes them aesthetically unique and increases their power.
One of the purpose of the design project is to explore the latent imaginative space of new feminist concepts using Artificial Intelligence as a creative and generative medium.
From a design perspective my project aims to translate all the new words of the feminist glossary into textile pieces thanks to coded algorithms ruled by visual-linguistic parameters .
For this reason, a specific digital data-processing system has been designed for translating the words into images to be transferred on textiles .
From a technical perspective the coding technology takes inspiration from the idea of generative design.
My design project is based on inspire a feminist activistic approach to young generations taking into account language as a vehicle of revolution and textile crafts, particularly embroidery, as mean of representation.
My project The Feminist Textile Glossary is meant to become an activistic and politic reality as I will pacifically start my itinerant design protest in Amsterdam from coming September, with my glossary and with my textile tent, trying to establish a community around it and making as open source the digital system behind.
The project was developed with the collaboration of Textiel Lab from TextielMuseum in Tilburg and thanks to Fonds Kwadraat organisation.
The idea of the textile dwelling was the natural and logically consequent application of the feminist glossary.
It represents from one hand a meeting point around which people can open a debate promoting the new feminist concepts, but also an identification symbol for a fresh new feminist movement whose purpose is to create a community and engage people with a creative propaganda.
The application of a dictionary into a physical design product in this case is crucial both from a design and from a political perspective: it allows the perfect dissemination of new feminists concepts in an analogue and old fashioned way: occupying a public space, talking directly to people and approaching a new creative method for an itinerant political propaganda from town to town.
Some of the most powerful actions to be a part of are those where people are coming together and celebrating community and resistance.
Towards social problems or injustice most of the people see themselves as neither part of the problem nor the solution.
This silence and invisibility allows the troubles to persist and the oppression to be perpetuated. If we start to get informed, if we start to acknowledge and speak up we are already half-way to our activistic achievement.