Irene Posch is a researcher and artist exploring the integration of technological development into art and crafts. She was motivated to explore opportunities in fashion-tech, as the field offers contrasts through the combination of diverse materiality and disciplines, that bring form to new sensations, aesthetics and functions. With a variety of possibilities for novel expressions, she started exploring the surprising interplays between what is generally considered either fashion or technology.
Her first project focused on creating wool gloves with an integrated knitted circuit – the Early Winter Night Biking Gloves. The gloves featured a function, where the LED beads at the back of the hand light up when a fist is formed – combining the functionalities of visibility and thermal insulation in the winter where daylight time is limited. Irene created her own prototypes when biking, but due to a high number of requests she further created a DIY version of the gloves. This further motivated her to explore the integration of electronic and digital technologies into textiles.
Embroidered Computer. Image: Irene Posch.
In regards to Irene's practice now, the has applied technology to different parts of the journey or process – as a part of the ideation process, the creation process, and the final artefact. On the other hand, technology in its common meaning is not a part of the final concept or product. For example, the Embroidered Computer project utilised only a variety of metal threads, magnetic and glass threads to craft a programmable 8-bit computer.
With a background in media and computer science, Irene’s work explores the integration of technology into the art and craft, and vice versa, and its implications on the social, cultural, technical and aesthetic aspects. Currently working as a professor of Design & Technologies at the University of Art and Design Linz, her experience at the intersection of traditional disciplines has not always been easy. This is due to the expectations, specific principles, and sets of knowledge of each respective discipline. Furthermore, she explains how starting as an outsider can be positive – not knowing the interdisciplinary field as closely can give a person more space and courage to try out new things.
Find out more about Irene's work through her website.