Kristi Kuusk is a designer and researcher, focusing on crafting sustainable smart textile services. She became interested in fashion-tech as she was looking for opportunities for fashion and textile design to be more sustainable than the current linear models. Through carrying out her PhD studies at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Kristi discovered the potential that implementing technology had in the design process and the clothing itself. By exploring different ways clothing and technology could be combined, she understood the potential of opening up new opportunities for clothing and textiles through interactive technologies giving new dimensions to otherwise static textiles.
Kristi’s first project combining fashion with electronics resulted in a collection called “Search for…”, where the wearer was called to act out of the ordinary and be present. Her first project within her PhD studies was QR-coded Traditions that further opened up the value and potential of combining technology with crafts in new ways to become something magical. That project additionally taught her the value of collaboration, besides the ability to share unfinished thoughts and works.
Since finishing her PhD Project in 2016, Kristi has combined technology with textiles in three different levels of separated, integrated and merged. She has further explored the smart textiles space in collaborative projects, such as Magic Lining and Spellbound. Her work also includes research and education at the Estonian Academy of Arts.
As her aim in the near future is continuing to explore the fashion-tech space, she reflects back on the challenges she has faced. According to Kristi, working between many domains with a combined background might get challenging, it is important to reach out to and keep inspiring and supporting the people around you. She has additionally learned to find strengths in everyone, and to keep an open mind as there is always something new to learn.
Find out more about Kristi's work through her website and see an example from the video below.
QR-coded pillow PR Fashion Room. Photo by Arttu Karvonen.