The transnational hackathon has been conceived as a blended training activity including distance, challenge based and peer collaboration. A two-month preparation phase place July to September involved mentors from all three universities, whom briefed and guided the students in the first phase of the hackathon. 

Prior to the meeting in London the students met virtually to form working groups to prepare their initial concept and engaging with the Fashion-Tech benchmarking report, a research of best practices and upcoming trends in the fashion-tech field.  22 students from all three universities have all been responding to the themes on five emerging fashion-tech themes developed as part of the report.


These themes offered a framework for students to conceptualise and ideate products and pitch their fashion-tech business idea at the end of the three day hackathon:


  • Protection and body enhancement through artificial second skin: wearables and smart textiles with embedded sensors able to monitor physiological, neurological and body kinematic parameters that are critical for healthcare.

  • Culture driven wearable: art, technology and interaction that generate thoughts and knowledge around human behaviours, interaction with the body, other people and the environmen, connecting senses and materials: involving three of the five senses (eyesight, hearing, touch) enhancing or “substituting” them.

  • Fashion takes care: sustainability across design, production and retails covering the entire supply chain and it is intended as efficiency, recyclability, transparency, mission orientation and ethical upgrades.

  • Real/Virtual mixed environments: analogical/digital places created and customized with mixed reality as result of the addition of virtual and augmented reality; new dimensions for self-assembly and programmable materials; artificial intelligence for all the supply chain.


Douglas Atkinson, Research fellow at the LCF- Digital Anthropology Lab, facilitated the hackathon sessions across the three days. Ten mentors from all three universities guided the hackathon participants in testing and developing ideas and concepts, implementing a project plan, prototyping, marketing and pitching to investors. They combined expertise in fashion design, design methods, future scenarios for fashion innovation and fashion processes, physical computing and end user applications forming the basis for steering student ideas and product development.

Each day of the hackathon several keynote speakers from industry and academia introduced the topic of the day that was designed to enable the development of skills related to research, concept ideation and project development. Discussions involved the latest state of the art technologies and product design within industry, innovation frameworks and theoretical frameworks for new and better ways to consume fashion and apparel. Among others speakers included Birgit Freundorfer (Adidas) Fredrik Timour (Neue Labs), Massimo Bianchini (Politecnico di Milano) and Matthew Drinkwater (Fashion Innovation Agency UAL).


The final group ideas involved ideation of products like 2SENSE, an artificial second skin used as a tool for functional performance but also reflection of emotions. The TALKINK Bracelet based on the idea of kindle ink screen technology. And Libra Steps, smart socks which able to correct balance and posture, designed for people with balance problems. The final winner of the hackathon competition was awarded by their peers to the projet C2SSole (Collect to Share) a shoe sole, which uses human kinetic energy to harvest energy which can be shared across the community.

Student’s impression of the Fashion-Tech Hackathon:


The overall experience has been quite challenging but also very inspiring. It was great to collaborate and interact people with different background and knowledge. A plus side of the Hackaton was making international network of friends. It has been an intense four days of working but overall it has been very informative and interesting. We learned a lot about Fashion-Tech thanks to amazing speeches from our guest lecturers and helpful feedbacks from our mentors. In addition to this the Fashion-Tech Hackaton guided to better understand how to deal with complicated projects related to technology in a very short time period.


This hackathon will finally enable to test and inform a modular Fashion-tech curriculum as well as teaching approaches providing suggestions for the course to be developed in 2019.


Fashion-Tech Hackathon London

September 25, 2018

Between the 24th and 27th of September 2018 the School of Design and Technology - London College of Fashion, has organised a Fashion-Tech hackathon as the first learning activity within the Education4FashionTech project.


This project is funded by the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership programme involving the University of Borås as coordinator and London College of Fashion and Politecnico di Milano as partners. The project aims to develop innovative interdisciplinary curricula for fashion designers to advance skills and knowledge on smart textiles, wearables and digital manufacturing.