thesis / 2021

professor: Sarah Rothberg

what does it mean for black people to have a future...

2/9/21 - research

This week I focused on researching material and fabrics for my bag. I went to the garment district in the city to look for inspiration and potential designs that would make sense for what I want to accomplish. I’m leaning towards using plastic leather material so I went to a leather store to look at prices and the physical feeling of the bag. 

I decided I don’t want to use real leather because I’m vegan and want to be intentional about using biodegradable materials. I listened to the fashion podcast The Cutting Room Floor by Omondi Recho where she interviews the founder of the Mara Hoffman brand ( Mara discussed making sustainable fashion and encouraged people to think about how an object that is being released to the wold will end its material journey. For my post-capitalist bag, I want it to be used to protect black people for its initial purpose and eventually and safely degrade into the earth to protect the health of future black communities. If our impact on this earth is harmful to all humans, then it’s DEFINITELY harming the most vulnerable communities so this felt really important to me! I don’t want this bag to participate in this harm when creating a new world. 

After my fabric search I wanted to immediately sew something so I made a credit card holder using a couple of my favorite and free pleather swatches from Mood fabrics. This helped me figure out how to sew through the material and how much time this would take. It was really fun to do and got me excited to make a prototype of a bag. 

Moving forward I want to sit and write out what the narrative of my bag is. Who is the audience? Why? How do I focus more on the speculative nature of my project? I want to be able to tell my story

without any physical materials.

2/16/21 - prototyping

this week I really wanted to make a bag. I had all the materials and watched one YouTube video that made me feel confident about fabricating a bag. I measured, cut out the pattern, and used a hammer to poke holes through the materials for sewing. It took about 3 days and was really fun to make. this process made me think about ways of designing with intention.

3/2/21 - feedback

notes I took from sharing the project:

Bag strap can be a rope?

Pockets on inside 

Insulated for food?

Puffer material as a pillow

Camera? documentation / celebratory experience 

Make up- does how we look matter?

Standing up pee - bodily fluids 

Comfort comfort comfort (as much as possible)

Stimulate The senses: aromatherapy ?

Pleasurable to touch

Hypoallergenic material 

Cleaning the bag?

The size of it. Foldable? Can it get bigger?

Why not a backpack? Is that more or less accessible ?

Adjustable strap to make longer and shorter 

im not that interested in creating biomaterial but I really enjoyed watching this video on different methods of creating garments. The video was very experimental and was making me excited about a future where the fashion industry is not so environmentally harmful to vulnerable communities. Wondering how easily we could grow our clothes if need be.

"we want to try to democratize science"

3/30/21 - making it personal

i’ve decided to take a different approach at my thesis. Instead of making this a conceptual bag for all black people, I’m going to be making this bag for myself. Throughout the process of my project I have tried to exclude myself from the story i want to tell and have considered releasing this project anonymously. i’ve done this in an attempt to encourage black folx to imagine themselves in a world that i am not defining. I wanted others to make a bag that

after some thought, i think it would be better for me to design this bag FOR ME as an example of a new world. I want to make this project more personal. I’ll host a workshop with my friends and present to them my project summary, analysis, and bag design. I will then give them an opportunity to ask questions about my speculative world as a way to practice communial world building.

what in my life today would continue to serve me if i were in Filmon's version of a speculative world meant to protect black people?

Updates on design process:
using CLO3D to model what my bag could look like