University of Limerick
QuinnMcdonagh_2015_fashion.pdf (2.6 MB)

Our ethical nature. Fashion. Architecture. Environment

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posted on 2015-11-17, 16:38 authored by Lauren Quinn McDonagh
My main interest i s fashion. It always has been. When thinking of how I could begin a thesis in archi tecture I started cutting, folding and pleating a piece of paper as if it were material. Where better to begin than physically changing the state of an obsolete object? It then struck me, fundamentally archi tecture and fashion are the same. We wear clothes to cover our bodies and to stay warm. From the beginning of time animal hides were used for clothing and for their housing just at different scales. The clothing(hide) covers the body and the tent houses the person. One might have to wear certain types of clothing for professional or cultural reasons. Or we may choose a certain way to dress to form our identity. There are various reasons as to why we choose how we dress ourselves, but in most cases it comes down to aesthetics. Today there is certainly no lack of diversity within the clothing empi re with new garments in store every week. Thus Fast fashion is created, surrounded with all i ts ethical problems. Unfortunately their problems not imprinted on the label. I then began to think about the simi larities between the two disciplines(archi tecture and fashion) but also the differences. What can each adopt from one another? The idea of immediacy and obsolescence within the fashion world is something which rarely, i f ever occurs within architecture. Buildings have to satisfy an idea of sustainabi lity of their design. Projects can takes many years to plan and construct. However a fashion house has to create numerous lines within a season. Decisions have to be made quickly and manufacturing has to happen even quicker. Does architecture need to adopt these trai ts of fashion? Architecture does not have the abi lity to continually create new surfaces like fashion does, however can archi tecture learn to resurface itself? Can it have a continuous fashionable dialogue that can be some what less superficial? It is true certainly of clothing, that one can not simply have all the new and Fashionable clothing within their wardrobe. The outdated articles are given a new lease of li fe by the addition of " fashionable" accessories. What are the archi tectural accessories? Timelessness also becomes an issue. Is something that is timeless deemed "unfashionable"? I believe that if something is timeless, whether that be a dress or a building, it is also flexible and it allows for change whilst keeping its core structure. Can fashion adopt archi tectures will for longevity? Fashion is a quick moving body that has an ever changing cycle that i s f leeting and transient. Architecture is durable and stable but is time consuming to create and is unrelenting in its image. Of course the scale and materials which archi tects employ have an impact on this. How can one amalgamate the fast pace of the fashion world with the stabi lity of the archi tectural world? Do we as archi tects need to become more flexible in our way of designing? Or is the "design" the issue? Designing could change and become a more proactive and participatory process aiming for aesthetic sustainability.



  • Bachelor

First supervisor

Bucholz, Merritt

Second supervisor

Ryan, Anna

Third supervisor

Griffin, Andrew





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