Carmem Saito profile


Carmem Saito

Loughborough University London (2023)


Dr. Ksenija Kuzmina


Sensing Wishlists – A meta-design approach to the development of fashion consumption technologies


This study is a critical inquiry on fashion consumption in digital and its role in sustainable transition from a decolonial perspective, centering consumers agency and tacit, subjective experiences. It aims to promote consumer emancipation, posing alternative paths to the degrowth of industrial fashion.

Current discourses on fashion consumption propose technologies for online shopping can lead to a better understanding of consumption patterns, resulting in greater consumer awareness and sustainable practices. However, these focus on addressing technical challenges around reproducing existing consumer experiences. This exposes how e-commerce is less of a disruptor element of fashion consumption, providing the technological apparatuses for the unsustainable growth of fashion consumption as it is.

This research takes a relational approach instead, referring to a focus on embodied experiences and its material contexts, investigating how eliciting consumer's senses contributes to radically rethinking the technologies that currently support and promote contemporary cultures of consumption. From a decolonial standpoint, it critically examines how tools and systems of online fashion consumption are imagined, designed and used, asking the following research question: How can tactile experiences be explored in these contexts to subvert how consumption currently operates?

This is achieved by a programmatic approach to design, composed of semi-structured interviews, participatory research and workshops where consumers are seen as active agents in the transformation and making of their own worlds. The final results and contributions are meta-design scenarios, that is, evolvable systems that map the socio-technical conditions for the co-creation of online consumption systems. Another contribution will be novel methods on fashion and textile thinking for engaging the senses and the sensitive for transition design and technological development. The project contributes to the fields of design research on ecological transition, fashion studies in online consumption, material culture in relation to HCI, and beyond, potentially informing sustainability strategies and tools.