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ZOZO NEXT, The University of Tokyo, and Hosoo Joint Research Project “Ambient Weaving” Receives the Honorary Award at the “STARTS Prize 2022”

The joint research project “Ambient Weaving” of ZOZO NEXT Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture, Representative Director and CEO: Hiroki Kanayama, hereinafter referred to as “ZOZO NEXT”), the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies (Location: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, President: Yuhei Yamauchi), Yasuaki Chiku Laboratory (Chair: Professor Yasuaki Chiku), and Hosoo Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, President: Masataka Hosoo) will be held in the EU We received the Honorary Mention at the “STARTS Prize 2022” sponsored by Comission.

The joint research project “Ambient Weaving” of ZOZO NEXT Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture, Representative Director and CEO: Hiroki Kanayama, hereinafter referred to as “ZOZO NEXT”), the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies (Location: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, President: Yuhei Yamauchi), Yasuaki Chiku Laboratory (Chair: Professor Yasuaki Chiku), and Hosoo Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, President: Masataka Hosoo) will be held in the EU We received the Honorary Mention at the STARTS Prize 2022 hosted by Comission, and we will present the work of this project at the media art festival “Ars Electronica” to be held in Linz, Austria in September.

The STARTS Prize is an award given by Ars Electronica, a global creative body based in Austria, to promote practical scientific and technological collaboration in the field of art. This award is awarded to innovative projects that span science, technology and art, with a focus on people and projects that contribute to solving the social, environmental and economic challenges facing the continent.

This time, the smart textile “Ambient Weaving”, which is the result of the joint research project, was selected as an Honorary Mention (Honor Award) in recognition of its pursuit of new beauty in terms of both expression and technology through a unique project team and approach that combines traditional crafts and advanced technology.
“Ambient Weaving” is the result of a joint research project started in 2020 by ZOZO NEXT, the University of Tokyo, and Hosoo on the development of new textiles that combine traditional crafts, advanced materials and interaction technologies to achieve both functionality and beauty. In this project, by multiplying the structure and design of Nishijin weaving with advanced materials and devices, we have tried to achieve both ambient environmental information and various functions and expressions mediating the fabric. Among them, we have realized textile production with new design properties and the development of elemental technologies that have been imparted on Nishijin weaving functions that dynamically change the appearance and characteristics, such as draws that fix temperature-responsive dyes in the color gamut that are difficult to apply in conventional dyeing processes, and devices that change light emission and transparency that are thin and supple enough to be woven into cloth. “Ambient Weaving” refers to “textiles that express environmental information” and “textiles that weave the environment itself” created in this initiative.

Evaluation comments by the judges
“What does it mean to be a long-established master in the field of traditional crafts, a bold attitude that continues to be at the forefront of time, and a willingness to make drastic changes? Can we adopt the cutting-edge technologies of the times, reinvent value, and become “masters” of value creation that will show the future? The overwhelming beauty created as a result will be a source of love that transcends the ages.

Nishijin weaving has a history of 1200 years and is said to be the highest peak of Japanese silk fabrics. Founded in 1688, Hosoo is a long-established Nishijin weaving company in Kyoto. Hosoo joined forces with the Yasuaki Chiku Laboratory at the University of Tokyo and ZOZO NEXT, a tech company that applies cutting-edge technology to the fashion field. Hosoo pursued textile technology and beauty, and verified the history of fabric, Professor Tsuki’s team was in charge of interaction design and information technology, and ZOZO NEXT was in charge of materials science and business feasibility verification, and the three parties demonstrated their respective strengths.

The result is a fabric that changes in real time, as if breathing, and weaves in with the surrounding environment. In response to various elements in the space, such as light, temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide, the fabric changes gradually, making it possible to wear the natural environment.

What is there is not technical functionality, but just magnificent textiles that give off a majestic aura. Collaboration between the three parties is essential, leading to a level of perfection that no one has ever seen. It brilliantly showed the future of traditional crafts that will survive the next 100 years.”

The original text is here.
https://starts-prize.aec.at/en/ambient-weaving/

About the joint research at “Ambient Weaving”
■Title of Challenge:
Development of smart textiles that combine traditional crafts and advanced technology
■Joint Research Partner:
Interdisciplinary Program in Informatics, The University of Tokyo (Principal Investigator: Prof. Yasuaki Chiku)
Hosoo Corporation (Principal Investigator: Masataka Hosoo)
■URL:
https://ambientweaving.lab.zozo.jp/

About ZOZONEXT Co., Ltd. <>
With the mission of “Create the future of fashion and the next big thing.”, ZOZO NEXT aims to create a world where more people can enjoy fashion by imagining the user’s problems in the fashion field and solving them with the power of technology. R&D is conducted at the ZOZO Institute, a research institute for quantifying and scientifically elucidating fashion, and the MATRIX, which aims to create new businesses for the ZOZO Group under the theme of six areas that will affect the future of fashion.
 

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