The TechStyleLAB is a state-of-the-art digital textile making facility that enables the exploration of localized, sustainable and creative digital supply chains for the fashion industry. Located on the third floor of the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising (in Rockwell Hall). It supports learning, teaching, research and commercial investigation of digital design and production technologies in a fashion context. The LAB successfully achieves this by actively demonstrating how digital design, manufacturing software and hardware can be used in conjunction with rich media interfaces to create a dynamic workflow for on-demand production of textile and fashion products.
A wide range of digital output devices are housed in the TechStyleLAB including:
- Digital Textile Printer
- One large bed laser cutter
- Stoll ADF industrial knitting machine
- Digital embroidery machine
- 3D printer
- 3D body scanner
- Flat pattern digitizer for digital pattern input and creation through Optitex software
The TechStyleLAB is open to supporting small companies as an exploratory space giving them the opportunity to take advantage of combined access to the tools. The commercial service is used as a means to generate income to support the TechStyleLAB's activities, as well as to provide a more meaningful understanding of the commercial and production-oriented issues of the technology.
The TechStyleLAB places design and business-led inquiries at the heart of its research directive. The LAB welcomes explorations into historical/archival research and potential reinterpretations with digital technologies, wearable technologies, hardware and software development, web-based presentation and marketing channels, the cultural/social/psychological aspects of textiles and the creation of artifacts for exhibition purposes.
By housing and creating this research/commercial environment in the context of The Fashion School, we are able to integrate students into the model for both research projects and commercial service solutions, allowing for rich learning experiences that extend well beyond the standard classroom environment.