Candy, Fiona Jane and Williams, Anita
Cinderella, you can go to the ball: inclusive footwear design at the intersection of medicine and fashion.
In: Include 11, Helen Hamlyn Centre, Royal College of Art, London, 18th - 20th April 2011, Royal College of Art.
Women living with rheumatoid arthritis are restricted in their choice of footwear by the deformities in their feet. Research has shown that this in turn limits the choice of clothes they can wear, where they can go and what they can do. Despite pioneering work undertaken in the design of comfort footwear, there is an ongoing disconnection between the approaches of an aesthetically trained shoe designer, and a medically trained foot clinician. This can be seen in the context of specialist therapeutic footwear, and on the high street where the socially and personally expressive aesthetics of fashion are often in conflict with the functional understandings held within medicine.
A more sensate and dynamic view of clothing is explored, to suggest how this opens up the study of the physical, bio-medical body alongside the clothed, socio-cultural body. The authors propose that the personal, social and functional complexity of footwear brings a unique opportunity for research at the intersection of fashion design and medicine, where mutually limiting attitudes and practices can be identified. We outline the potential for re-orientation in the ‘patient’/health practitioner and ‘user’/design practitioner relationships and indicate how social innovation may be fostered through inclusive and participatory design methods
Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Published in Include 11, International Conference proceedings , Helen Hamlyn Centre, Royal College of Art, London, UK 978-1907342295