THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL?

Culture — By

There are so many technological advancements in film, fashion and entertainment to keep track of nowadays that it really is hard to keep on top of the latest and most up-to-date versions of everything. One company that is constantly pushing the boundaries of technology, particularly in the world of 3D, is Dassault Systemes.

The company has developed software which enables its user to immerse themselves in a range of interactive experiences, from viewing Paris as it was hundreds of years ago, to enabling students at Harvard University to view ancient architecture at their 3DS University, and allowing divers to view shipwrecks in a virtual ‘cave’. The technology literally gives its user the opportunity to involve them self in a virtual world which is as real to life as the tangible environment around them.

When this kind of technology first emerged, it seemed unattainable to many due to the costs involved. When 3D printers became available to consumers, the costs were so high that most people didn’t even think about buying one. Fast forward ten years and many consumers are now dipping their toe into the digital pond by investing in a 3D printer.  Dassault Systemes are taking that available technology and making it even more accessible to consumers. A shining example of this is the Paris 3D experience, which has been made to fit any medium, from an iPad right through to a multi screen public display, and anything in between.

When it comes to companies, the most exciting thing about this type of immersive technology is that when products are developed, they can be shared virtually with consumers in order to gage how successful they are in the early stages of prototype. Not only is this new technological world exciting because it’s so new, but the emotional response that it can create for those engaging is particularly powerful.

No such industry has embraced 3D technology with such gusto as the fashion industry has. Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE 3D technology is used by haute couture, watch and fashion designers alike. Two years ago, the company applied its most advanced software to fashion styling and design, the results of which is FashionLab; heralded as a technology incubator for the fashion industry.

FashionLab was developed by Dassault Systèmes to allow fashion designers and stylists to explore new concepts that use 3D to satisfy their specific needs. They can also use the full range of the company’s design, simulation and collaboration tools to create an entire collection.

To help generate creative ideas the technology gathers trends by sourcing and sorting content from the web and social networks. It builds 3D virtual stores to help define layouts and logistics before the creation of a physical location.

From the industry side, clothes and watches can now be designed in 3D, which in turn aids them to really capture their creative talent. In terms of the consumer, or ordinary folk, more realistic depictions of products are now available to be viewed online, virtual changing rooms have already been implemented in the likes of Burberry’s Regent Street store, and ‘magic mirrors’ can be found at Shiseido’s beauty counter in Selfridges. The designers can style clothes on virtual mannequins, which cuts costs on wastage during the prototype stages and also ensures that each garment fits their buyer perfectly.

Dassault Systèmes is currently collaborating on FashionLab with haute couture fashion designer Julien Fournié, Jonathan Riss; artistic director of the JAY AHR House, and François Quentin, a designer of complex luxury watches and founder of 4N.

Thanks to the technology available through FashionLab, Riss is creating intricate embroidery and jewellery that is more ‘socially conscious’ than the traditional methods of manufacture and design. This is due to the immersive experience that 3D brings about, there is much more fluidity in the way that items are made. Riss has also been able to experiment with new materials and textures such as glass and satin thanks to the ease of management provided by the technology.

Fournié is a French designer that is currently using FashionLab to put together a neoprene dress. He has also been equipped with a virtual showroom which means he has been able to extend his brand without the cost of renting a physical showroom.

He says of the FashionLab, ‘Fashion designers are often scared of technology, especially in haute couture – they think it will hinder the creative process and make the clothes less special and unique.’ However after working with Dassault Systèmes, it is safe to say that he is a convert explaining that FashionLab ‘enhances my creativity by allowing me to focus on design.’

Perhaps that is one of the most important sentiments that can be taken from new and emerging technologies. Technology is being developed to help save time on the process and ensure that the output is the best that it can be. The 3D experience has already begun to make its way into retail, film and education; surely it’s only a matter of time before we are using immersive technology in the home. Laura Collinson

To check out Paris 3D for yourself, visit for free at: http://paris.3ds.com/en-index.html#Heritage

The iPad app: Paris 3D Saga -  is free to download from the app store

Dassault Systèmes: http://www.3ds.com/