Tokyo Tech News
For the third year in a row, students from the University of Cincinnati (UC) visited Tokyo Tech and participated in Think Aloud! LUNCH, a weekly discussion event held by Associate Professor Tom Hope at the HUB-International Communications Space.
Participants discussed links between fashion, culture, and engineering, considering questions such as "Why do you wear what you wear?" and "How might we integrate technology into clothing?" UC accounting and finance student Ian West gave social norms as an influential factor for fashion, citing how business casual, often a dress shirt and slacks, is the common attire for business students in the United States. Tokyo Tech student Masaya Yamamori in turn explained the practice of "recruit suits" in Japan, describing how, during job-hunting season, university students across the country switch from their usual personalized fashion to conservative white shirts and black suits.
On integrating technology and fashion, students suggested applications in various areas, ranging from healthcare to renewable energy. UC graphic design student Kathryn Fenton proposed making clothing that could detect the onset of a heart attack and call an ambulance for the wearer. Sarah Al-Rdani, an environmental studies and geology student at UC, suggested clothing that could charge your smartphone using kinetic or solar energy.
Discussions also explored fashion and technology's influences on pop culture, with many of the UC students showing their knowledge of Japanese music groups like Babymetal and the virtual singer Hatsune Miku.
After the event, the UC members were taken on a tour of the campus by the Student Association for Global Exchange. Tokyo Tech looks forward to the next opportunity to welcome visitors from UC.