Hsiang-Lin Kuo

 (un)Fashionable Mountain Tools


— Part of graduation work at Design Academy Eindhoven Masters Contextual Design.

In my research, I have analyzed how mountain tools are fashion objects; the urge to conquer a peak is, too, a fashion gesture. My design intervention is a collection of (un)fashionable mountain footwear— inspired by the vernacular hiking culture in Taiwan— that allows the wearer to oscillate between the mountain, tool, and body. Being far from a fashion commodity, (un)fashionable tools escaped from inheriting frontier ideologies encapsulated in commercial, recreational equipment. Instead, it is a humble bricolage of household objects, holding soles in the shape of Taiwan’s most hiked peaks. The “commodified” peaks are designed to break once worn and generate new meanings as it gradually collapses. The collection ultimately explores human-mountain metabolisms, including dress appropriation, preparedness, and embodied experiences.