This weekend at the We Invented the Weekend festival, festivalgoers will be amazed by a groundbreaking ‘tech book dress’ created by Salford Business School (SBS) to showcase their research in a unique way.

The innovative dress is the result of a collaboration between Adnan Bayyat, the school’s Knowledge Exchange Fellow, Gordon Fletcher, Associate Dean: Research and Innovation, and Saomai Vu Khan, a graduate researcher. Bayyat, known for designing garments for celebrities like Lady Gaga, used recyclable and compostable cling film provided by Wrapmaster to create the dress, which features two iPads on the front and back. These devices will display on-screen animations and QR codes that lead users to a webpage filled with learning resources based on eight SBS academic papers.

The web content includes cryptic crosswords, wordles, animated videos, and fictional case studies developed with AI-assisted tools. The goal is to inspire colleagues in their teaching practices and pique the curiosity of the festival audience about the academic papers.

The project was specifically designed for the We Invented the Weekend festival, with BA Fashion Business and Promotion student Hannah Day set to wear the dress at the event. Bayyat explained that the dress represents a form of ‘wearable PR’ that utilizes the body as a canvas for promotion, embracing immersive technology and the metaverse.

Fletcher emphasized that the project aims to share insights from Salford authors with a wider audience while encouraging creativity and the use of AI tools. The web content features papers authored by Salford academics across various topics, including a chapter from colleagues at Kedge Business School, France, and King’s College London focusing on sustainability.

Vu Khan highlighted the project as a way to leverage AI capabilities positively, making learning and knowledge exchange more accessible. The use of reusable materials and the creation of QR codes in the University’s Makerspace facility align with the project’s commitment to sustainability.

Overall, the ‘tech book dress’ represents an exciting blend of fashion, technology, and academic research, providing a unique and engaging experience for festival attendees and showcasing the innovative work of Salford Business School.

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