The Cutting Circle is an international research initiative by fashion designers/patternmakers and educators Timo Rissanen, Julian Roberts and Holly McQuillan. By exploring alternative methods of making clothes and patterns, we have employed ‘risky’ design practice, research and teaching to develop zero waste fashion and subtraction cutting. The project manifested as an intensive two-week practice-based research event, where via a series of collaborative collisions, experiments and design intersections, we asked the following three questions. What costs/benefits can we identify to aid the development of a sustainable fashion industry through risk taking at the intersection of our design practices? What new knowledge arises in risky collaborative design practice? And how can this new knowledge be best communicated to foster an environment of risk-taking within the traditionally risk averse fashion industry? This paper primarily discusses our responses to the first two questions and related issues raised. It covers how experimenting with each other’s design practice and practicing in each other’s creative space as we both designed and made, enable the free transfer of ideas and cross-pollination, thus expanding our ability to identify links, gaps and opportunities. The Cutting Circle project has developed experimental practices with emphasis on the fusion of aesthetics, patternmaking, craft and socially invigorating design.
Keywords: Fashion, Design, Patternmaking, Open Design, Collaboration, Experimentation