Zongbo Jiang

3D Visual Artist

Jiang observes the collisions and discussions between aspects of daily life, social and environmental issues. Based on his graphic and product design background, his design philosophy has always been loyal to the way of visual communication storytelling. He creates different digital characters using often comedic forms to share these issues.

<Amor Fati> Marine Serre

Lil Miquela And The Rise Of Digital Models

SHADOWBANNED, Jon Rafman, 2018

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luca mastroianni

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Dabeiyuzhou

Lin Pesto - Kolay Değil

Blake Kathryn Reel

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 Shanghai ICY Digital Fashion Week 

Harriet Davey 3D

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CHS Title:​

Understanding the Context in Which Digital Technologies Have Impacted the Development and Future of the Fashion Industry

The fashion industry is one of the basic necessities in people's daily life, but it is also one of the most polluted industries. In particular, fast fashion is accelerating the pace of environmental pollution. However, this is becoming recognised by fashion companies and designers, and the desire to produce garments with environmentally friendly materials and processes is something that is on their agendas. With the development of the digital age, the influence of digital has been reflected in all aspects of our lives, and the fashion industry has been seeking new ways to enter the digital age. It could be that digital fashion may be an antidote to sustainable development, or act as a revolution in the fashion industry. Processes such as making unconventional clothing through digital technology or interpreting the characteristics and trends of consumers on social media platforms through big data to accurately satisfy consumers. Also using these unique insights from fashion and brands to strengthen the connection with consumers. Compared to traditional methods, it appears there are more possibilities with digital processes. It is important to consider the relationship between and the development of digital and fashion technology, as well as the problems of the modern fashion industry and the environment. Furthermore, how digital fashion could possibly reduce environmental pollution, and how digital fashion enhances the visual experience of fashion and how it communicates with them.

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Fashion and the Environment

In recent years with the awareness of industries and how they are contributing to global warming has grown profusely. The textile and apparel industries are the second largest polluting industry in the world, second only to the oil industry and the fashion industry has been called to offer a solution to its effects on the environment. This is related to the huge annual garment consumption; the reality is everyone has to dress, and the essence of fashion is to innovate. The birth of cheap and fast fashion has had a huge impact on the earth, while consumers no longer cherish their shopping, there is no reason for the consumer to keep their clothes if new ones are being offered so readily to them. However, behind this appearance is the cost of huge energy consumption and waste, heavy pollution of the environment, and cheap labour. At the same time, fast fashion clothing potentially contains harmful chemicals. 

Fashion with natural water quality and soil
One of the main natural resources that is affected is water. Water is very important in the fashion industry, but it’s use also causes a large amount of pollution. For example, this need is apparent from the point of just growing materials:

Cotton needs a lot of water to grow (and heat) but is usually cultivated in warm and dry areas. Up to 20,000 litres of water are needed to produce just 1kg of cotton.

This large amount of water consumption offers an insight into how much is needed before the manufacturing process has even begun. In countries such as India where a large percentage do not have access to drinking water also produces a large amount of cotton for the fashion industry. It has been suggested that:

85 % of the daily needs in water of the entire population of India would be covered by the water used to grow cotton in the country. 

In terms of water waste and pollution, many textile factories take the wastewaters and discharge them into rivers without treatment. Pollutants such as lead, mercury and arsenic in the wastewater also reach the ocean and eventually spread to the whole world. Due to the increase in demand for clothing as a result of fast fashion the demand for fresh water is in high demand for production. The high number of garments produced need water for dyeing and the finishing process of clothes.

Water is not the only natural resource that is heavily affected by the fashion industry. Soil, which is essential for the production of growing food and also the absorption of CO2 has been degraded by the industry. Factors such as the overgrazing of cashmere goats and sheep for wool combined with the chemicals used to grow cotton.22 The processes used in traditional garment making are telling of how unsustainable the fashion industry has become. With the increase in digital technologies there is an expectation that alternatives can be available to possibly combat these issues.

Fashion and waste accumulation

It is apparent that clothes have become more disposable. This has resulted in a production of more textile waste. It is thought that a family in the western world disposed of around 30kg of garments each year. When the amount of clothing owned by people is considered; according to WRAP

the average number of clothing items owned by UK adults is 115. That's a total of 5,774,000,000 in the UK.

This highlights the potential waste that could be created and as only around 15% is usually recycled or donated the rest would be incinerated or taken to a landfill site. As the influx of fast fashion and demand for it increases, so too does the waste. The clothes that are being disposed of are mainly made up of synthetic fibres which incur a decomposing duration of up to 200 years. This points to a large problem within the creation of clothes, where the effects on the environment are from the beginning of the process.

Fashion as an industry contributes to around 10% of the world's carbon emissions. This is created by the energy used in the production, manufacturing and transportation processes for the mass number of ready- made garments each year.

At the same time, developments in technology within the apparel industry that looks forward to reduce the production of greenhouse gases and pollution of the environment. Processes such as automated manufacturing as demonstrated here in this diagram:

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provides a more sustainable outlook on the future of fashion as each part of the process is offered an alternative. For example, referencing the use of ‘renewable and sustainable fibres’ to combat the issues when growing materials. The ‘nearshoring’ refers to when companies open up the possibility of a local supply chain meaning there would be a reduction of transportation costs.24 Also how automated production technology can not only speed up the production time but also reduces the natural resources needed to manufacture the clothes. ‘Sewbots’ (sewing robots) have been introduced into the manufacturing process with capabilities from spinning and weaving fabrics to assembly of T-shirts.24 Technology such as this allows a company to create garments faster whilst also becoming more sustainable.

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From Shanghai ICY Digital Fashion Week 

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From @Locamastro

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I have created some illustrations to explore the concepts that I am looking at for my final year project. This will be based around the connection between fashion and the environment within a digital context. Similar to my previous projects, I intend to create a piece of work that uses virtual clothing, characters and worlds to communicate these issues. Pictured here is a collection of ideas from my initial research to begin the process of creating a virtual world based on these themes.

As a continuation from my first term Project (Discomfort), I have continued to work with character design, to manipulate figures to present and explore the issues that are connected to fashion and the environment.

I have begun to create virual scenes, playing with the different forms and aesthetics to present my ideas. Also considering more specific concepts in relation to water pollution with this drawing, looking at the relevance of colour and thinking about how to present the models and clothes as a reflection of the impacts this issue presents.

I have also began to experiment with using virtual clothing to reflect the environmental issues that are within the fashion industry. Integrating this with spaces and scenes to further project these concepts.

28 Sep_Week 1_Start Point

5 Oct_Week 2

Mirror Mirror Project​

I was inspired by a couple documentaries that I watched including A LIFE ON OUR PLANET and THE SOCIAL DILEMMA which told about the effects global warming and the human impact of social media. 

I created different digital characters to highlight certain points that were made in the documentaries. Such as ways in which we can repair the damage to our planet, by changing our diets to mostly plant based. Another character exploring the water pollution from the production of clothing in fast fashion. 

Also a character representing the impact of social media on our minds, looking at how we are manipulated to use their software a certain way 

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FASHIONOPOLIS

85 % of the daily needs in water of the entire population of India would be covered by the water used to grow cotton in the country. 

‘water waste and pollution, many textile factories take the wastewaters and discharge them into rivers without treatment.’

I wanted to make something in relation to the water wastage and point to how the effects production of clothing is carried through to the wastage that is deposited in nature, for example the ocean. As it often this forgotten, out of sight issue, I have attempted to visualize this.

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THE SOCIAL DILEMMA 

The human impact of social networking.

The underlying control of the algorithms of social media businesses which shape and control the way we use their platforms.

We think we are making our own decisions, but we are provided with heavy suggestions, based on our previous activity.

I want to highlight the lack of control, that most are unaware of in terms of the use of social media and the impact on our minds. 

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A LIFE ON OUR PLANET 

How our lifestyle is changing the planet due to global warming 

Ways in which we can reverse the effects: 

 

Return of the tree 

Change our diet

‘The planet cannot support billions of large meat-eaters, there just isn't the space. If we all had largely plant - based diet. We would need only half the land we use at the moment.’

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19 Oct_Week 4

Pecha Kucha

After Mirror Mirror I returned to look at the Life on Our Planet documentary and collected some specific data which shows the change in the planet of three points over time and have tried to visualise some of these with digital characters.

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PECHA KUCHA - Feedback
Your presentation was clear and visually exciting to look at. Consider how you might
combine some of the graphical elements to tell the story for a viewer who was just reading
it-how would you create a pitch from this for your collaborators, and who are they? You have
a strong storytelling element and the idea of visualising data which is very engaging-how will
you develop this and who is the audience? Will you create something that is connected and
changes in real time or are they static images used to support a journalistic or report format.
What examples of data visualisation are there which relate to your approach, and who are
your collaborators-you mentioned you will potentially work with other students in the first
instance, how will you collect the data you need from them in order to generate a character.
Are you building a piece of software or API and what are the parameters you will work with?

Moving forward I plan to create different digital characters based upon data information that I will source from organisations that share information about social issues such as global warming or the effects of social media. I want to share the facts in a visual way using chapters to cover the different topics.

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26 Oct_Week 5 Research

The Soical Dilemma

"Since Mr. Wilson’s observation, technology’s godlike powers have increased dramatically, while the ancient, Paleolithic impulses of our brains have remained the same.

Let’s imagine that we managed to solve the privacy issue. In this new utopia, we would own all our data, and tech giants would be forbidden from tracking our online whereabouts; they would have access only to the data we agreed to share.

While we might see fewer creepy ads and feel less paranoid about surveillance, the troubling trends connected to the online world would remain unaddressed.

Our addiction to social validation and bursts of “likes” would continue to destroy our attention spans. Our brains would still be drawn to outrage and angry tweets, replacing democratic debate with childlike he-said, she-said. Teenagers would remain vulnerable to online social pressure and cyberbullying, harming their mental health.

Content algorithms would continue to drive us down rabbit holes toward extremism and conspiracy theories, since automating recommendations is cheaper than paying human editors to decide what’s worth our time. And radical content, incubated in insular online communities, would continue to inspire mass shootings.

Cardi B’s ‘WAP’ Proves Music’s Dirty Secret: Censorship Is Good Business

By influencing two billion brains in these ways, today’s social media holds the pen of world history: The forces it has unleashed will affect future elections and even our ability to tell fact from fiction, increasing the divisions within society."

Simply put, technology has outmatched our brains, diminishing our capacity to address the world’s most pressing challenges. The advertising business model built on exploiting this mismatch has created the attention economy. In return, we get the “free” downgrading of humanity.

This leaves us profoundly unsafe. With two billion humans trapped in these environments, the attention economy has turned us into a civilization maladapted for its own survival.

Here’s the good news: We are the only species self-aware enough to identify this mismatch between our brains and the technology we use. Which means we have the power to reverse these trends.

The question is whether we can rise to the challenge, whether we can look deep within ourselves and use that wisdom to create a new, radically more humane technology. “Know thyself,” the ancients exhorted. We must bring our godlike technology back into alignment with an honest understanding of our limits.

This may all sound pretty abstract, but there are concrete actions we can take.

First, policymakers can create a special tax for tech giants — a “downgrading tax” — that would make their business models, based on extracting and exhausting our attention spans, prohibitively expensive, while redistributing wealth to journalism, public education and the creation of new platforms that privilege human values and service to society.

Second, instead of joining free social media platforms that benefit from turning us into addicted, narcissistic extremists, we could agree to pay subscription fees to services that shun “likes” for features that empower our lives offscreen, making these services, in essence, fiduciaries acting in the best interests of humanity.

Third, instead of spreading disinformation, digital platforms could radically strengthen the media infrastructures that protect us from malicious viral content and tech-enabled distortions like “deepfakes” (fabricated videos manipulated by artificial intelligence to look genuine).


To create humane technology we need to think deeply about human nature, and that means more than just talking about privacy. This is a profound spiritual moment. We need to understand our natural strengths — our capacity for self-awareness and critical thinking, for reasoned debate and reflection — as well as our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and the parts of ourselves that we’ve lost control over.

The only way to make peace with technology is to make peace with ourselves.

(Tristan Harris is a co-founder and the executive director of the Center for Humane Technology and the co-host of the podcast, “Your Undivided Attention.”)

This is an article from Turning Points, a special section that explores what critical moments from this year might mean for the year ahead. Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter."

Our Brains Are No Match for Our Technology

By Tristan Harris

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/opinion/digital-technology-brain.html

What Social Media Changed
Facebook’s early mission was “to make the world more open and connected”—and in the first days of social media, many people assumed that a huge global increase in connectivity would be good for democracy. As social media has aged, however, optimism has faded and the list of known or suspected harms has grown: Online political discussions (often among anonymous strangers) are experienced as angrier and less civil than those in real life; networks of partisans co-create worldviews that can become more and more extreme; disinformation campaigns flourish; violent ideologies lure recruits.

The problem may not be connectivity itself but rather the way social media turns so much communication into a public performance. We often think of communication as a two-way street. Intimacy builds as partners take turns, laugh at each other’s jokes, and make reciprocal disclosures. What happens, though, when grandstands are erected along both sides of that street and then filled with friends, acquaintances, rivals, and strangers, all passing judgment and offering commentary?

The social psychologist Mark Leary coined the term sociometer to describe the inner mental gauge that tells us, moment by moment, how we’re doing in the eyes of others. We don’t really need self-esteem, Leary argued; rather, the evolutionary imperative is to get others to see us as desirable partners for various kinds of relationships. Social media, with its displays of likes, friends, followers, and retweets, has pulled our sociometers out of our private thoughts and posted them for all to see.

Human beings evolved to gossip, preen, manipulate, and ostracize. We are easily lured into this new gladiatorial circus.

If you constantly express anger in your private conversations, your friends will likely find you tiresome, but when there’s an audience, the payoffs are different—outrage can boost your status. A 2017 study by William J. Brady and other researchers at NYU measured the reach of half a million tweets and found that each moral or emotional word used in a tweet increased its virality by 20 percent, on average. Another 2017 study, by the Pew Research Center, showed that posts exhibiting “indignant disagreement” received nearly twice as much engagement—including likes and shares—as other types of content on Facebook.

The philosophers Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke have proposed the useful phrase moral grandstanding to describe what happens when people use moral talk to enhance their prestige in a public forum. Like a succession of orators speaking to a skeptical audience, each person strives to outdo previous speakers, leading to some common patterns. Grandstanders tend to “trump up moral charges, pile on in cases of public shaming, announce that anyone who disagrees with them is obviously wrong, or exaggerate emotional displays.” Nuance and truth are casualties in this competition to gain the approval of the audience. Grandstanders scrutinize every word spoken by their opponents—and sometimes even their friends—for the potential to evoke public outrage. Context collapses. The speaker’s intent is ignored.

Human beings evolved to gossip, preen, manipulate, and ostracize. We are easily lured into this new gladiatorial circus, even when we know that it can make us cruel and shallow. As the Yale psychologist Molly Crockett has argued, the normal forces that might stop us from joining an outrage mob—such as time to reflect and cool off, or feelings of empathy for a person being humiliated—are attenuated when we can’t see the person’s face, and when we are asked, many times a day, to take a side by publicly “liking” the condemnation.

From October 2018: America is living James Madison’s nightmare
 

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2 Nov_Week 6 Research & Experiment

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9 Nov_Week 7 Research & Experiment

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16 Nov_Week 8 Research & Experiment

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Enter a hidden third world shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the Internet rids itself of what it doesn‘t like. Here we meet five “digital scavengers”, among thousands of people outsourced from Silicon Valley, whose job is to delete “inappropriate” content of the net. In a parallel struggle, we meet people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical “cleaner” must observe and rate thousands of often deeply disturbing images and videos every day, leading to lasting psychological impacts.

Yet underneath their work lie profound questions around what makes an image art or propaganda and what defines journalism. Where exactly is the point of balance for social media to be neither an unlegislated space nor a forum rife with censorship? THE CLEANERS struggles to come to terms with this new and disconcerting paradigm. Evolving from a shared social vision of a global village to a web of fake news and radicalization, the film charts the rise and fall of social media’s utopian ideology.

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 The movie broadens its scope to cover what the directors clearly see as a real-time global catastrophe — a situation where tech companies are so eager to grow, expand, and monetize that they fail to recognize the ways their platforms are fomenting hate, discord, and violence, with devastating results.

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23 Nov_Week 9 Research & Development

Notes 30th Oct

playing with music, different language, short film 

the color of pomegranates

The Holy Mountain, movie

david lynch rabbits

Nonlinear narrative Multiplicity of stories

berberian sound studio, movie

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23 Nov_Week 10 Developing Environment

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30 Nov_Week 11 Narrative Development & Editing

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When thinking about the characters moving within the space, I wanted to use a traditional ‘runway’ walk. To show them emerging from this dark space to represent how these issues that the characters represent are now being brought to light and in the public’s view by documentaries such as ‘The Social Dilemma’. Furthermore, how this can represent the hope of change, how these issues now being public knowledge can be the beginning of these companies having to change and be more transparent about their activities.

The digital character designs focus on the human impact of social networking and underlying control of the algorithms of social media businesses which shape and control the way we use their platforms. Each character is a visual representation of data which points to the ever growing problems that we see with social media and how these can affect our society socially and politically.

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True/Fake looks further into the concept of control with the information that is shared and presented to users on these platforms. Truth becomes lost with certain information only being shown to specific groups of people and the speed of fake news spreading faster than fact and how this has been used to manipulate people’s decisions, specifically with elections.

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Connected/Manipulated highlights the influence and control a small group of people from these companies have over billions of people, particularly a younger audience and how their attention is fed back into the companies through advertising, rapidly growing them without concern of the effects on these users.

Ignore/Delete considers how when exploring the way that we are shown information it is important to consider the things that we don’t see. ‘The Cleaners’ are the underpaid and unseen workers for social media companies who monitor and delete offensive, pornographic and subversive posts on social media sites.

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After rendering the video I focused on what sound would accompany the visuals. Firstly, I was interested in the idea of a soundtrack that used a song or music, but after viewing The Holy Mountain and researching auteurs such as David Lynch I thought that a crafted sound design would help shape the work better. I liked the way Lynch used sound as an equal to visuals to build a feeling, so I collected a number of sound bites from everyday life and began to build layers of sound to enhance my renderings. I wanted to use the sound in a reactive way to the visuals, so that there was a pairing between the two. With each video, I used sound to further bring forward the ideas I am focused on whilst also using background noise to shape and build an environment.

 

For example the Ignore/Delete piece uses sounds to enhance the feeling of entrapment, reflective of the position of the workers described in The Cleaners documentary. The sound of bubbling water paired with the visuals demonstrates this idea of being hidden, how these workers are secret in a way. The ominous drones paired with this form a dark and almost anxious feeling to reflect the experience that ‘The Cleaners’ face in their roles.

7 Dec_Week 12 Final Realisation

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  • VR

  • Develop more characters 

  • Collaboration

Looking forward to the next stage, I would like to experiment more with the experience of the work. I have discussed before the possibility of using VR, so I will look into using Unreal Engine to create a more immersive experience for my audience. Paired with this I will also continue to create more character based upon the different topics I selected earlier in the project. With these, trying to maintain my aesthetic and building upon the narrative I have already created.

I also would like to explore the idea of collaboration as it is relative to personal career aspirations to collaborate with people or brands as a 3D designer. This may take the form of collaborating with classmates or possibly brands to help realise my ideas for the project.