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Moulding the Human Being. Clothing as a Cultural Practice – The Example of Hanro, 1884 to 2012

Hanro is a renowned Swiss company for undergarments with a more than 100-year-old history. In the interdisciplinary project researchers from cultural sciences and design research together with experts from archive studies and textiles of the Canton Basel-Country investigate the company’s extensive archive. The collection comprises around 20,000 specimen of production as well as design drawings, swatches, catalogues, and publicity materials from 1884 until today.

The project approaches the archive materials from three different perspectives: Firstly, the evolution of the brand Hanro of Switzerland is traced back. Secondly, it is asked, how the history of human intimacy and the development of undergarments have mutually induced. And thirdly, the design process under industrial production conditions can be investigated examplarily.

The research results contribute to the field of cultural anthropolgy of clothing and design research and are supposed to have influence on the professional education in the textile sector. Additionally, the insights will be publicly presented in exhibitions.