Design through physical perception

#StudioFashionDesign #Master-Thesis

EchoEcho combines body perception and fashion with the aim of making the physical visible and showing the body as a source of experience for all sensual impressions. Through folds, lacings or elastic bands, the material and cut of the clothes translate movement into the visible. The basis is field research in courses of somatic practice, which observes the relevance of the body as an organ of perception through physical experiences.

Atmosphere and perception

EchoEcho is fashion for everyday use that sensitises the body to perception, makes it visible as a source of sensory impressions and strengthens it as an organ of perception.

Perception is a process in which information or stimuli are received and processed by the sensory organs. Individual observations of internal and external processes of the body form the basis of the process. In every perception process, stimuli are selected and subjectively evaluated. Most of this selection and evaluation process takes place unconsciously, whereby the sensory experiences form the basis for how people perceive and shape their environment.

When people perceive, they first perceive the atmosphere of something. For example, they enter a room and feel the state of being "in space". Only in a second step do people recognise what is in the room - e.g. the objects, the light or the colouring - and begin to actively analyse it with their senses. The basis of perception is thus the atmospheric.

Body, space and clothing

EchoEcho explores clothing as a space of the body that gives space to the senses.

The body is the central object of my artistic practice as a scenographer and fashion designer. It is the starting point of perception, atmospheres and the means to make spaces experienceable and plastic. The space that is locally closest to the body and surrounds it is the garment. For me, fashion is created in the overall composition of body, dress and space - and through the constant changes in society.

Physical experience as a research method for design

EchoEcho transforms physical experience into design.

For my design process the interaction with the world that transcends all meaning is essential. It is only through this interaction that complex interrelationships between the world and the necessities of design and fashion can be recognised and understood. Central to my work is therefore my own physical experience as the basis for practical design.

For EchoEcho I attended courses like Hatha Yoga, the Israeli dance technique Gaga or the Japanese bondage art Shibari. All these techniques deal with body awareness in specific ways. Besides the physical experience I observed and documented the exercises, the place and the atmosphere. I focused on how and through what my body is sensitised and my senses are expanded.


I take an integrated approach to fashion. Design should react to its socio-cultural conditions, i.e. reflect the space and purpose for which it is created. This means that the production mechanisms of clothing are as much a part of the design as the appreciation of resources and materials.

Each outfit of EchoEcho stands for a specific form of sensual connection between body and (surrounding) world. Through folds, lacing or elastic bands, the material and cut of the clothing becomes a translator of inner movement into the visible outside. Each outfit combines a pair of contrasting terms and makes two different physical states visible.

Tense - Relax

Mobility - Immobility

Lightness - Gravity

Bending - Stretching

​Mit der freundlichen Unterstützung von


Heiligenstädter Reißverschluß GmbH & Co.

Holzer & Bott GmbH


Fotografie: Lucia Hunziker

Camera and editing: Simon Bitterli

Choreographie: Leonie Graf

Music: Thomas Schröder

Performers: Julian Boine, Sophie Garnier, Claudia Marolf, Annina Polivka, David Michael Werner

EchoEcho -Design through physical perception (presentation & Master-Thesis by Nicole Frei)


Prof. Priska Morger,

Wally Salner,

Prof. Dr. Bettina Köhler

, Studio Fashion Design

Prof. Dr. Jörg Wiesel

, Institute of Aesthetic Practice and Theory