Dresses Depict What Mental Disorders Look Like In The Brain

Dresses Depict What Mental Disorders Look Like In The Brain
Arts & Culture

The 'Changing Minds' project challenges students to create garments inspired by conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.

Emma Hutchings
  • 10 april 2013

Second-year fashion design and knitwear students from the University of Southampton‘s Winchester School of Art have designed garments inspired by research into medical conditions. This unique project, ‘Changing Minds,’ has been held over the last three years to help explain neuroscience through fashion.


The students use research into conditions such as schizophrenia, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease in order to design garments that represent and demonstrate the effects of these conditions in a physical or artistic way.

Design Students Help Explain Neuroscience Through Fashion

A black dress designed by Nikki Day tackles the theme of schizophrenia. She researched the morphology of different classes of cortical neurons and embroidered images to convey the emerging idea that this is a disease of aberrant connectivity. She said:

The dress is tight and slightly restricts movement to reflect the effect these brain cell malfunctions can have in limiting people with the disease in everyday life

Design Students Help Explain Neuroscience Through Fashion


The students have been showcasing their designs during the Festival of Neuroscience 2013 at the Barbican Centre in London, with the aim of expanding people’s understanding of these conditions.



University of Southampton

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