In 2015, Daniel Friedman, PhD, FAIA, Dean of Architecture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, invited HouMinn Practice to produce a gallery show about the body of our research output. As part of that exhibition, Dean Friedman asked us to redesign an iconic Hawaiian garment – the Aloha Shirt. The Aloha Shirt surfaced in the 1930’s and was originally sawn from old kimono fabric to make garments to sell to tourists. It did not take long for these ornate and colorful shirts to be incorporated into local dress culture. They are very common on the islands and can be worn casually or as formal wear. What if we expected the shirt to do more than broadcast our consumption of the Hawaiian experience? What if the Aloha Shirt was designed to perform? This speculation on the future of the Aloha Shirt is made using performance-based materials as an agent of evolution. We are interested in exploring how the shirt can evolve without losing its cultural grounding. We use the design logic and ornament of the Aloha Shirt as a point of departure.

Houminn Practice

Exhibit: Haigo and Irene Shen Architecture Gallery

The University of Hawaii, Manoa – 2015