The Fitting Room: Communities of practice and the ambiguity of touch

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


This presentation aims to discuss aspects of the fitting room situation from two theoretical perspectives; communities of practice and the ambiguity of touch (touching, being touched). The theoretical frame is intertwined with reflections form my own practice as designer/maker/educator/researcher and from discussions/interviews with colleagues and students from different disciplines at The Danish National School of Performing Arts and colleagues from the Danish theater industry.

The educational theorist and practitioner Etienne Wenger describes communities of practice as “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Wenger, 2004). Using the knowledge of Wenger, I will explore questions such as: How does a newcomer enter a community of practice? How does an experienced educator introduce a student to the intimacy of the fitting room situation? What is articulated and what is not?

The philosopher Miika Luoto writes “This essential aspect of all touching is perhaps most purely present in caress, where we approach the other by being wholly exposed to him or her, where we contact the other’s skin in a way that opens to an unfathomable depth” (Luoto 2018). Based on Luoto’s reflections I will reflect upon how we can enter a dialogue through the caress as awareness of intimacy of touch and the unfathomable as the ambiguity of touch.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 21
EventCostume Agency : Critical Costume Conference 2020 - Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 2020 Aug 212020 Aug 23


ConferenceCostume Agency
Internet address

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Performing Arts
  • Design

Free keywords

  • Fitting room
  • Costume
  • Communities of Practice
  • Touch


Dive into the research topics of 'The Fitting Room: Communities of practice and the ambiguity of touch'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this