Hein Daanen: Adding Science to Fashion

AMFI welcomes its first professor within the Fashion & Technology Applied Research staff. Hein Daanen, Professor in Thermal Physiology and Researcher for TNO, faces an interesting challenge to merge fashion and science.


What is your background?
‘I studied Human Movement Sciences in Amsterdam and did my specialisation on muscle electrical activity at Leiden University. I joined TNO (Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research) in 1991. My current function as Principal Scientist includes Thermal Physiology and 3D Anthropometry, which is the scientific measurement of human bodies. Next to that I am Professor in Thermal Physiology at the VU University Amsterdam.’

 What will your contribution to AMFI be?
‘My aim is to create a clear and coherent research profile for AMFI. I will coordinate and expand the research disciplines of HvA knowledge centre CREATE-IT Applied Research. The first period focuses on setting up an inventory of the creative expertise of my colleagues at AMFI. As a scientist, I hope to add a quantitative layer to the qualitative knowledge that is already there. Statistics and creativity are often seen as two opposites, where I think that innovation occurs on the interface of two disciplines. Take for example the barrier that people have with ordering clothing online. A 3D model of their body stimulates them to buy, because they can be sure the clothing fits. A technical idea in a creative framework.’

What is your relation with fashion?
‘I distinguish three elements related to the fashion industry: textile, clothing and fashion. Textile has everything to do with heat and moisture transport, clothing focuses on the perfect fit and fashion gives the whole an aesthetic and emotional dimension. Whereas I have experience in the first two levels, the fashion aspect is relatively new to me. But I am eager to further develop the right side of my brain.’

How did you experience your first few weeks at AMFI?
‘I look forward to setting up the Applied Research department with my enthusiastic and talented colleagues. I already had a glance of the level of creativity during AMFI’s graduation event Transit in the World Fashion Centre in Amsterdam. in July. That experience was a warm welcome and a great start to  my new position.’

Text and images by Eveline Koppejan, 2nd year international Fashion & Branding student.

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