reForm reSearch texts

Selfpassage is a collection of ideas, perspectives, practices and workshops concerning fashion in its various forms. Below is a selection of research-oriented texts, speculative in their approach (most recent title at the top)

von Busch, Otto (2021) Vistas of Vitality: Metabolisms, Circularity, Fashion-abilities (1ed) New York: SelfPassage [pdf] - order from Amazon


von Busch, Otto (2020) The Psychopolitics of Fashion: Conflict and Courage Under the Current State of Fashion, London: Bloomsbury - order from Amazon
von Busch, Otto (2020) The Dharma of Fashion: A Buddhist Approach to Our Life with Clothes, Atglen: Schiffer - order from Schiffer, (or from Amazon)

von Busch, Otto & Daye Hwang (2018) Feeling Fashion: the embodied gamble of our social skin, New York: SelfPassage [pdf] - order from Amazon

von Busch, Otto (2018) Vital Vogue: A biosocial perspective on fashion, (2nd edition) New York: SelfPassage [pdf] - order from Amazon

Fashion Praxis Collective (2017) Animal Laborans: The Labor of Fashion, New York: Fashion Praxis Collective/Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon

von Busch, Otto (ed) (2016) Fear of Fashion: Critical Cases on the Anxiety of Fashion, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon

Korda, Josh & Otto von Busch (2016) Suffering in Style: A discussion about fashion, addiction, and endless aesthetic cravings, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon

von Busch, Otto (2016) Moda Maleficarum, or, the Dark Allure of Fashion, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon

von Busch, Otto & Per Herngren (2016) Mode och motstånd: Dialoger om befrielse och civil olydnad, imitation och politik, (“Fashion and resistance: Dialogues on liberation and civil disobedience, imitation and politics”), Göteborg: Korpen (link)

von Busch, Otto (ed) (2015) Victims of Style: Critical Cases on the Violence of Fashion, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon

von Busch, Otto (2015) Tasarlanacak Ne Kaldi? Sosyal Tasarim Uzerine Acil Sorular (“What is to be designed? Emerging questions on social design”) , Istanbul: Puna Yayin (link)

von Busch, Otto (ed) (2015) Völuspá: Lays of Dead Idols New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon
The Passion System
von Busch, Otto (2014) The Passion System, or Pascism: The Fashion of Passionate Micro-Fascism, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon
Gorll - A Scar of Belonging book
von Busch, Otto (ed) (2014) A Scar of Belonging: fragments of fashion by Gillis Görll (1901-1975), New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon
The Fashion Condition

Fashion Praxis Collective (2014) The Fashion Condition, New York: Fashion Praxis Collective/Selfpassage
[pdf] - order from Amazon

Just Fashion

von Busch, Otto (ed) (2012) Just Fashion: Critical Cases on Social Justice in Fashion, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon


Korda, Josh & Otto von Busch (2012) Buddha Style: A discussion about the Buddha's radical teachings on fashion and forgiveness, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon
What happens next - appendix
von Busch, Otto & Karl Palmås (2010) What happens next: An appendix on fashion stewardship and social entrepreneurship, Gothenburg: Camino [pdf]
what happens next?
Axelsson et al (2010) What happens next: A journey towards fashion stewardship, Gothenburg: Camino [pdf]
methodology expanded
von Busch, Otto (2008) Post-script to Fashion-able: Methodological appendix to activist design research, (re-edited Lulu version) [pdf]
fashion-able thesis
von Busch, Otto (2008) Fashion-able: Hacktivism and engaged fashion design, Gothenburg: Art Monitor (thesis) [pdf]
Abstract Hacktivism
von Busch, Otto & Karl Palmås (2006) Abstract Hacktivism; the making of a hacker culture, London: OPENmute [pdf]


More info on Fashion-able: Hacktivism and Engaged Fashion Design (thesis 2008):
Basic research on fashion hacktivism:
the re-edited pocket edition of Becoming Fashion-able (2009) can be ordered here! (trouble with order? mail an order or get help from here)
- a re-edited methodological appendix on design and artistic research can be ordered here (or download pdf)

becoming fashion-able + methodological appendix

(an interview and short introduction to fashion hacktivism can be read here)
The thesis Fashion-able consists of a series of extensive projects which aims to explore a new designer role for fashion. It is a role that experiment with how fashion can be reverse engineered, hacked, tuned and shared among many participants as a form of social activism. This social design practice can be called the hacktivism of fashion. It is an engaged and collective process of enablement, creative resistance and DIY practice, where a community share methods and experiences on how to expand action spaces and develop new forms of craftsmanship. In this practice, the designer engages participants to reform fashion from a phenomenon of dictations and anxiety to a collective experience of empowerment, in other words, to make them become fashion-able.
Academic texts and papers:
Selfpassage is also a part of my research at Parsons School of Design, The New School, NYC (Parsons), and my previous work at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. Stockholm (Konstfack), and the School of Design and Craft, Gothenburg (HDK). Below are some academic texts, papers and book chapters.
(please note: not all academic papers are listed below, please search online for a more comprehensive list)
  • von Busch, Otto (2021) "Collaborative poaching: Compossibilities, notes, traces and narrative imagination," Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 14(1), 1 January 2021, pp. 27-42.
  • von Busch, Otto & Hanna af Ekstrom (2021) "The distribution of abilities: Disability, dissent, and design activism by the Gothenburg Cooperative for Independent Living," in Jilly Traganou (ed) Design and political dissent, New York: Routledge. pp. 65-78.

  • von Busch, Otto (2020) "Fervent Pharmakon: Food, Fashion and the Haul," Apria [ArtEZ Platform for Research Interventions of the Arts] Issue 1, October 1st, 2020. [link]
  • von Busch, Otto (2020) “The Left-Hand Pose: Alchemic Realism and the Intra-Action of Music, Body, and Dress in Metal Yoga,“ in Jenß, Heike & Viola Hofmann (eds) Fashion and Materiality: Cultural Practices in Global Contexts, New York: Bloomsbury, pp. 198-213.
  • von Busch, Otto (2020) "The chronopolitics of slow fashion," in Solen Kipoz (ed) Slowness in Fashion, London: Dixi Books, pp.169-177.
  • von Busch, Otto (2019) “The Chains in Orozco’s Murals,” Rickard, F., S. Rocciolo & L. Matthews (eds) Stand in My Place With My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Works from The New School, New York: The New School.
  • von Busch, Otto (2019) "Love songs: Fashion, Flirting, and Biosocial Growth," Apria [ArtEZ Platform for Research Interventions of the Arts], Issue 0, March 6, 2019. [link]
  • von Busch, Otto (2019) "A Crisis of Power in Fashion: Is There Agency for Change?" Fashion Practice, 11:3, pp.302-308.

  • von Busch, Otto (2018) “Inclusive Fashion—an Oxymoron—or a Possibility for Sustainable Fashion?,” Fashion Practice, 10:3, pp.311-327. [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto & Cigdem Kaya Pazarbasi (2018) “Just Craft: Capabilities and Empowerment in Participatory Craft Projects,” Design Issues, 34: 4, pp.66-79. [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2018) “Mimesis, Clothed in Violence,” Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, Vol. 25, pp. 79–94. [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2018) "Beyond the in-between: Rei Kawakubo at the Met and the clash between eastern and western concepts in fashion studies," International Journal of Fashion Studies, 5:1, pp. 111–28. [pdf]
  • Fashion Praxis Collective (2017) “Fashion—Precarity—Labor,” Women’s Studies Quarterly, 45: 3 & 4 (Fall/Winter 2017), pp. 229-233. [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2017) "Fashion suX: A story of anger as (un)sustainable energy," Utopian Studies, Vol 28, No 3, pp: 505-527 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2017) “Resistant Materialities and Power Tools: Dynamics of Power and Resistance in Everyday Consumerism,” Journal of Resistance Studies, Vol 3, No 2, pp. 66-88 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2017) “Hacking the Probe-head: Manipulations for social sustainability” in Chapman, Jonathan, (ed) The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Product Design, New York: Routledge, pp335-348 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2017) “Civic Crafts and Plug-In Whittling”, American Craft Inquiry, Vol1, Iss1. [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2017) “Let’s have a Black Celebration: The Occult Yoga of Health Goth,“ BIAS: Journal of Dress Practice, “Fashion + Celebration,” issue5, Jan 2017, pp.40-43 [pdf]


  • von Busch, Otto & Karl Palmås (2016) “Social Means Do Not Justify Corruptible Ends: A Realist Perspective of Social Innovation and Design”, She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, Volume 2, Issue 4, Winter 2016, pp. 275–287 [online]
  • von Busch, Otto (2016) "Patched" in Surface Design Journal [link], Fall 2016 issue [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2016) “Open-Source-Realismus. Oder: offen zu welchem Zweck? [Open realism, or: open in what end?]” in Baier, Andrea, Tom Hansing, Christa Müller & Karin Werner (eds) (2016) Die Welt reparieren: Open Source und Selbermachen als postkapitalistische Praxis [Repairing the world: Open Source and DIY as Postcapitalist Praxis] , Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, [link to book] [chapter pdf german] [chapter english - "Open realism, or: open in what end?"]
  • von Busch, Otto (2016) “Vultures and Lambs: Design for all against all”, in Cigdem Kaya (ed) Design For All newsletter, Design For All Institute of India, July 2016 Vol 11, No 7, pp. 35-43 [whole newsletter] [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto & Ylva Bjereld (2016) “A typology of fashion violence”, Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty, 7 (1) pp. 89-107 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto & Karl Palmås (2016) "Designing Consent: Can Design Thinking Manufacture Democratic Capitalism?," Organizational Aesthetics, Vol. 5: Iss. 2, pp. 10-24. [online/link]
  • von Busch, Otto (2016) ”Action! Or, Exploring Diffractive Methods for Fashion Research ” in Jenss, Heike & Joanne Eicher (eds) Fashion Studies: Research Methods, Sites and Practices, New York: Bloomsbury
  • von Busch, Otto (2016) ”Use your illusion: dazzle, deceit and the ‘vicious problem’ of textiles and fashion” in Jefferies, Janis, Diana Wood Conroy & Hazel Clark (eds) The Handbook of Textile Culture, New York: Bloomsbury
  • von Busch, Otto (2015) “‘Fashion: Red in tooth and claw’: A lycology for Alan Moore and Malcolm McLaren’s Fashion Beast”, Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty, 6 (2) pp. 253-266 [pdf]
  • Palmås, Karl & Otto von Busch (2015) “Quasi-Quisling: co-design and the assembly of collaborateurs”, CoDesign, Vol 11, Iss 3-4, pp. 236-249 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2015) “ROT-slöjd och Svartkonst”, in Zetterlund, Christina, Charlotte Hyltén-Cavallius & Johanna Rosenqvist (eds) Konsthantverk i Sverige, Tumba: Mångkulturellt centrum [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2015) “Hacking in the name of..?”, in Fuad-Luke (ed) Agents of Alternatives, Berin: Agents Of Alternatives [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2015) “Hacktivism as design research method”, in Rodgers & Yee (eds) The Routledge Companion to Design Research, London: Routledge [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2015) “A Passion for Fashion” in Fashion as Social Energy, catalogue for “Fashion as Social Energy” exhibition, Palazzo Morano, Milan [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2014)“Crafting Resistance” in Greer, Betsy (ed) Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism, Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2014) “’a suit, of his own earning’: Fashion Supremacy and Sustainable Fashion Activism”, in Fletcher & Tham (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion, London: Routledge [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2014) “Fashion Hacking” in Yelavich & Adams (eds) Design as Future-Making, Oxford: Berg [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (ed) (2014) “In the Making: The ‘Power to the People’ Workshop Track at Crafting the Future”, The Design Journal, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp. 379-401 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2013) “Collaborative Craft Capabilities: The Bodyhood of Shared Skills”, The Journal of Modern Craft, Vol 6, No 2, July 2013 , pp. 135-146 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2013) "Zen and the Abstract Machine of Knitting", Textile, Volume 11, Issue 1 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2012)"Self-reliant Fashion: Autonomy, Capabilities and the 'laws of fashion'", [pdf] - (published in Italian as "Autonomia, capacità e 'Leggi della moda'", Dialoghi Internazionali, n. 18, 2012, pp. 169-75)
  • von Busch, Otto (2012) "Man–machine–music: Resonances of craft and technology in a study of guitar building", Craft Research, No 3 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2012) “The Game of Fashion and” in Black, Sandy (ed) (2012) The sustainable fashion handbook, New York: Thames & Hudson [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2012) “Generation Open; Contested Creativity and Capabilities” in The Design Journal, Vol 15, Iss 4 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2012) “Molecular management: Protocols in the maker culture”, Creative Industries Journal, Volume 5 Numbers 1 & 2, pp. 55–68 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2011) “Research Navigations” in Journal for Artistic Research, Iss 0 [online/link]
  • von Busch, Otto (2011) "Design at the front" paper for Nordes conference, Aalto University, Helsinki [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2011) "Fashion Hacking as Shapeshifting", paper for ISEA Istanbul, Sabanci University, Istanbul [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2010) “Exploring net political craft: From collective to connective” in Craft Research, Vol 1, Iss 1 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2010) "Fashion Fianchettos - Text, Program, Fashion" published in ArtMonitor 8/2010 [pdf]
  • von Busch, Otto (2010) "Neighbourhoodies" paper for Cumulus Conference, Tongji University Shanghai [pdf]
    [publ ref: Yongqi LOU & Xiaocun ZHU (eds) (2011) Cumulus Proceedings, Shanghai Conference 2010, Helsinki: School of Art and Design, ISBN: 978-952-60-0046-6]

2009 & 2008:
  • 2009: von Busch, Otto (2009) "Engaged Design and the Practice of Fashion Hacking: The Examples of Giana Gonzalez and Dale Sko" Fashion Practice, Volume 1, Issue 2 [pdf]
  • 2008: von Busch, Otto & Karl Palmås (2008) “Cities are Flows of Urban Magma” in The Politics of Magma, Gothenburg: ArtMonitor ISBN 978-91-977757-4-8 [pdf]
and old sketches/speculations:
2006: "hacking as dialogue" (fashion hacking for design theory course) [pdf]
2005: "re-forming appearance" (25% seminar Goteborg University) [pdf]
2005: "the (re-form) manual" (paper for NordCoDe/05 Trondheim) [pdf]
2004/2005: "fashion is alchemy" (foreword for Artist Clothing catalogue) [pdf]
2002: "these are clothes to be seen" in (MA-essay / in Swedish) [pdf]

What happens under the label of Selfpassage?
     Selfpassage tries, through speculative practice, open workshops and copyleft methods, to shake the conventions and the "common sense" regarding the production of fashion and dressed identity. This is done by critically hacking and re-forming the operating system of fashion and the industrial modes of production.
     Using practical explorations the projects try to prototype the instrumental methods with which we can understand the forces, vectors and interfaces between the subject and the fashion system. These endeavors are attempts of applied theory in constant experimentation with the intensities of fashion. As we experiment with these forces we might find processes to save ourselves from the "inevitable" future or the "basic rules" of fashion.
Fashion must be transformed on a deeper level.
     With the use of comparative fashion mythology the research also attempts to offer a wide range of metaphors to expand understanding and practice within fashion design.
The projects are all conjunctions of applied theory and merges flows of fashion with social, critical and subconstructive design. They propose passages between the exact sciences and the sciences of man, diagonal or transversal connections between practices which aim to connect subject divisions and scale levels through the phenomena of fractal fashions, molecular management and ecological niches of viral imitations of culture and style. Lateral intersections between these fields form a meshwork of embodied enactments, local truths and regional epistemologies. All products and methods are under copyleft licenses to be freely copied and developed by other practitioners,
      Fashion is not a game of illusion, but the serious play of another reality.


Other titles from Selfpassage press:
Selfpassage also publishes the acclaimed and provocative books by professor Ralf Wronsov, ideological educator for the Current State of Fashion. Within his ouvre, Wronsov discusses issues concerning aesthetic violence and fashion rage, fashion supremacy, and the rightful persecution of the ugly and poor. Wronsov's dismissal of democratic or "fast" fashion, and opposition to "degenerate" socialist subcultures or "sissy style", has caused many to reevaluate the very foundations of fashion theory.

The Kaiser - cover

Wronsov, Ralf (2015) The Kaiser: A Treatise on Fashion and Power, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon

Mark of Cain

Wronsov, Ralf (2014) The Mark of Cain: The Aesthetic Superiority of the Fashionable, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon

Wronsov, Ralf (2014) Tractatus Fashionablo-Politicus: The Political Philosophy of the Current State of Fashion, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon


Gargoyle, Siddharta & Ralf Wronsov (2015) The Vril of Fashion, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon

Sato, Sato & Ralf Wronsov (2016) Style and Steel: Fashion and the Endurance of Supremacy, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon



below: an initial sketch of the Abstract Machine of Hacktivism

abstract machine of hacktivism