21st February 2014
Materiologist Amy Congdon is exploring the decellularising of bacon and is re working it into a potential luxury material combined with bone powder and pearls for future luxury accessories.
The decellularisation process (developed for regenerative medicine purposes that involves removing the cells from an organ) leaves behind the extracellular matrix which Amy then puts through a series of textile techniques such as dyeing, tanning and weaving.
Exploring the boundary between fashion and biotechnological processes Amy is pushing the materiality of future fashion in a synthetic biology future.
Considering the potential of these accessories as extensions of our biological makeup as skin grafts and body modifications evolve she has also designed a series of speculative skin care products.
The ‘A.C. Skin Care Range' is an extension of her previous Biological Atelier work and are made up of the Graft Cleanser, Graft Toner, Graft Moisturiser, Bio-Skin Glue, Anti-Synth Bacterial Cream and Syn-Skin Treatment.
Amy's work was recently shown during the Big Data materials exhibition at Central St Martins as well as at the Envie/Alive exhibiton in Paris last summer.
Troika plant fiction
1st May 2013
Sadly I am not visiting Paris in the coming months and was unable to attend the private view last week, but I have been assured that the exhibition Envie/Alive that opened last week in Paris curated by Carole Collet is fantastic.
Interestingly most of the work is not new to me or those who work in this field, but it is for the first time that it is all under one roof.
Tackling such difficult subjects surrounding synthetic biology the exhibition showcases designers and artists who are exploring the bioengineered world.
Presenting a new design landscape with a glimpse to our synthetic future and a new ecological consideration the exhibition groups them under 5 headings
1/ The Plagiarists: (Nature as a model) those who look to nature to engineer man made and digital solutions.
2/ The New Artisans: (Nature as a co-worker) - those designers who are collaborating with nature to craft future consumer goods
3/ The Bio-Hackers: (Reprogrammed, ‘synthetic’ nature) designers working with synthetic biologists and who are engineering living organisms for a possible hybrid future
4/ The New Alchemists: (Hybridised nature) combining biological and chemical (non living) technology these designers merge robotics, chemistry and biology
5/ The Agents Provocateurs: (Conceptualised and imagined nature.)
Pushing the boundaries to the extreme these designers explore the ethics around living technology as well as high-tech sustainability.
Alongside the exhibition ‘En Vie-Alive’ is hosting 4 designers and architects who are already working with synthetic biology or tissue engineering and has them set up in a lab style scenario showing the new tool kit for designers of the future - DNA and bacteria.
14th September 2011
Another project researching into how future materials and production processes could incorporate bacteria has peaked my interest.
A project by Jannis Hulsen explores how an artificial cellulose material can be used to build a 'skin'. Similarly to the work of Suzanne Lee the material is grown around a given form and results in a fully biodegradable material.
Working in collaboration with Jenpolymers they have developed a technique that grows a skin around a wooden stool frame forming and coating a seating surface.
24th May 2011
Interested in the relationship between humans and mould, designer Ninela Ivanova plays with mould and fungai as a design tool. Using mould as a material for colour, pattern and form as well as exploring the science behind mould and its relationship to our constantly changing environment.
Questioning whether in the future we can use mould as a way of transforming our clothing resulting in the potential for season-less dressing Nelly's project has echoes of (In)visible Membrane by Sonja Bäumel, but takes a more fashion approach using colour and form to inform her designs.
The latest development for her project is her cultured shoulder pad where she has cultured and grown mould in a closed environment resulting in a thoroughly modern and unique aesthetic.
Part researcher, part fashion provocation her blog is worth a visit and she is certainly one to watch. Graduating from Kingston Fashion Futures Ma this September, Nelly is another designer to bridge the gap between science, design and materiality.
9th September 2010
These beautiful shots are the latest from Emily Crane who is making waves in the fashion world with her bio lace. She is one of the new materiologists that I have been talking about for a while.
Emily shot these pictures with her bio lace that is grown and cultivated using unique recipes that she has devised. Read my previous blog post to see some more process orientated pictures.
If you want to see the material itself, Emily will be showcasing it during London Fashion week at Vauxhall Fashion scout as part of Kingston Universities Body Laboratory on september the 17th (Invitation only) or at TENT London in the Brick House, Brick Lane.
She is currently working on a film showing her process which I have been promised will be sent to me as soon as it is edited. I will post it up as soon as Emily sends it as I have seen it and it is fantastic!