The Next Black

21st May 2014

With the world of fashion in flux about issues surrounding sustainability, wearable electronics and future consumption, AEG have commissioned a beautiful and thought provoking film exploring where the future of fashion sits at the intersection of technology, biology and sustainability.

Titled The Next Black the films thoughtful approach talks to pioneers in this field to include Nancy Tilbury at Studio XO, Suzanne Lee who pioneered bioCouture as well as Patagonia and Adidas.

As well as more well known innovators in this area they also introduce us to a waterless dyeing technique that uses 50% less energy and 50% less water than current widely used dyeing processes.

Using super critical carbon dioxide to dye the fabrics, Sophie Mather from YEH explains the impact that dyeing textiles has on our environment and the impact that fast fashion has had on the tonnes of textiles made and dyed each year. Contextualising the enormity of the impact of the hidden side of fashion, Mather along with the others in the film eloquently puts the future impact of fashion into reality.

As the narrator highlights in the film, which future will reign supreme in the fashion world, be it tech or biology or simply the consumer taking a more caring role in consuming less is unknown, but what is known is that something certainly does have to change.











DNA

14th March 2014

DNA testing and genetic modification are not new, but what is interesting is that a series of designers are looking to explore the ethics of this in a rash of projects.

The most surprising route is fashion designer Iris Van Herpen who's latest collection showed models suspended above the catwalk in vacuum packed bags posing the question 'Do we own our own bodies?'
She also referenced sequencing aesthetics in her repetitive patterning on some of her garments whilst others resembled other worldly surfaces with enhanced shine.

The collection titled Biopiracy brings into debate the recent patents on our genes and the increasing accessibility to DNA testing and sequencing.

Similarly Artist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo has created a DNA vending machine that dispenses human genetic material. The DNA Vending Machine replaces snacks with samples of peoples genetic code which can then be bought.

Also driven by a social comment on a patent granted in 2013 that would allow a gene perfecting system for future parents to control the characteristics of their children, Ben Landau showed his First Gift Blanket during Dutch Design week last year.

A modern take on the heirloom blanket to be passed from generation to generation the blanket has interwoven into it familial DNA sequencing putting into question the value of our personal data. Alongside the blanket he also asked visitors to donate their DNA for sequence testing.










Haute Bacon

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.












Faber Futures

17th February 2014

Exploring the intersection between nature, science, technology and data, ‘Faber Futures’ is a design project embracing a new craft.

Utilising biotechnologies in order to create a new level of materiality, Natsai Chieza's work explores how we can push the boundaries of textile design.

Extracting pigment from plants root's, bacterial colonies are then harvested to produce dyestuff. Using bacteria that she grows as 'an ink factory' she then uses textile techniques such as screen printing and dyeing using the colour that she harvests from the grown bacteria.

Her 'living factory' dyes silk in a petri dish creating unique patterns and colour. Working in collaboration with Professor John Ward and his Lab at UCL,London it is work in progress and deep in research with a wider vision of where such a practice could take the textile industry. Aiming for a pre defined colour chart from the synthesis of the bacteria is the goal.

The latest textile designs have been growing and naturally designing themselves during a 3 week long project that has been held at Central St Martins - Natsai's work was shown alongside a live design-science project in collaboration with the Medical Research Council as part of the ‘Fabrics of Life’ series.

For three weeks, a gallery at Central St Martins became an incubator studio where emerging designers and architects created new design scenarios around the questions of:

How can biology help solve critical issues connected to the explosion of data?

and

If a living material can store data, how do we design with it?

A series of 6 projects were developed exploring Big Data: Designing with the materials of life - the best of which I will post about in the coming week.








The Biological bakery

28th January 2014

Having been quiet for a while Lucy McRae has just premiered her latest materials/meets fantasy/meets/future laboratory in collaboration with Rachel Wingfield.

Titled 'The Biological Bakery' they have created a series of weird and wonderful bio fab lab machines for the music video for Australian band Architecture In Helsinki. Titled:Dream A Little Crazy, minaturised band members are made into edible delicacies and proposes a world where
Willy Wonka meets synthetic biology.

Collaborating for the first time Lucy and Rachel both explore science and fiction in new and fantastical ways and their combined energy and curious minds is truly manifested in this promo. Showcased as part of
Protein x C4 Random Acts: last night, Dream A Little Crazy it is worth a watch.



Today Lucy sent me a link to the behind the scenes making of which is worth a watch too to see how bricollage, simple and engaging her process is.

About


I use this blog as a notebook of inspirations – I post things I see and like and thoughts of mine. I don't revolve around a singular topic and neither does this blog. Everything and anything is relevant


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