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Perspectives

Our thoughts on new trends, ideas, technologies as well as updates on ongoing projects, press, exhibitions and events.

Perspectives on trends, ideas and technologies

 

Shifting Surfaces

Behnaz Farahi’s Caress of the Gaze garment was inspired by involuntary yet visible animal responses, such as the way a porcupine’s quills become more rigid when it senses a threat. The piece was 3-printed and incorporates both flexible and inflexible elements to create a complex structure that moves in response to an onlooker’s gaze. 

Caress of the Gaze, Behnaz Farahi

Caress of the Gaze, Behnaz Farahi

A front-mounted camera detects the visual orientation of surrounding beings, causing the shape-memory alloy to shift accordingly. How might this visible reaction be interpreted by others around the wearer? What will the impact of such garments be on interpersonal relationships and human interaction? What are the implications of being able to inform or be informed by such behaviour in various situations?

Shape Shifters is a range of modular wear by Angelene Fenuta, developed as a result of re-thinking the way we manufacture garments. The pieces showcase hinge-based systems designed by Fenuta to enable silhouette versatility, offering an alternative to continuous mass consumption and the idea of purchasing more clothing with every season. What are the opportunities in using such systems for mass personalisation?

Shape Shifters, Angelene Fenuta. Image by Danny Baldwin.

Shape Shifters, Angelene Fenuta. Image by Danny Baldwin.

Last but not least, the BioLogic fabric designed by MIT Media Lab’s Tangible Media Group: this responsive fabric was featured on a significant number of online platforms last year and was formed as part of the group’s research on bacillus subtilis natto

Natto textile, MIT Tangible Media Group

Natto textile, MIT Tangible Media Group

The idea is that at 100% humidity level, the natto cells cause strategically-placed flaps to curl open thus enhancing breathability when it is needed most. This natural cooling system has been used in designing a collection of activewear in partnership with New Balance and the Royal College of Art.

What other bio-materials could be grown or manipulated accordingly, and what does this mean for the apparel industries? How will this impact the way garments are designed, manufactured or even worn? Will we have to develop new methods of washing or cleaning as a result? What about the concept of fast fashion or haute couture?