London-based suzanne lee, is a senior research fellow in the school of fashion / textiles, central saint martins, london. She is also the creative director of biocouture which investigates the growth of clothing through the use of bacterial cellulose. Lee’s latest garment – which uses these growing textiles – is the ‘biocouture’ jacket made from cellulose. Instead of coming from plants, the cellulose is produced by millions of tiny bacteria grown in bathtubs of sweet green tea.
I have been growing Kombucha cultures myself for the last year or so and they grow really easily. All they need is tea, sugar and some oxygen. As long as the container is not contaminated with harmful bacteria or germs, this wonder drink will continue fermenting. Suzanne Lee has a TED talk dedicated to making clothes from the culture as well, which you can find at the bottom of this post. Its cheap, accessible, biodegradable and probably even durable. I have always been drinking the beverage, its time for me to try to dry the cultures in to pieces of clothing myself.
Lucy Orta’s work considers the home as something that is dynamic and humans as nomadic. These objects become Architecture , fashion, and products all in one, merging the boundaries between them. You can simply pick up your home and while wearing it as a jacket, settle somewhere else.
Here is an interesting paper called “Dress for Stress Wearable technology and the social body” by Susan Elizabeth Ryan
This paper considers the work of artists, designers, and activists who, since the 1990s, have worked with body covering as survival mechanism and social tool. Individually or within collectives, they call their work art, design, or activism; or all three. The result is a “body of records” of technological, biological, and performable wearables that have not received the attention they deserve, both as art and design, and as vehicles for ideas about threats to species survival and collective experience.
For example, in the early 1990s artists created wearable artworks in the form of survival attire embedded in localized performative events concerned with social connection under adverse circumstances. Lucy Orta is prominent among such practitioners, who formulate clothing the body as critical, social, and ethical practice within an ambient “culture of fear.” (Fig. 1).
I call such work “critical garment discourse” (abbreviated as CGD), a term I propose to mean work in the form of fashion or clothing that concerns not just the body, but notions of dress–and dress, not just as historically viewed or normatively considered, but as experienced, situated and located, and empowered as a medium capable of significant commentary.
NIET NORMAAL Everyone’s heard of Average Joe, but has anyone ever met him? What does he look like and how does he act? Is he even a he? And could you be Average Joe? This website is dedicated to finding out. It’s part of Niet Normaal, a new exhibition which explores what is and isn’t normal through the work of cutting edge contemporary artists. To find out whether you look normal, click here. To find out whether you act normal, click here.
David Bowen’s Growth Modeling Device scooped up the grand prize in the Art Divistion category. The system attempts to replicate the daily growth of an onion plant.While lasers scan the onion from one of three angles, a fuse deposition modeler creates a plastic model based on the information collected. The device repeats this process every twenty-four hours scanning from a different angle. After a new model is produced the system advances a conveyor approx. 17 inches so the cycle can repeat. The result is a series of white plastic models illustrating a simple organic phenomenon from different angles.
Lawrence Malstaf‘s Nemo Observatorium
Common Flowers, by Shiho Fukuhara and Georg Tremmel (of the Biopresencefame), reverts the blue “Moondust” carnation -the first commercially available and purely aesthetic GM product- back to its natural white state using open-source DIY bio-bending methods and procedures. Photo on the homepage: Flood Helmet Gallery from the series Objects for Our Sick Planet, by ONG Kian-Peng. Text by Regine of WE MAKE MONEY NOT ART All pictures from the Japan Media Arts Festival.
Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is a designer, artist and researcher. Her work exhibited at the final show, The Synthetic Kingdom, explored how design could contribute to a field that most of us find a bit intimidating and distant from our daily preoccupations: synthetic biology.
Among Daisy’s latest activities are a residency she recently completed at SymbioticA, a collaboration with James King and Cambridge University’s iGEM 2009 grand-prizewinning team and then there’s Synthetic Aesthetics. This project investigates shared territory between design and synthetic biology, invites exchange of existing skills and approaches, and makes possible the development of new forms of craft and collaboration.
Synthetic biology is a bit of a daunting area of research. It seems to be highly technical and almost too abstract. How much background in Synthetic Biology would the designers and artists who apply for the residency need?
Synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to biology – living matter has become a new material for engineering, a new technology for design and construction. The promise is that we can simplify the way we engineer life, making it predictable and useful (though biology’s complexity still challenges us, for now). The discussions today are creating a framework that could influence biology and nature for generations to come.
The deeper I get, the more fascinating and complex it becomes and the faster the field is evolving. For the last two years I have been engaging with the construction of this potential future and the ethical implications it presents. My RCA projects, The Synthetic Kingdom – a proposal for a new branch of the Tree of Life – and Growth Assembly, with Sascha Pohflepp, investigate this (both currently on show in the Wellcome Trust’s windows).
Dunne and Raby, WHAT IF…, window display, 2010.
The principles behind synthetic biology are straightforward: standardization, abstraction and modularity. Synthetic Aesthetics is not looking for designers or artists necessarily expert in genetics, rather, how might design and art work in dialogue with the evolving science?We’re interested in the overlaps between synthetic biology and design, the ways that we can explore and interrogate science, opening up new thought areas and processes. We’re asking: how would you design nature?
Synthetic biology is multi-disciplinary, from computer scientists to mechanical engineers. As design advisor with James King to the 2009 Cambridge UniversityiGEM competition team (International Genetically Engineered Machines), we joined undergraduates in Maths, Physics, Engineering and other subjects in a two-week synbio crash course last July.
The Moss tables designed by Ayodhya has been shown at the IFFS – international furniture fair in singapore 2010.
Image/// Courtesy of Huberto Kororo
Recorded at Pappelallee 5 in Berlin, in 2006, mixed by Ivan Palacky in Brno a year later and finally, mastered by Toshimaru Nakamura in Tokyo, in October 2007, the cd (designed by Jaroslav Juřica and Zuzana Lehutová) consists of two editions, where „kempt“ represents a smoother kind of musical expressiveness, while „unkempt“ tends to be more experimental..
After opening (by tearing off the seal), the outer minimalistic graphic of the snow-white package is irretrievably disturbed by a single dark stain, which turns to the colour of the inner content.. While the graphic form of the edition is always constant, the colours vary. Depending on the technique of opening (like using a drill in order to create a peculiar mark) some patterns arise, which give each piece a certain uniqueness.