Biomimicry

Biomimicry is a practice that learns from nature’s wisdom as plants, animals, insects, and other living organisms have evolved over billions of years in order to survive and adapt to dynamic environments, and many natural adaptations have proved to be more effective than man-made solutions. The biomimicry term appeared in 1982, it was invented and published by Janine Benyus, an American natural sciences writer, in her most significant 1997 book – “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature”. She claimed to look to nature as a “Model, Measure, and Mentor” and she also suggested that the main aim of biomimicry is sustainability.

Biomimicry has been used by scientists and designers as a huge source of inspiration to create more efficient and more sustainable designs for different purposes. It always has been and will continue to be so in the future as we can see the world demanding more eco-friendly solutions. In 2011,  there was a project called Biomimicry done by fashion designer Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse. She created a collection of sustainable and durable garments by mimicking nature’s natural patterns and shapes like reptile skins. To minimise waste, she collected discarded pieces of plywood and cut the shapes out as efficiently as possible, and then layered them onto unbleached organic cotton. Another project is Biomimicry Shoe (Bird Skull Shoe), which was designed in the same year by designer Marieka Ratsma in collaboration with architect Kostika Spaho. The idea of this Biomimicry Shoe was also inspired by a combination of nature and modern technology. It highlights the aesthetics and the shape of a bird’s skull and uses 3D printing technology to manage to produce such a wearable product with a lightweight and efficient structure, which requires less support material, resulting in optimal efficiency, strength, and elegance.

References:

  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110016815001702
  • http://www.osmosis-industries.com/digital/2015/4/21/nature-inspired-fashion-design-through-the-theory-of-biomimicry
  • https://www.behance.net/gallery/2056440/Biomimicry-MA-Fashion-2011
  • https://trendland.com/marieka-ratsma-biomimicry-shoe/

Wearable Technology

UV Dress (2012)

The UV Dress was designed by Diffus Design, in collaboration with the Alexandra Institute and with fashion designer Mette Lindberg and interaction designer Martina Uhling. It was specifically designed for an exhibition about health care and both positive and negative consequences of UV light. They wanted to create a demonstration of how human behaviour in relationship to the sun could suggest a more creative look. It was meant as an artistic statement on sunlight and well-being, rather than a product or a solution. The apertures on the surface of the dress are made in textiles added some stiffening material and can open and close in relation to how much sunshine the wearer is exposed to. UV sensors are put on the shoulder of the dress to detect the level of UV light. And some small motors operate a system of strings to let the apertures open and close according to the UV light level. When the detected UV level is very high, these circular openings will be completely closed to avoid the wearer’s skin being hit by the sunlight. When the UV level is low, the openings will open up to let the sunlight reach the skin.

 

 

Reference

  • https://diffus.dk/work/project-uv-dress
  • https://digicult.it/news/dresses-natural-elements-and-weather-in-the-age-of-high-tech-fashion/

Creative Industry Report: Rei Kawakubo

Who is Rei Kawakubo, emblematic figure of fashion ?

Rei Kawakubo, born in 1942. She is a Japanese fashion designer, based in Tokyo and Paris. She is the founder of Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market. Kawakubo was not formally trained as a fashion designer. She took a degree in ‘the history of aesthetics’ at Keio University in Tokyo. After graduation in 1964, Kawakubo worked in the advertising department at the textile company Asahi Kasei. And in 1967, she became a freelance stylist. Two years later, when she could not find the clothes that she wanted for a photo shoot, she decided to design and make her own clothes under the label Comme des Garçons, French for “like some boys” (though she has never wanted to be like anyone). She opened her first boutique in Tokyo, 1973, setting up the brand’s non-conformist: empty shop windows, clothes at the back of the store and no mirrors at all. The message is very clear: you buy an item from Comme des Garcons for what it brings to you, not for what it makes you look like.

Who is Rei Kawakubo, emblematic figure of fashion ?

In recognition of the notable design contributions of Kawakubo, an exhibition of her designs entitled Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garçons, Art of the In-Between opened from 4 May to 4 September 2017 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This thematic show features approximately 140 examples of Kawakubo’s womenswear for Comme des Garçons dating from the early 1980s to her most recent collection, illustrating the designer’s revolutionary experiments in “in-betweenness”-the space between boundaries. Kawakubo’s creative pieces are always abstract, unconventional, and unpredictable-they are always beyond our expectations. As rather than respond to trends, she rooted her designs in concepts, straddling art and fashion. Because most of her works did not fit the industry’s perception of what women wanted, especially her early works, her designs were sometimes described as anti-fashion.

One of her works that left a deep impression on me is the Spring/Summer 1997 collection, she took the idea of ‘rethinking the body’ a step further and launched her famous ‘Lumps ‘n Bumps’ collection, called ‘Dress Meets Body, Body Meets Dress,” where the dress and the body become one: this collection integrated organic padded structures made out of goose down feathers, and completely disfigured the body. It reformed the human body and blurred the boundaries between dress and body, object and subject. It was a celebration of deformity and was challenging the normative conventions of beauty.  

“For something to be beautiful it doesn’t have to be pretty… Comme des Garçons is a gift to oneself, not something to appeal or to attract the opposite sex,” Kawakubo’s iconoclastic vision made her one of the most influential designers of the late 20th century. However, her ambition was never to become a designer, she just wanted to use fashion as a material to make a business out of creation. Kawakubo likes to have input in all the various aspects of her business, instead of just focusing on clothes and accessories. She is greatly involved in graphic design, advertising, interior design and installations, believing that all these things are a part of one vision and are inextricably linked. And she does inspire me to learn to accept new things and changes; rethink about what beauty means to me and continue to push the boundaries, and eventually find out my own way of creation.

 

References:

Thurman, J. (2014). The Unsettling Vision of Rei Kawakubo. Available at: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2005/07/04/the-misfit

Who is Rei Kawakubo, e. (2019). Who is Rei Kawakubo, emblematic figure of fashion? | EN. Available at: https://graduatestore.fr/en/blog/155_who-is-rei-kawakubo-emblematic-figure-of-fash

Rei Kawakubo | Biography & Facts. (2020). Available at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rei-Kawakubo

Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between – Rei Kawakubo – Google Arts & Culture. Available at: https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/rei-kawakubocomme-des-garons-art-of-the-in-between/_wGgT4GUfCkQLw

 

Project 2B_Research and Process

Reference

When I got the idea of doing my zine about discovering the black and white elements in Little India, the first thing came into mind was the design of Chanel and Dior magazine.

Images from Pinterest- minimalist style

https://aperture.org/shop/zoe-crosher-the-disappearance-of-michelle-dubois-book/ 
Process

Initially, I didn’t have a clear idea about the design of my cover. After the consultation with Shirley, I decided to draw patterns that I found in Tekka Centre in Little India on my front cover.


I put a picture of a door on the first page to show that    I used the photo of the outside view of Park 22 Hotel, which was the first building that I found in Little India that designed in colour of black and white only.  I was trying to make everything organised and put them in horizontal and vertical alignment.

For the spread of BIRDS, I used film strip as a border of the photos to show that this spread is like playing a documentary about the pigeons daily life in Little India.

I was trying to place the photos in a collage manner and made adjustments of their size and orientation to create a sense of depth. In addition, added some round shapes for the background to bring out a joyful atmosphere.

For the spread of CLOTHES, I got inspiration from the design idea of Dior Magazine. Then, I tried to tilt some of the pictures a bit and added some illustrations to make this spread more interesting and vivid.

Tried to create a diagonal arrangement in idea 2.

Test Print

In the end, pattern and map were both kept on my back cover. And I changed the style of the map to match the design of my front cover.

Final Work

Reflection

I was really enjoyed when I was doing this project, going down to the location, strolling around and taking photos, which is a kind of things that I would like to do in my spare time. In addition, one point added to my Indesign skills. 🙂 I have never ever touched Indesign before, it’s really cool to learn new things, although it’s hard at the beginning. Never stop learning and exploring, and try to jump out of the box to find out something different and unique.

 

Locale Gallery

Locale_Collection of data

Project 2A_Little India

Little India is located in the centre area of Singapore and at the east of the Singapore River. (MRT Station: NE7/DT12)

Little India is one of Singapore’s most vibrant ethnic districts, as well as a buzzing historic area with a vibrant culture in Singapore. Walking down the Serangoon Street and the neighbouring streets, I have seen a lot of Hindu and Chinese temples, mosques and churches.

As I entered Little India, the first thing that caught my eyes were the vibrant colours. I could hardly find any monochromatic elements.

Ideation

However, I still believe the existence of them. So I decided to stroll around and discover the little bits of black and white in the colourful Little India.

Collection of Data

Park 22 Hotel, which was the first building that I found in Little India that designed in colour of black and white, both inside and outside. The staff there was very friendly and also allowed me to take photos inside.

I found a lot of pigeons which are in black and white colours around Little India. They are eating, sleeping, playing, and strolling here everyday. So I decided to do a documentary about pigeons life in Little India.

All the clothes here are found at the second level in Tekka Centre, which is an open-air Centre with a large indoor ‘wet’ market, as well as some goldsmith shops and sari stores.

 

 

Locale Gallery

Locale Process