The design concept of this piece is based on the ideas of ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’; ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’; ‘flexible’ and ‘inflexible’.
In the foreseeable future, there will be no return to the ‘old normal’ life. I believe that some of the habits that we have developed during the pandemic won’t go away completely, and not just the habits of working from home and Zoom meeting, in addition, such as robots and telemedicine are gonna be here to stay. Harvard experts say some of our adaptations have accelerated already existing trends, like the development of a cashless society, the increase in remote work, and the decline of brick-and-mortar retail. And, they expect, some of these will become a more permanent part of the post-pandemic’s ‘new normal’. So the main material of this outfit is linen bedsheets, to show the concept of WFH and some other new habits that we’ve developed at home during the pandemic. As we are doing more and more activities online, undoubtedly, digital tools need to be enhanced, and cybersecurity will also become a bigger concern than ever before. Therefore, the cage skirt and the mesh over the shoulder serve as a reminder of cybersecurity traps, making the hidden able to be seen. And those square shapes also symbolize the pixels, Similarly, when we are looking at the screen, the pixels cannot be seen unless we magnify them and make them ‘visible’ to the eye.
The technology part was done by incorporating LED strip lights. There is an ultrasonic sensor (proximity) placed at the chest area so that when someone gets closer or the wearer makes the gesture of waving to someone, lights would be triggered and then turn from red to green to blue, which are the RGB colours that we see on our laptop screen. In addition, these lights also signify the new age, which is all about celebrating freedom; celebrating life. The ‘cage’ period is coming to an end, a new chapter will start. Red can be associated with love and passion, green can represent a new beginning and growth, while blue is associated with tranquility and calmness. May next year will bring an end to this pandemic and the start of an ‘abnormal’ normal lifestyle in which we finally decide it is time to build a fairer, more inclusive, and sustainable society.
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.
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.