Meeting at the makerspace with fashion tech designer Anouk Wipprecht

(originally posted on Digicult – versione italiana sotto)

In “The Diamond Age, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer”, a cyberpunk novel by Neal Stephenson, where a near-future world is revolutionised by nanotechnology, Constable – the protagonist’s adoptive father – asks her daughter Nell which path she wants to take: “conformity or rebellion?”. Nell’s goes: “Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded — they are only for people who cannot cope with contradiction and ambiguity.”

Somehow the path Anouk Wipprecht took in her life had to deal with some of the challenges which reminded me of Nell and, like her, she didn’t allow creativity to be sacrificed for conformity. Back in September I spent with Anouk a day wandering from location to location here in Milan, in order to meet all the appointments of her schedule and then perform at Meet the Media Guru, a series of events featuring international leaders in digital culture discussing a variety of topics from science to fashion and environment.

Her work as a fashion tech designer brings her all over the world, especially in the US, where a diverse range of companies like Intel, Samsung and Swarovski commissioned her installations and products mixing the futuristic aesthetics of digital fabrication design, with the most innovative components of wearable tech. Since she started working in this field 12 years ago, she’s been developing 37 projects mainly transforming dresses into interfaces: through the use of robotics and open hardware finally fashion starts talking to us.

During our conversation and her keynotes, it’s clear how for Anouk Wipprecht that fashion means mainly dealing with expressiveness and communication. Born in the Netherlands she studied fashion since age 14 even if her family, not having a wealthy background, would have preferred she’d chosen something more oriented to a “real job”, like being a lawyer or a doctor. In those days Anouk was into drawing and the act of sketching garments became a way to express herself and overcome her introvert attitude. Continue reading Meeting at the makerspace with fashion tech designer Anouk Wipprecht


Meeting at the makerspace with living-textile inventor: Lining Yao

(originally posted on Digicult – versione italiana sotto)

In the last years a new generation of researchers are perceiving the world around us in a different way. They see objects and materials through a multiplicity of properties and features which open different ways to interact with them. They’ve realized that most of the matter is able to respond to energy sources like temperature, moisture, light, pressure, vibration, electricity and this capacity activates a series of possible transformations we can control.

They call them smart materials or programmable matter and their experiments explore how these materials can respond and adapt to environments. At the same time, they are also shaping an alternative way to expand the realm of digital fabrication. The most visible feature of these smart materials is that we can talk about interaction design getting rid of screens, phones and blinking lights because the smartness is programmed in the material itself.

One of the most interesting approach to this field of research is when we can go beyond man-made systems and enter the biological kingdom and this is the focus of chinese-born designer Lining Yao. I stumbled upon the video of her Biologic project published some weeks before where she explains her work at MIT mixing biology, fashion and digital fabrication.

The video shows two dancers wearing Second Skin, a garment developed within the research, which we can see reacting to the change of their bodies’ conditions. When humans exercise our skin is able to take away the excessive heat through sweat and the garments we wear sometimes prevent this process. With Second Skin Lining Yao developed an ecosystem between the textile and the human body because created a bacteria composite, 3d printed it on the flaps of the garment: when the flaps perceive the humidity, they open up to make the skin cool down more easily. Continue reading Meeting at the makerspace with living-textile inventor: Lining Yao

Moda Modulare a Zurigo e Bari

Nei mesi scorsi ho tenuto due sessioni di Moda Modulare durante la Mini Maker Faire di Zurigo e presso La Scuola Open Source a Bari.
Nel primo caso è durato 4 ore e i partecipanti hanno progettato un modulo di feltro e testato i suoi incastri. Nel secondo caso invece, le 12 ore di corso e il lavoro di gruppo hanno permesso di raggiungere dei risultati più importanti perchè i partecipanti sono riusciti a realizzare dei veri e propri accessori.

Attraverso l’utilizzo di un software vettoriale e la macchina al taglio laser, si sono esplorate le potenzialità di tridimensionalità nella costruzione di moduli regolari che poi sono assemblati senza cuciture realizzando inedite tassellature.

La prossima edizione di Moda Modulare si terrà a Milano il 26 e 27 di Gennaio presso il Milano Luiss Hub. Iscrivi qui!

Esplora la Gallery su flickr:

Moda Modulare - Bari

Il broccato dei telai a torre di Chengdu

L’allevamento del baco da seta in Cina ha avuto origine nel Sichuan più di 4000 anni fa quando Chengdu era la capitale del regno di Shu. E proprio con questo nome, Shu, viene chiamato  il broccato con origini più  antiche da cui tutti gli altri si sono poi evoluti.

Il broccato è un particolare tipo di tessitura che permette di ottenere delle illustrazioni complesse, alternando fili molto sottili di seta, che danno l’impressione di essere ricamate su stoffa.

Il commercio dei tessuti di broccato si articolò attraverso la via della seta, in tutta l’Asia e in Europa a partire proprio da Chengdu, in cui la manifattura della seta (dall’allevamento dei bachi fino alla confezione degli abiti) e il suo commercio si sviluppò fino a raggiungere, nella dinastia Qing, la diffusione di 10 mila telai e più di 2000 laboratori attivi.

Nel 2009 ha inaugurato il Chengdu Shu Brocade and Embroidery Museum, su iniziativa della Chengdu Silk Corporation, azienda statale che dagli anni ’50-’60 ha organizzato la produzione utilizzando telai meccanici perché il costo della manodopera era diventato eccessivo, e l’utilizzo di telai completamente manuali non riesce a superare una produzione di 6-8 centimetri al giorno di broccato. Continue reading Il broccato dei telai a torre di Chengdu

Corso di Wearable ed eTextile a Milano!

Dal 9 al 24 Ottobre insieme a Giorgia Petri, tengo la prima edizione del corso di 90 ore sul tema di Wearable ed eTextiles. Il nostro è uno dei vari corsi nella sezione Digital Design & Making curati da WeMake all’interno della Fastweb Digital Academy a Cariplo Factory.

Il corso è gratuito perchè supportato da Fastweb e Fondazione Cariplo, ma è a numero chiuso: le candidature sono aperte in questa pagina.
Continue reading Corso di Wearable ed eTextile a Milano!

A distributed academy on Fashion and Tech starting in September

Fabricademy is a transdisciplinary course that focuses on the development of new technologies applied in the textile industry, in its broad range of applications, from the fashion industry and the upcoming wearable market.
After participating to the bootcamp coordinated by Anastasia Pistofidou and Cecilia Raspanti at Fablab Barcelona, WeMake Milan became one of the official nodes taking part to Fabricademy and I will also be curating the module on Circular Open Source Fashion !  Check the other modules and subscribe (deadline August31st).

Unlike other academies, Fabricademy offers an innovative distributed rather than distance educational model: students learn in local workgroups, with peers, mentors, and machines, which are then connected globally by content sharing and video for interactive classes. The individual labs are supported and supervised regionally by supernode sites with more advanced capabilities, expertise, and inventories.

Have any question? Drop me an email info(at)

Textile Academy bootcamp in Barcelona

Fabricademy is a new textile academy  functioning on the same principles and infrastructure of the global Fab Lab network, but focused on new alternative materials, processes and techniques related to textiles, wearables and soft fabrication. The class will be launched in September 2017, with a top level faculty and an extensive program of 13 weeks, followed by two months of individual project development. Many labs around the world have already expressed interest in participating to this program and it will be opening soon students applications. The course is planned to be carried out all over the world with local and remote sessions. Continue reading Textile Academy bootcamp in Barcelona