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

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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

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)dazoescope.com

Open Lecture at CIID

Last February I visited Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and gave an Open Lecture on Soft Circuits, DIY and empowerment. 

 

Wearable technology Workshop for SLEM

Last week I was in Vigevano at the ShoeStyle Lab (Museo Internazionale della Calzatura) to run a 3-day workshop about open source DIY soft circuit using Arduino Lilypad with SLEM students visiting Italy for some days.

SLEM is an international innovation and training institute for footwear and leather related industries and offer a 9-month program and several short courses for companies and professionals.

Students worked in groups and prototyped smart shoes using light sensors, a textile pressure sensor we crafted in the previous days and the Folded Slipper from Openwear opensource wearable collection.

At WeMake we provide a series of workshops, courses and training regarding new approaches of fashion production related to digital fabrication technologies. Drop me an email if you are interested!

Here’s some pictures of the thee days:

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Explore the complete gallery on WeMake’s flickr account.

Wearables e tessuti intelligenti a D.N.O

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Dal 27 giugno al 3 luglio WeMake ha partecipato a Digital Experience Week, settimana dedicata allo sviluppo della conoscenza dell’innovazione digitale, alle mutazioni degli stili di vita, alle scoperte scientifiche e all’innovazione a Milano organizzata da Class.

Siamo stati invitati a esporre nell’area a cura di Italo Rota ed Emilio Antinori intitolata D.N.O. Digital Native Objects, mostra dedicata ai produttori di oggetti di robotica applicata, agli oggetti e agli strumenti che coinvolgono il digitale e il quotidiano, esplorando le loro potenzialità e le possibili espansioni.

Alla mostra presso Palazzo Giureconsulti (via Mercanti, 2 – h.10-19) abbiamo esposto The Culture Dress, il risultato della Maker in Residence che Afroditi Psarra e Dafni Papadopoulou hanno svolto a WeMake durante la settimana della moda nel 2015.

Inoltre sabato 2 luglio ho parlato Wearables e tessuti intelligenti nella sessione delle talk pomeridiane:

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Textile sensor workshop at the Eu Parliament

On May 31, the EU institutions  hosted the first-ever EU Institutional Maker Faire in the European Parliament building.

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I was invited by organizers to give a 1-hour workshop about wearables, so I proposed a simple hands-on activity to involve participants into discovering the world of e-textile:

“Make a DIY textile sensor” – Smart textiles are fabrics developed with new technologies allow seamless integration of textiles with electronic elements like microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators. Wearable electronics gained lots of attention because they are becoming more accessible to the non-technical crowd thanks to recent open source and educational approach. In this workshop you’ll learn about textile sensors and soft interactions: create your own sensor and connect it with a micro-controller to explore its behaviour.

Here’s a gallery of images about the event:

And some twits from participants:

 

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