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

Advertisements

Fashion, Luxury and Sustainability at Supsi

Last thursday, 24th of July, I was invited at Supsi for a panel together with Amanda Montanari, about Fashion and sustainability within the Summer School on this topic. Below you can find my slides.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue reading Fashion, Luxury and Sustainability at Supsi

Makers e Copyright

(articolo uscito su Doppiozero)

Todd Blatt è un ingegnere meccanico di Baltimora appassionato di fantascienza e fantasy. Da un paio di anni passa il suo tempo a ricreare oggetti presenti nei film di genere di cui è appassionato. Todd frequenta anche la comunità online theRPF, i cui i membri condividono trucchi e istruzioni per realizzare i complementi di costumi accessoriati. Fin dagli anni ’90, gli utenti di theRPF sono una sorta di makers ante litteram che per dimostrare il proprio amore per un particolare film o serie tv si divertono a travestirsi come i personaggi, ricostruendo i materiali di scena, magari facendo crescere la propria reputazione online fino a riuscire a partecipare da protagonisti a una convention di Star Trek. E’ la principale “Prop community”, dall’inglese “Theatrical property”, materiali di scena.

Todd però è un prop diverso dagli altri. Perché i suoi accessori non sono realizzati con tecniche di artigianato classico, come la maggior parte degli altri; sono progettati con un programma CAD e i file sono caricati su una piattaforma online di servizio di stampa 3d. In questo modo, chi lo desidera può acquistarne una copia fisica, selezionando il materiale preferito. Sotto un certo punto di vista non si tratta di una vera e propria produzione, di quelle che vengono vendute in mercatini o nei negozi. Todd mette solo a disposizione il file in modo che copie fisiche siano prodotte e spedite on-demand a fan come lui sparsi in tutto il mondo. Dalla chiave Tardis del Dr.Who alla collana che indossa Harry Potter, sino ad arrivare ad Argus, il cubo sfaccettato che nel film di Steven Spielberg Super 8 va a comporre l’astronave aliena.

Per far conoscere la sua ultima creazione di cui va molto fiero, Todd ha scritto un post sul forum di theRPF e le reazioni non sono tardate. Due giorni dopo ha ricevuto una lettera di “Cease and Desist” dagli avvocati di Paramount Pictures (casa produttrice di Super 8): la richiesta di eliminare il file del cubo Argus dalla rete per non essere coinvolto in una causa legale per violazione di copyright. Sapendo di non poter perdere tempo e soldi contro un’istituzione dalla potenza di fuoco come la major in questione, Todd ha eliminato immediatamente il file. Continue reading Makers e Copyright

3d printing and wood at Paris fashion week

3dprinted dress

An experimental new material was put to use in the creation of a flexible, soft dress of stunning complexity, produce with Laser Sintering technique.

Austrian architect Julia Koerner explains, “My collaboration with Materialise for the 3D printed dress for Iris van Herpen’s Haute Couture Show ‘Voltage’ 2013 reveals a highly complex, parametrically generated, geometrical structure. The architectural structure aims to superimpose multiple layers of thin woven lines which animate the body in an organic way. Exploiting computational boundaries in combination with emergent technology selective laser sintering, of a new flexible material, lead to enticing and enigmatic effects within fashion design. New possibilities arise such as eliminating seams and cuts where they are usually placed in couture.”

Learn more here

Using a different technique and approach, Sruli Recht items are made of layers of walnut wood divided into triangles and then mounted on a textile base forming the geometric shapes of the garments.

Take a look at the video below (and spot the quadcopter!):