Materials and Design Innovation and Provocation
Commission MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York) for Items: Is Fashion Modern? 2017
Beazley Design of the Year, Design Museum, London 2018 shortlisted
Caskia: Growing a MarsBoot (2016-20) is an art and design research project positioned in the fashion product sectors. The work focuses on strategies for more sustainable material and fabrication design by proposing systems of manufacture in the enclosed ecosystem, space. In this design narrative material is brought in small and expanded via growth and 3D print processes with the wearers assistance and own sweat to make woman’s boots during the seven-month journey to Mars. Outputs included iterative mycelium variant and 3D print design prototypes and film.
The project was in collaboration with Maurizio Montalti, Officina Corpuscoli with MOGU supplying developed R&D mycelium variants including leather alternatives and with Manolis Papastavrou work on computational design and stimulating discussions and support with artist/ researcher and co-director OurOwnsKIN Rhian Solomon.
The project was originally commissioned by Paola Antonelli for MoMA’s first fashion exhibition in 73 years Items: Is Fashion Modern? (2017) ‘which explored the present, past—and sometimes the future—of 111 items of clothing and accessories that have had a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries—and continue to hold currency today.’ (MoMA , 2017)
Antonelli and team reached out and commissioned eleven international designers/ design companies specialising in various aspects of fashion design. I was commissioned as the footwear designer with an option of six archetypal footwear design items to design and prototype in a way which captured 21st century contextual issues and values. I chose Technica’s Moonboot (1972) as it represented the last material innovation age (The Plastics Age) and captured the imagination of our values so well in how we could live. On the edge of a new materials innovation and pressing social/ economic and sustainable issues…Mars was a great context in which to reimagine how we may live.
Research was exciting speaking to space, footwear, material specialist and inspiring designers. Working with the material was challenging
The aim was…
- to advance material and design innovations for everyday products (footwear).
- to raise public/industry awareness of design-led opportunities and challenges moving from a plastic throwaway society towards biomaterials/renewable circular economies, and associated cultural/ethical values in material/design narratives.
- MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York) Items: Is Fashion Modern? commission, exhibition, book, curator Paola Antonelli, September 2017–February 2018
- Beazley Design of the Year, Design Museum London 2018, award described as “Oscars of the design world” (Black, Co-director The Design Museum, 2018) September 2018 – February 2019
- The XXII Triennale di Milano, Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival, curator Paola Antonelli – exhibition, book, March-October 2019
- Moving to Mars Design Museum, London, 80K visitors rated 4-5star, (plus touring) Tekniska Museet, Stockholm 2020-21
- Coursera – Fashion as Design – business/design online course for students/industry 230K rated 4.8 of 5star (2,393 reviews) since 2017