The future of fashion is only possible through education. That is why we have created the Designer in Residence programme. It is an educational initiative aiming to fill the gaps between fashion design, high-tech, and science. The result of which will stimulate designers to develop innovative solutions like smart textiles, disruptive applications in the fields of electronics and technology, and much more. Get to know it here.
Let’s get to know the projects of the four generations of the Designer in Residence programme by ThePowerHouse.
Bianca Cheng Costanzo is a former Apple designer and a veteran of the MIT Media Lab who explores the ways that digital themes integrate themselves into daily life.
MAREA is a jacket that reminds city dwellers about the soft changes in nature. Animated waves wash slowly over the front of the jacket, just over the heart, displaying the high and low tides of the sea closest to home. This subtle digital ornamentation allows us to passively interact with data in the same way as we do with natural environments.
The low-power, paper-like E-ink displays first commercialized 20 years ago at MIT are now being developed for the wearable market. MAREA employs an ultra-thin, lightweight, and glass-free flexible E-ink display manufactured by Plastic Logic Germany. The wearable display platform integrated into the jacket was developed by TEN Electronics, a Moscow-based company focused on low-energy solutions in the field of flexible electronics for both professional and consumer markets.
German entrepreneur and fashion designer Lilien Stenglein founded her Berlin-based label Lilien Finess Design in 2016. She is working in the intersection between technology and fashion and approaches her collections with an interdisciplinary perspective and business background.
Now covering all chakras on the torso, smart textiles are an essential part of the second generation Inforce Yoga collection. Odour-neutralizing, silver-based material is integrated under the armpits and in the lining of the pockets where it protects from electric radiation caused by mobile phones. Cool bamboo jersey is used to increase haptic feeling on the skin. For a visual impact, all of the materials are laser-engraved with a pattern inspired by the geometric signs that symbolize chakra points.
The designs feature laser engraving and two smart textiles: a 99% pure silver material and natural smart bamboo fiber.
The Singe Coat
Designed by Bianca Cheng Constanzo and Laura Hughes, the Singe Coat is a reaction to modern conspicuous consumption- the demonstration of wealth and economic power through the purchasing of lavish goods and services. Flames consume and must be fed like this means of personal identity. The E-Ink flame animation in the pockets is a tongue and cheek reference to the idiom “burning a hole in your pocket.” This idiom refers to the impatient and frivolous spending. The oversized silhouette implies the idea of excess and the coat cocoons the body with material comforts.
The Singe Coat employs an ultra-thin, lightweight, and glass-free flexible E-ink display manufactured by Plastic Logic Germany. The wearable display platform integrated into the coat was developed by TEN Electronics, a Moscow-based company focused on low-energy solutions in the field of flexible electronics for both professional and consumer markets.
Stargazer questions and predicts what the future of fashion will be like, with the help of the stars themselves. This piece was designed by Anja Dragan and the astrology inspired prints created in collaboration with Berlin-based artist V Wolfe, transferred onto the garments using a laser engraving technique.
The technology used explores the capabilities of the laser cutting machine and presents a more environmentally- and user-friendly alternative to screen or digital printing on textile materials. Laser cutting is not only very precise, but also makes it possible to create different kinds of see-through or almost invisible prints. For the showpiece, a woven fabric consisting of three layers – white, black, and white – was used. As the top layer was engraved, the black print emerged.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
Lina Wassong’s Symbiosis dress is a homage to the beautiful natural phenomenon in which two species share the same habitat and benefit from each other. With the wearer and the integrated electronics symbolically connected, the piece is a combination of delicate design and advanced software technology. Through the seamless interface, the wearer can shift the microcontroller from “listening“ into “observing“ mode and watch the dress change as it reacts to the surrounding environment.
Laser cutting and 3D printing with Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) that allows high-resolution prints in complex shapes give the design its final touch.
City of Sound bolero
The City of Sound bolero is a collective project with ElektroCouture in-house designer Sofie Di Bartolomeo. In this work, she focuses on 3Dprinting on textiles and joined forces with DimensionAlley, Berlin’s first 3D printing shop.
For the City of Sound bolero the designers recorded actual traffic noises and converted them into a three-dimensional pattern, which reminds of a big city skyline. The improvisational traffic map of Germany embraces the contours on the wearer’s back and arms and symbolically points towards how movement influences our daily lives. The jacket is made from soft faux-leather and suede with the 3D design printed directly onto the material using flexible and stiff biodegradable plastics. For a clean finish, a laser-cut surface was added that fits precisely with the cityscape pattern.
As a multimedia biotechnical designer and head of TheLab at ElektroCouture, Lusi Ajonjoli creates new materials from biowaste and other organic matter. Her projects evolve around the life cycles of sustainable materials and environmental remediation. Sofie Di Bartolomeo is a textile and clothing designer from ElektroCouture – her focal point is the interaction between textiles, materials and the body. For the creation of bespoke wearable pieces, di Bartolomeo uses laser cutting and 3D printing among other advanced production processes.
As the inaugural project of TheLab at ElektroCouture, K-Lapse dress connects biotechnology with fashion by using “vegan leather”, a textile made with fermented black tea. For the production of the piece the designers used the SCOBY agent (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) that is fed and raised with a sugary organic tea.
Movement Detection, SLA 3D printing
Berlin-based engineer and designer Lina Wassong seeks innovative ways of changing the analog world into a digital environment.
Self-learning systems and the integration of autonomous machines let us explore technology from a new perspective. The Parallax dress merges artificial intelligence with complex evolutionary behavior and makes us rethink intelligence in our digital age. The design concept is based on the unique nervous system of an octopus. The octopuses’ control center extends into all eight limbs, allowing the arms to move autonomously, which gives it specialized problem-solving abilities.