Tag: Hypermaterials


Hair Matter(s)

Clothing made of human hair. Alix Bizet, French student at the Design Academy Eindhoven, collected hair from African American hairdressers to create jackets and hats for her project Hair Matter(s). Why? Because she sees it as a sustainable solution, an animal-friendly alternative to fur and an entrancement of our cultural an ethnic differences.

We don’t know if fashionistas are willing to wear her striking outfits, what we certainly know is that our peculiar image of the week makes us shiver with Anthropomorphobia.

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The Sweating Wall

Let’s Sweat the Heat Out: Sweating Wall Concept

Researchers at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Spain have created a prototype called Hydroceramic: a composite material able to lower the temperature of an interior space by five degrees Celsius. Inspired by the sweating human skin, the team sees the modern architecture as an organism, exploring new design possibilities from both material and behavioural perspectives.

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Plastic Planet

The Plastic Problem #1: Biobased and Biodegradable Plastic

People involved into plastic matters predict that in the next thirty years the consumption of this particular and malleable material will go from the current 300-400 million tons to the double amount, at least. Plastic, or rather plastics were born from petroleum-derived polymers and had immediate success thanks to their mechanical and chemical properties and the low purchase cost.

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Plastic Planet

Marketing the Oceans

Eco-friendly fashion is in vogue, evidenced by terms like “recycled-material” and “sustainable manufacturing” battered around as selling points for everything from sheets to shoes. So, despite how easy it is to hide the source of a material, when designers venture into this brand of lifestyle-fashion the incentive it to reveal, not mask, a product’s recycled roots. Take the new Adidas concept shoe, crafted with recycled materials gathered from the oceans.

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Microbial Factories

Interview: Suzanne Lee, Fashion Innovator Who Grows Clothing in the Laboratory

Imagine you could grow your own clothes, using fermented tea, bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms that can spin the ingredients into eco-friendly fibers. This is exactly what fashion designer Suzanne Lee pioneered. She investigated the possibility of creating clothing through the use of microbial cellulose. For this research project Lee coined the term Biocouture, which transitioned to a biocreative consultancy some years ago.

Today, she is the Creative Director of Modern Meadow Inc, an innovative New York-based team of scientists, engineers, designers and artisans developing cultured animal products and exploring new ways to create sustainable animal materials, such as lab-grown leather. Lee is also founder of Biofabricate, the leading event for the field of design, biology and technology, focused on the emerging world of grown materials.

We recently talked with Suzanne Lee about the textile industry and technology, growing leather in the lab, and the use of new alternative materials in the future of fashion.

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The Sketchbook Made Of Artificial Skin

Time ago the NANO Supermarket presented a speculative product called Skin Paper, an innovative paper that grows with the user’s skin cells, breaking the boundaries of the body to create a personal epidermis diary.

Perhaps Tattoo Art Magazine was inspired by this visionary project to create The SkinBook, a sketchbook made of synthetic skin that allows beginner tattooists to practice their skills, before working with clients.

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The new 3D printing method
3D Printing

New 3D Printer Can Save Hours of Time

From buildings to artificial organs, 3D printing has the potential to print almost anything. However, one of the biggest limits of 3D printing is its slow printing speed. The current 3D printing technology prints an item by constructing them layer-by-layer, a process which can take several hours.

A team of researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill recently developed a new method that can reduce the printing process down to minutes.

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Using Shrimp Shell to Produce Bioplastics

Bugs are one of the most frequently imitated living species in science. Even the word “bug” is borrowed to describe software or hardware defects, spying devices or cult automobiles, such as the Volkswagen Beetle. The latest mimicry of these fascinating creatures has been developed by Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard. Researchers Javier Fernandez and Donald Ingber are inspired by the exoskeletons of bugs in order to produce sturdy, biodegradable plastics.

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Bioplastic Made of Pressed Insect Shells

Coleoptera by Aagje Hoekstra is certainly not the last bio-based project at the Dutch Design Week, but is a very interesting one for sure. Aagje’s approach is aimed at an already industrially ‘used’ insect. In the Netherlands mealworms are bred for the animal food industry. The mealworm eventually becomes the mealworm beetle which dies three to four months after laying its eggs. As there’s no use for them anymore their bodies are thrown away. However the beetle’s armor contains the substance chitin which is eventually converted to chitosan. These ‘chitosan shields’ can be pressed on to each other to form a paper-thin material. We see quirky, though beautiful, looking artifacts as a result.

Are quirky artifacts the beginning of a large-scale transition from our plastic world to a hybrid of organisms? Will the industry continue where the arts halted, or are we still repulsed by the idea of fungi kitchen appliances and mealworm lamps? Perhaps next years DDW will tell.

This article was originally published on Next Nature Lab