Fleshing Out: Day 1 Seminar

A report by Leonieke Verhoog of the first day of the Fleshing Out event.

Fleshing Out: Day 1 Seminar - Report

By Leonieke Verhoog

Seminar at 9 November 2006
Organized by V2_Institute for Unstable media and Virtueel Platform

In the 21st Century it seems, everybody is dropping electronic technology in to design and clothing, without thinking about the consequences. The discourses and values of the fashion industry and those of the electronic giants clash with each other. That's why new manufacturing protocols have to be made.

The first speaker of the day, Suzanne Lee, Senior research fellow in fashion at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London, author of “Fashioning the Future — Tomorrows wardrobe", said the goal of these two days devoted to wearable interfaces, smart materials and living fabrics is to know more about how these hybrid forms can merge, learn from each other, acknowledge and ignore each other.

The main players

Who is involved in this discussion? Of course the clothing industries, who use clothes as textile interfaces, like a snowboard coat with a integrated MP3 player, and who traditionally use garments as a display of identity. Electronic technology converts the role of the consumer and the brand. Different disciplines within art and design take a look at garments as a part of a wider information landscape as well, where it can also interact with the environment (the text on Thecla Schiphorst will go deeper into this subject).

There can also be a critique within a garment that contains a social message (Ionat Zurr’s SymbioticA and Tobie Kerridge’s BioJewellery), and it can be used by interaction designers as well to answer questions like: 'How can we use clothes to create connections between people, the wearer, its emotions, its movement and its environment?' It can also send data from your body to, for example, medical helpers.

We are in the early stages of a revolutionary change, as the prices of technology and materials start to come down, and we can start experimenting with things like 3D-printing, where the body is scanned and a seamless, exactly-fitting fabric can be printed. This example not only has huge implications for the textile industry - you don't have to ship goods around, you can send your own data around and you don't even need shops anymore - but it also has huge consequences for art and design. As an example, Suzanne Lee showed the art work of Manuel Torres, who has also a PhD in Chemistry, which shows a new way of manufacturing clothes where cotton fibre is sprayed like a mist onto the body to create clothes, can be coloured or perfumed and fits neatly to the skin.

Art & design embrace science, chemistry, technology.

Fashion designers don't accept the huge scale of pollution by the textile industry any more and are starting to look how biotechnology can create solutions. After a history of successively wearing animal skin, creating cotton, and after that nylon, we are now ready to use animal and human cells to grow materials and make products.

Suzanne Lee shows with her project BioCouture that designers can learn about the biotechnology of living materials and the workings of enzymes. Ionat Zurr’s project to make ‘victimless’ flesh and leather and living garments, and Tobie Kerridge's project to make BioJewellery out of human bone illustrate how fashion designers are forging collaborations with science. How people start mixing arts, design and technology in order to create sustainable textiles and clothes is one of the subjects of Fleshing Out. We have to think about why people wear what they wear, before dumping loads of electronics in it.

Liminal space - betwixt and between

Following Suzanne’s introduction, Anne Galloway gave an overview of how researchers are investigating these new hybrid forms and what questions are raised in this discussion about ethics and aesthetics. Anne, a lecturer & PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, began discussing philosophical ideas about hybrids and the liminal space - a space that is betwixt and between, like a beach between the sea and the land, a space that can tell us more about how hybrids have been formed.

In her talk on Seams and scars, Galloway showed that scars don't necessary have to be glitches, but can also show that something has been made, two pieces have been put together, and the choice has been made to put these things together. In order to better understand these emerging material and symbolic cultural practices, we should take a deeper look at the tracings of these cuts and joinings. In hybrids there is no equality; not everything is the same, and who decides what are good and what are bad hybrids? Putting things together brings different values, different interests and discourses together, creating better or worse assemblages. The point of critical intervention is the point where those two worlds meet. Things become difficult to identify or change when it has been changed whether by deletion, erasure, purification or the process of shaping or reshaping. That's why the process rather than the product is interesting, the sense of becoming, and not only the final product.

Talk to the clothes

Clothing has always been communicative, it determines your identity, and because clothing has a very complex symbolic communication pattern, it is obvious that in hybrid forms, we should look at the cultures behind the materials. Different cultural fields like art, design, government, military, academia, business and the public come together in new hybrid fields of fibre technology and tissue engineering. All disciplines have their own values and cultures and that's why it is important to understand the process of becoming. What were their values and interests, how are they working, what conflicts have there been, and how have these conflicts been solved in order to become more productive forms? How do we stitch the ethical and the aesthetic, the social and the cultural space together? The seam shows the difference, and that difference shows that two individual components can be together, on top of each other, or behind each other, which implies again the ethical question: which fabric/component/discipline is better than the other?

Anne showed how we have a cultural tradition of politeness, where we do not take a stand any more, while in collaborations we should be able to ask each other questions. This is in order to get a trustful collaboration, in which you have thought about who and what you are making, including yourself. A collaboration in which you should take your responsibility and think about what relations can be made. What does the collaboration make of you at the end of the day? And who can somebody else be, or become, when they are with you?

Jewellery from bones

Tobie Kerridge, a design researcher at the Royal College of Art in London, continued by talking about his project of BioJewellery. Together with Nikki Stot and Ian Thompson, Tobie is participating in a project where from human bone cells jewellery will be grown. After becoming a hype on the Internet, the group actually found four couples who wanted to donate their wisdom teeth and participate in the project. Their cells will be prepared and seeded onto a bioactive scaffold. This pioneering material encourages the cells to divide and grow rapidly in a laboratory environment, so that the scaffold disappears and is replaced by living bone tissue. The couples’ cells will be grown at Guy’s Hospital and finished bone tissue will be taken to a studio at the Royal College of Art to be used in the design of a pair of rings. Following consultation with the couples, the bone will be combined with traditional precious metals so that each has a ring made with the tissue of their partner.

Food for thought inherent in collaboration

Again with this project, the process of the hybrid collaboration between art and science makes clear that there are a lot of things to think and talk about when you want to work together in these new collaboration forms. Firstly, the medical discourse is different than the artistic one. What are the working procedures of the medical crew? Who is in charge of making choices? The medical team understood the goals of the group very well, Tobie explained, but sometimes the real making process was much more complicated than foreseen. The goal of this project was not to be pure science, but tries to address questions about collaboration forms between science and design. To change biological material into an artefact, how does it change the way we use it and think about it? What does it change about the meanings of design when it also takes a critical stand towards body modification?
At first the project was not supposed to really be carried out. But as it became popular online, the group found couples who really wanted a ring fashioned from their partner’s bone. The decision to proceed raised new questions: how could it be done legally and ethically? Where do they get the cells? Can you just do an operation on somebody who is not ill? What happens if something goes wrong, if cells die or get an infection or don't become what they supposed to be? To date, the rings are still being processed and growing. The designing has not yet started, but Tobie is especially interested in the process so far.

An exploration of collective empathy

The afternoon began with Thecla Schiphorst, media artist and Associate Professor in interactive arts at Simon Fraser University, introducing the demonstration session with her project Exhale. With her 'networkskirts' Thecla wants to question how to understand the body outside the body. Exhale is a set of networked skirts that explore the experience of breath and its remapping, as both a source of information, and a pattern in which to communicate that information. With breath made visible on the exterior layers of fabric using light, and the garments being created with sensuous textured silks, organza and conductive fabrics, Exhale is an exploration of collective empathy. Two models wearing the dresses, showing their breath being measured, illustrated that it is possible to 'exchange' breath with each other. The audience could also hold a sensor containing an RFID chip to 'feel' the breath of Thecla, who was also wearing a network dress.

Thecla also showed cushions with integrated interfaces, and noted that it is a bit strange to speak to a big audience lying on a big pile of pillows. This project called move.me is research-in-progress, made in collaboration with V2 and based on networked “objectiles" - multiples of soft free-form cushion-like objects. With her work, Thecla wants to show the huge shifts in methodology of software engineering, and she made a plea for a lot of prototypes to be made in order to test and understand these changes. Thecla's projects try to explore aesthetics, fabrics and the ways technology can fulfil different roles on the body.

Hybridisation of technical and artistic disciplines

Next, Joey Berzowska, artist and Assistant Professor of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University, Montreal) and head of XS (extra soft) Labs, showed her project Kukkia. This is dress with big flowers on it that are constantly opening and closing. The work is about the hybridisation of technical and artistic disciplines. Joey showed a few technical and artistic examples of electronic textiles and soft electronics, that can change colour and shape through soft computation.

She also showed clothes with thermochronic ink, that change when they are touched. Projects like this can promote discussion of the physical power one can have over somebody else, his clothes and the difference between private and public space. Joey wanted to show the garment as an interface, where it has been shaped and marked by electronics. The work is also about questions like who is the owner of the 2nd skin information? Who can use those data and what is happening with the recorded history of the physical data? More examples were shown in which LED lights are used, as well as memory shaped alloys like Nitonol, in textiles which interact with the heat of the interwoven inductive threads inside.
Joey aimed to critique the comfort that is always been looked for by the textile industry, to talk as well about the discomfort of garments. Uncomfortable dresses were shown that slowly start eating your head (the Venusproject), or crawl their way up your legs, although you didn't tell it to do that. With funding as art alone, she created kinetic and transformable dresses that maybe hurt or can be annoying. The Anusproject shows a dress with a big hole in the middle that closes and opens at surprising moments. By using garments that wear you instead of the other way around, Joey wants to criticise how little we can control our world and the illusion of empowerment we might have in some collaborations between art and technology.

Accentuating the negative

Kristina Andersen, Media Design practitioner at the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam and Steim, Amsterdam, also addressed the differences of disciplines within collaborations and aimed to show how it can also be positive to acknowledge these differences and maybe even disinterests of two different disciplines.

The more we can do with technology, the more other people don't understand, Kristina explained. That's why she is using kids as her collaborators in her work - to show the naive physics of the untrained human perception. Because kids are honest, they do unexpected things with the objects and you have to make it really clear for them. They are great to work with when trying out technology. Kristina is asking how can you teach people to make their own electronic artefacts, when they have no idea about how electronics work? She showed how she had given a group of art designers, who had never worked with electronics before, a do-it-yourself electronics kit and told them to make something first and then start learning about what they were making.

Introducing the hacker ethic

They started to invent all kinds of useful and less-useful uses for it. Kristina likes to put the idea of hacking into inventing new useful methods, to take objects and then change them as a result of found glitches or mismatches. Her maxim? ‘If it sounds good and it doesn't smoke, then don't worry, it works’. She also lets children wear dresses with electronic sensors, light sensors, sound sensors and touch sensors and let them play in it to find new uses. Kristina passed boxes around in the audience, who in turn had to determine what those boxes are doing.

She also showed an experiment with people wearing white goggles which respond to white light, letting them investigate the intensity of light in a club.

With these simple technological experiments Kristina wants to bring the ability to make things yourself back to the people. This because more interesting users and interfaces will come out. She shows with this idea that in collaboration processes it is sometimes good to have a partner who is not open for your ideas or doesn't have a clue what you are talking about, to make things better and clearer.

Growing green clothes from sweet tea

Suzanne Lee returned to show and speak about her own project, BioCouture. A blouse was shown made out of a material derived from bacterial cellulose.

In order to find a environment-friendly alternative to the heavy pollution inherent in the cotton and textile industry, she came up with the idea to grow clothing and let nature design it for us. The cotton industry uses huge amounts of land, water and pesticides, so she wanted to make something that could grow itself organically.

In the project, bacteria were mixed with yeast and sweetened tea. This mixture makes fibres that stick to each other in big clumps. These clumps are dried and put together to form a compact leathery, papyrus-like substance. It was already known that this Kombucha tea, or 'tea of immortality' had a healthy effect when sugar is added to it, and the fibres were also being eaten. The same technology is used by Suzanne.

Should growth be controlled?

After two weeks the fibre is 12mm thick in a wet state, then it is dried around a bust. A problem is that it does not stretch, so it is to hard to wear for real at the moment, and also it absorbs water, so for some uses it is better than for others. Another problem was that the mixture grows everywhere, so it was hard to control this growth (if it should even be controlled).

Although this is only the beginning of the process and Suzanne can not tell a lot about it yet, she wants to experiment with the clothes and look at how the organisms grow, to keep practising with different samples of black tea, vegetable dyes and ink jet printing to change the patterns of the clothes. There is also a problem with a lingering sugary tea smell. Sometimes the group encountered a happy accident in the process, like when they discovered that the fabric is phobic to metal, and it becomes black when it touches metal. The production process is less harmful to the environment. It still needs heat to grow - about 25 degrees - but it needs very little liquid, uses just white sugar, and you can use it over and over again to grow new material.

Next we had a speaker from the industrial field - Ger Brinks. As well as being a teacher of Textile Materials at Saxxion Hogeschool, Enschede, Ger is the global R&D director for Colbond, a company producing non-woven textiles, 3D polymeric structures and composites (www.colbond.nl). 3D printing is used to create Colbeck, a cross section bi-component that is put inside 3-dimensional mats that are used as absorption layers, for erosion control or inside drain products. These synthetic materials are innovative materials and there are still problems with the product. First of all, you never see the product. It is always put underneath or behind something. To quote Ger: "What a waste of these beautiful structures!". Anne Galloway says on her blog that in that one deceptively simple utterance, textile science and art became allies along shared concerns of aesthetics and ethics.

"It's easy to think that art and science and industry have irreconcilable differences," said Anne, “but this is only possible if the goal is to settle and resolve differences, or to make them compatible and consistent. Now just imagine how much more we could accomplish if our objective was not to change other people, but rather allow them to be themselves!"

Little contact with consumers

Ger continues to address more problems, namely that what his company is doing is always business-to-business, and is not having direct contact with the consumers. If we want to grow, can we create new access for our product, and what new technology can we use?, Ger pondered. Colbond invited artists to think about what the possibilities of the Colbeck material might be, and some interesting artefacts came out, like a Colbeck dress or Colbeck wrapping paper.

To the disappointment of some of the artists in the audience, the company did not do anything with these outcomes. In the development strategy of Colbond, it is policy not to find new markets with new technology, simply because it is to big a danger for the company’s financial state. The technology Colbond uses has now become mature, and can not grow much more. If they are not careful, Ger explained, they could walk into the commodity trap, where they have to run hard to stay in the same position. To avoid this they need a new, but available technology and creative new ideas. And that is where art comes in, according to Ger.

Colbond wants to make new environment-friendly, intelligent nonwoven webforming systems in the future. More questions were posed by Ger: Should we do the same as everybody else? Do we have a first mover advantage if we distinguish ourselves by doing something new? Ger sees a solution in creative thinking and hard work. In order to be creative, first it must be determined what Colbond is doing now and what paradigms block that creative profitability. Ger touched on the subject of today - (un)successful collaborations - and showed some overlap with the concept of Creative Industries. He wants to bring together all disciplines, from idea generation, through concept design to product development, and as a R&D director he is always thinking about the material and the processing of the material.

History of tissue engineering

The final speaker of the day was Ionat Zurr, from the SymbioticA art and science collaborative research laboratory at the School of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia. She is experimenting with wet biology art projects, called SymbioticA. Ionat is trying to address the sometimes successful symbiosis between hybrid forms of arts, science and the public in her projects. Together with Oron Catts she attempts to manipulate life and use the opportunities of a biotechnology research lab to bring artists together with bioscientists.

Before she gave us details about her own projects, Ionat first told something about the history of tissue engineering. About Alexis Correll, a tissue culture pioneer who could grow cells in an artificial body, and Honor Fell, who showed that there is still life to be found in a sausage, when one takes a look at the cells! The third shift happened in the 1990s when we tried to think of ways to repair ourselves. Think about Joseph Vacanti's mouse with a ear on his back. The mouse supplied the blood, body and food for the cells to grow.

Ionat's Tissue Culture and Art project does not involve research on the body, but aims more to discuss the way we are dealing with these technologies. It is now possible to grow something outside of a body in an artificial body. Also, in the army they are experimenting with techno-scientific bodies. The goal of Ionat's project is the 'aesthetic of disappointment', to create high expectations, tickle the fantasy of the public and then show that it became nothing or is not valuable at all, to make people think about the technology.

The disappointment factor

To Ionat, it is about the philosophical discourse behind it, not about commercial motives. That disappointment factor is shown in her project Disembodied Cuisine, where a semi-living steak was made out of frog’s legs. They grew meat without an animal. Although the project was started in Australia, the laws of the country prohibited them to do the experiment, so they moved to France where they were allowed to continue. The outcome was a jellied piece of meat as big as a pea. The disappointment to the public came when they announced that for 100 grams of this artificial steak, you need so much serum made from calves blood that you need to kill a calf for it - and this is of course not really a solution to the problems of the meat industry. Nor was it a very good economic alternative, as it cost about 60 euros to make 1 gram of meat.

Another project of Ionat was Victimless leather, where they made tiny leather coats out of cells and showed these jackets at a fashion show. There was a lot of criticism of this project, while a lot of real leather jackets were shown at the show without anybody criticising that. So Ionat's work is about raising questions in the exchange of artists, scientists and the public.

Wrapping things up

The seminar showed a whole range of interesting speakers and demonstrations, dealing with different technologies and materials. In the final discussion, interdisciplinary work and collaboration was discussed. Most speakers had an arts background and then moved towards science and technology, and are making that work successfully in their projects. They talked about what it means and takes to be working in a different realm, and what motivates them to do so.

A member of the audience asked the panel of speakers what the difference is between arts and science. Tobie Kerridge replied that he and the other speakers were talking about a set of processes and differences. Artists can be scientists and scientists can be artists, the processes are the same and they are sometimes looking for the same solutions. But despite the similarities, the outcomes at the end of the day are different. It has a different audience, and what the product is makes a distinction, according to Tobie.

Kristina Andersen added that the actual product may be the same, but where you get your money from, who the funders are and what your value is, makes the difference. Ionat Zurr thinks that we should talk about creative science. In her SymbioticA project she is working together a lot with scientists and they talk a lot about how to solve problems. Because of that, there were some artists who are now doing things with genetic tissue engineering and there are scientists who now call themselves artists. Ionat thinks that creates a lot of confusion. Ger Brinks notes that he is worried a little bit by the fact that everybody is talking about science so easily. He wants to emphasize a few fundamentals of science mentioned by Karl Popper: science is about experiments and the ability to check your experiments and the ability to repeat the experiment. Ger also thinks that scientific methods are always objective.

What’s it like trading places?

Anne Nigten asked Tobie and Ionat what it was like to do cultural labour in a laboratory or business environment and wondered: “What did it mean to move your roots into an other environment and how does that influence your work? How did it feel to collaborate with people of a different environment, what are your experiences?" Ionat found it fascinating to go from one culture to another, because it gets you on your edge - you have to learn the language first, and you have to be alert all the time for the clashes that can happen.

Tobie acknowledged the constant struggle to solve the difference. You feel less secure about your own ability in another field. Next to that you have to trust each other, although there might be a certain suspicion about the motives of the other party. That's why Tobie is more interested in the process now and less about the design, especially the issue about how to get things legal. In his project it is about designing artefacts, and growing a piece of tissue for it, and this is something different than when it has to heal a person. If the material Tobie’s group is growing develops a cancer, it doesn't matter. If the material is inside a person, it does. The fact that these are different disciplines in different contexts makes that the process of value and meaning-making is hugely different.

The old ‘art vs. science’ question

Ionat noted that when artists use the same technology as scientists, happy accidents are allowed to them. She mentioned her own project in which the artists are allowed to grow tissue outside the body. A researcher in their team used this project as an excuse to grow muscles outside the body, to see how it effects the biomaterial, and she was only allowed to do this because of the art project.

A member of the audience asked what the role is of this different content for artists and scientists. Anne Galloway said that it is not only about artists-or-scientists; more fascinating are the assumptions these two disciplines have about each other. The tendency to claim their own domain, with scientists that assert their power and artists who try to regain a sense of power lost. And so there is a tendency to romanticise art, and a tendency to overestimate the power of certainty in science, but they are ‘mashed-up’ and there is no pure art or pure science. And it is nice, according to Anne, that we have this, for all kinds of reasons. To maintain their value we have to talk about the identity of art and the identity of science and be critical.

Different ethics, laws, cultural backgrounds

Joey wondered if there is a difference at all. She was doing hardcore engineering at MIT and she sees that all of these things are very related to each other and there is a great continuum of methodology. There are huge differences as well, not in methodology, but in cultural, political, and legal backgrounds, because we don't publish in the same way, we don't write in the same way. Joey thinks that she wouldn't have got ethical approval to do the project if she had done it as a professor in engineering. There are a lot of different ways art and science are trying to interact to the world, but when it comes to passions and methodologies, it is much more fluid.

One way to use the research-creating methodology, Joey added, is when artists (who want a magic technology to enable a concept that they have) are collaborating with science, or the other way around, when scientists or engineers who have invented a very exciting material or exclusive fibre, and which they dream about at night and think about all day, but don't know what to do with it and ask artists to help out. That kind of collaborative methodology is what we talking about now, and a lot of money is being pushed towards this research creation. But what is happening because of that is that there is now a lot of confusion about what the deliverable is.

Creative clusters at the intersection of disciplines

Tobie added that the distinctive point in science practices and art practices might be the audience or the expectations they have. It is interesting now that we are talking about these creative clusters, that happen at the intersection of different disciplines. But where does the output go? Where does the knowledge go? It looks like a business institution policy is getting more interesting then, which is looking out to the audience, or individuals. It seems to increase the practices and processes, that are looking upward to commercial skills.

Anne Galloway talked about the Canadian funding system, how she has to answer to the University and that the University has to answer to the government. The University is responsible for what Anne is doing. Without a grant there is no policy and no project.

Anne Nigten said Holland is copying this system sometimes as well. But she wanted to ask Joey about her motivation to make user-Unfriendly art as a reaction to our love of technology. Joey answered that there are two reasons why she makes these kinds of projects. First, she has an Arts Council grant, which allows her to be more personal, more explicit and she just likes to do things like this and make unusual things. She doesn't need to make claim about doing good to interest people around her, and she doesn't have to demonstrate that she made a better world with it. The other reason is to address a different aspect of using technologies, because (especially in electronic textiles) most of the innovative research is done by the US military, for whom Joey used to do some work as well, so it isn't so black and white. It is that dark side Joey finds most exciting. She would like to play with the illusion that technology is making life easier all the time, and it does in many ways, but sometimes it also complicates it.

Domesticating and normalizing new technology

An audience member wondered how the artists in the panel think about the fact that industries use creative skills to invent new uses for existing products. What is their approach to innovation, because they are not creating products for the market, but just creating products? Ionat answered that domesticating and normalizing new technology matches with a more critical use. The more crazy, the more normalizing the effect of the technology. Anne Galloway said a thing she learned from a project with Hewlett Packard, was that a collaboration allows them to upload risks to artists who are willing to take the risks, that they weren't willing to. The artists were willing because they had access to resources they otherwise wouldn't have. According to Anne it is quite common for industry to offer risk to anybody who will take it.

Thecla talked about the notion of discomfort, that it is important to realise your own set of assumptions. Particularly when you are in situations with others with different frameworks, it can be discomforting to stay with your own assumptions, and be useful to discover the different ethics and rhetorics.

Somebody wanted to know how Ionat’s victimless steak tasted. It was actually gruesome, quite disgusting, because the muscles had had no exercise and had a jelly texture and a fabric-like taste. Many people spat it out, and the group made another exhibition out of that as well(!).

So when we will be wearing this stuff?

Another question from the audience to the whole panel was: do you have a vision of when people will start wearing stuff like this? Suzanne Lee said this is an interesting issue with big media coverage, especially for e-textiles, but it needs to be understood first why and how people wear what they wear and how textiles are being made and used.

Joey added that the function of clothes is not only to keep you warm and shield your private parts from other peoples eyes, but also has these other aspects of style and communicating all kinds of personal, religious and other kinds of messages. Like feeling good, feeling sexy, feeling important and powerful. All of that is part of the usefulness and function of garment. And because it is about user electronic garments, these haven’t got any value yet but it is more about: can I read my e-mail on it, or can I see what the weather is going to be like. This is much easier to qualify than the other values.

According to Joey there are three reasons why things aren't happening yet, one being that it is hard to measure these values. The second is the legal aspect — the field is really not regulated yet and not protected. In addition, you need a very specific skill set, some knowledge of textile manufacturing and some knowledge of electronics. Companies have to look outside their factory for these skills and go outside legislation borders, not using the same manufacturing facilities. This is a big investment, which companies are not willing to make. Third, there is no skilled workforce yet and the margins on electronics are very small, so it is not so attractive to the industry.

A lot of issues were raised today. On the one hand, maybe the impression has been made that the day would be about pure inner- and outer-body technology, e-textiles and other fabrics from bio-engineering. It actually mainly addressed the issue of collaborating disciplines. Arts, Science and Industry collaborate to find new uses of clothing, new fabric methods, new values within the garment and new materials.

Ah, questions, questions — and some answers

The day raised a lot of questions about these new hybrid collaboration forms: what happens when artists use science and technology to lead their creative practice? Who owns the outcome? What can we do in a collaboration to prevent only creating bad artists and bad scientists? What happens when you move your art work to a laboratory? How does one learn a new language and a new discourse? What is the added value of mixing disciplines? Questions like these can be food for thought for everybody involved in this field and are addressed more deeply in the article by Sabine Seymour.

Special thanks to Jules Marshall

Read more about the day in:
Anne Galloway’s blog:

Sacha Pohflepp’s article:


Fleshing Out blog:

Design.nl blog:

Day 2:

Sabine Seymour's report about the Scenario Workshop at day 2:

Leonieke Verhoog's report about the Grow Your Own Workshop at day 2:

About the programme:
Fleshing Out Programme


Pictures by Sacha Pohflepp:


Picture of Victimless Leather:

Picture of Spray on T-shirt:


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