Climate-responsiveness in architecture is typically conceived as a technical function enabled by myriad mechanical and electronic sensing, actuating and regulating devices. In contrast to this superimposition of high-tech equipment on otherwise inert material, nature suggests a fundamentally different, no-tech strategy: In many biological systems the responsive capacity is quite literally ingrained in the material itself.
This project employs similar design strategies of physically programming a material system that neither requires any kind of mechanical or electronic control, nor the supply of external energy. Here material computes form in feedback with the environment.
The more fantastical possibilities of smart textiles are on display here, laden unabashedly with LEDs and electronic sensors. Similar to a networked city, garments can communicate and interact with people wearing and admiring them. Dresses can mix cocktails, change color and play music or read poetry upon trigger of a sensor. The innovative use of micro-technologies, the body, and familiar materials makes for some wildly extreme outfits.
Anouk Wipprecht designed a dress called the Pseudomorph which is made of pristine white felt that dyes itself in a different way every time it is worn. Bart Hess, frequent collaborator with Nick Knight and known for creating Lady Gaga’s slime orgy in “Born this Way”, has a dress made of the viscous material. Ricardo O’Nascimento was commissioned to make a gown embedded with 7 touch sensors and 4 speakers that can play overlapping aboriginal musical pieces as the wearer dances and moves.
The exhibition will be open from June 15th to September 2nd and is located at quartier21.
Also astonishing is the technology that makes the glass more sustainably. In essence, the glass can be produced at a stable temperature using a roll to roll process that looks like a newspaper printing machine.
Corning Glass is written about in Steve Job’s biography. The story stands as an example of material innovation, as well as a classic example of Jobs pushing people to go beyond what they initially thought was possible. Corning had invented gorilla glass in the 1960s but no one had a use for it, so they stopped making it. Jobs had finished the design of the iPhone, but needed a surface that could endure every day handling, bumps and drops. A board member put Jobs in touch with Wendell P. Weeks, the CEO of Corning. After meeting, Jobs soon saw the potential for the material and ordered as much as possible within 6 months. Weeks said that it was impossible, they didn’t have the capacity, none of their factories were making that kind of glass. Jobs said, “Don’t be afraid.” In six months, Weeks produced the glass. Jobs sent him a message the day the iPhone launched that said, “We couldn’t have done it without you.”