As designers we want to bring beauty to the world. Not only aesthetically but also socially and responsibly.
Our work field, the fashion and textile industry, is one of the most polluting and exploiting industries worldwide.
We want to actively contribute to a system that treats the planet and its inhabitants with respect and care. Our goal is to advocate for change by creating a more meaningful design process and to create awareness and motivate both industry and consumers to make conscious choices.
Our process of biodyeing with bacteria produces a biodegradable dye that requires little water and low dyeing temperatures,
without the use of any toxic chemicals or textile treatments.
In our cymatics research we explored the possibilities of growing bacteria in patterns by exposing them to sound frequencies. The resonance of sound frequencies is known to create geometric patterns in matter. In solid matter these patterns are called Chladni figures and in liquid they're named Faraday waves.
Together with sound engineer Eduard van Dommelen we set up a self-built sound installation in the lab and executed several experiments with different frequencies, bacteria and textiles. The results showed textiles that were dyed in an even and all-over way with higher saturation than textiles that weren't dyed using sound.
LIVE DYE KIT
As part of her graduation at Willem de Kooning Academy, Ilfa developed a Live Dye Kit. The Live Dye Kit is a compact lab, which enables you to set up a sterile work environment anywhere. The DIY kit allows you to isolate pigment-producing bacteria from soil samples and to dye textiles with these bacteria.
By taking the Live Dye Kit to a personal setting, it will help develop a connection between nature, science and creativity. The Live Dye Kit shows the invisible world of microorganisms around us. It makes bio design accessible and triggers you to view the world from a different perspective.
THE FUTURE OF LIVING MATERIALS
The Future of Living Materials is a collaboration between ArtEZ CoE Future Makers, Wageningen University & Research and designers. Taking part in this project allows us to work closely with scientists in order to answer important research questions we have.
In this collaboration we focus on aspects like studying the growth conditions and patterns of bacteria, pigment qualities, ways to expand the colour spectrum and scale and optimise the dyeing process.
DESIGN TO FADE: PUMA X LIVING COLOUR
We have teamed up with global sports brand PUMA to explore more sustainable technologies and new aesthetics in textile dyeing. The results can be seen in the new “Design to Fade” presentation at (virtual) Milan Design Week 2020.
In 2016 we started Living Colour, a biodesign collaboration exploring a unique method to dye textiles with bacteria that produce pigments. In that same year PUMA began investing in biodesign, through which the company is presenting new ways to reduce the environmental impact of fashion and sportswear. Now Living Colour and PUMA have joined forces to present the very first bacterial dyed sportswear collection.