2018 was a wonderful year for Living Colour. The year started with the kick-off of our collaboration with ArtEZ CoE Future Makers and Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in The Future of Living Materials project. In this project we – together with other Dutch designers – were connected to scientists from WUR to deepen and expand our research from a scientific perspective, to bridge the gap between design and science. The project also created a platform to show these collaborative results and the process at the State of Fashion; Searching for the New Luxury, Fashioning the Future and Dutch Design Week exhibitions. As a result we also got to dress Louise O. Fresco in a circular outfit for the centennial of WUR.
We continued to work at the biomedical lab at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences with all the lovely people there who have supported us from the early start in 2016. This also resulted in us giving a guest lecture to 3rd year students in November and opening a 6-month student research project in 2019 for our scientific research questions. And students interviewed us for their Lab Academy website. During the summer holidays we briefly worked at BlueCity Lab were we prepared for our 2 exhibitions at Dutch Design Week.
With the help of our partners our research developed a lot and we accomplished a way to dye larger pieces of textile in a uniform, all-over way so we can dye enough fabric to make a garment. We’ve also found a method to expand our colour range by mixing colours to create new ones. Furthermore we have collaborated with other designers and companies – like Diana Scherer, Beatrice Waanders, Neffa and Pyrates Smart Fabrics – who have developed their own sustainable innovative material, to test if our Living Colour dyeing process is fit to dye these novel materials.
In September we returned to Munich Fabric Start to exhibit our newly dyed fabrics at Sustainable Innovations in Keyhouse, curated by Simon Angel. We also exhibited at London Design Festival, in the Colour Via exhibition at Surface Matter. And our collaboration with the lovely Ardilla Deneys from Pollima resulted in exhibitions during L.A. Fashion Week at Material Revolution in Ren Gallery and The Change Makers Fair at the Bioneers conference in San Rafael. She now takes our samples to every exhibition or conference she visits – like Biofabricate in New York – to spread the word about our bacterial dyes. Lastly we showcased our work at the Circular Experience at the Corporate Fashion Award in our hometown Rotterdam.
Next to these exhibitions we also gave our first duo presentations this year (previously Laura gave the lectures). We were invited by ArtEZ to present our work at the Design, Research & Innovation Festival (DRIVE) in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week. In November we gave a lecture at the Colour Materialized symposium.
Our work was published in Scientific American and Fast Company, several Dutch newspapers and we were interviewed by the amazing WhiteFeather Hunter for the CSPA Quarterly – Issue 21 Material Futures which she guest edited. And we were nominated as Future Fashion Pioneers by Dutch TV show Tegenlicht. We were overwhelmed by the support we received from all the public voters and we ended up in the Top 15 out of 200 entries! Our lectors from Textile Academy, Cecilia and Ista – who are the instigators for our project – ended up in a well-deserved 1st place.
There are many exciting things to come in 2019, starting with business trips to Berlin and London. So keep following us to see where we might pop up!