Page 1

fall 2012 thesis preparation author

ashley marshall julie larsen

bess krietemeyer



table of contents abstract 5 thesis 11 vessel 17 fashion 31

architecture 63 suit up 75 design 83 index

from beginning to end this is an exploration of a hypothetical question: can a garment perform architecturally; moreover, can a building be a couture work of art?


Thesis Due to global warming, environments are changing; in a hot, urban environment, life preserving skin as customizable form generator using a system of layered cooling and ventilation can be applied to a enclosing couture garment and the envelope of a building, to create a building that responds to the human scale and sensitively solves issues of systems occupying intermediary space.

Introduction In the most contemporary circumstances, architects and fashion designers have worked in conjunction with one another. Historically, each has been derived from the other. Whether it was the fluted Ionic order following the elegant, statuesque beauty of a robed woman, or expressive Baroque flourishes seen on the facades of cathedrals and bodices; there have been comparisons because Fashion and Architecture are so similar, yet are so different. Within contemporary context, the two go hand-in-hand, often the lovechild of collaborations between architect and fashion designers. Where they lend genius to one another, is usually in the realm of formal and material logic. However these practices are highly counterintuitive of what it is to master an art, purpose. Purpose drives Fashion, beyond the formal aspirations and creates dialogues on feminism, culture, technology, identity, comfort, and propriety. Purpose drives Architecture; Marc-Antoine Laugier,

it’s what capitalizes the “a”, writes the books, cashes the checks, and creates Allegory of Architecture,

Cover of the Essai sur l’architecture, Paris, 1753. Image of the new principle of architectural rationalism of the eighteenth century, founded on an old myth, that of the primitive hut as a natural model of architecture

notoriety. A true intersection can yield interesting results. At the most intrinsic level, these disciplines are the shelter for the human body.

Influences in Fashion The work of a few designers has influenced this project in many ways. Although their work is highly formal; where the formal ideas have gaps leave opportunities to solve problems that form alone cannot solve. Ying Gao is a Canadian-based professor and designer that create dynamic pieces that comment on the visual experience through space. Gao’s project Living Pods focuses on the wearer’s



experience through the urban context. The Living Pods expand and condense from reactions to light; there are motorized sensors that are sensitive to light. Urban environments are dependent on light; light mitigates safety, activity, and informs movement. Her sophomore project Walking City compounds the ideas behind the Living Pod, but the movement is more fluid, creating a breathing-like sensation by the use of pneumatic devices. The City is a living entity, it breathes and takes character by the lights and sounds around it. The motorized capabilities of these projects go beyond just make garment that are fascinating because they move, they create dialogue on what is truly means to be a part of the urban context by emulating it and reacting to it. The agency the occupant has comes into question, but the spectator of the wearer is the focus of her work NoWhere NowHere and Incertitudes. NoWhere NowHere uses photoluminescent threads attached to light organza garments that move according to sight-sensors. If part of the soul is captured through the photo, then this project challenges that idea by moving only according to the spectators’ eye. The soul of the garment cannot exist in a photo, only in presence. Incertitudes moves by sound, neither can the soul, essence of this art be captured or quantified. The depth of complexity in her work poses questions that garments can answer by movement, material, and space. Iris Van Herpen is a Dutch couture fashion designer known for her use of unconventional fabric, techniques, and forms. She challenges the female form of what is considered beauty. Her work is terrifying and magnificent; she prides the complexity of materials leaving her audience in shock, terror, and awe. The breadth of Van Herpen’s work has been created with the collaboration of many architects and artist, utilizing 3-D printing, lasercutting, and ceramics. Altogether, her work is highly formal; despite the use of cross-disciplinary collaboration, it merely imitates new form, but serves no function.



The influences from these two fashion designers and others pose these questions: Can fashion design solve architectural problems? Where does the form of a beautiful garment go beyond merely covering the body, can it protect, project, function? Where does the line of pragmatism and formalism blur? The work of this thesis is to cross that border and merge the work of those two ideas.

Influences in Architecture The fashion designers precedents are formally informative; however, architects use form to create space, or the systems of design create formal expressions. The envelope or interior have a logic that serves the audience. Without systems, a building is merely a shell, a hollow form without any function. The installations of architect Philip Beesley in his series The Hylozoic Ground mix biomimetic systems and forms to create living, breathing architecture. Beesley’s work provides a speculative look into the future where architecture is not built, but grown. Using naturally occurring materials to power sinuous threads of responsive membranes, Beesley shows that the ecologically responsible way to create architecture is to make it self-sustaining. The other works showcased are a myriad of projects that use innovative techniques in 3-D printing and even textiles. UK based architect Daniel Widrig is a maverick in 3D printing and parametric design. He collaborated with Iris van Herpen on her collections Capriole and Escapism. Michael Hansmeyer is another architect whose work is highly technical using 3-D printed pieces layered together to create generate entire rooms ornately festooned with parametrically designed flourishes. These designs have forms that create space or have systems that possess inherent qualities that birth form. Many of these precedents have theory behind them and execute a tangible system. Where the fashion design project lack in logic and pragmatism, the architectural designs pick up.



Conclusion After investigating the possiblities of space in between the body and the garment, interior and exterior, the solution lies in bringing skin like systems to the forefront. Skin, as in the the living breathing membrane that is intelligent and regulating. It opens and closes, breathing in its surrounding ever receptive. What inherent material qualities lie in fabric, also are a part of the skin. Fabric can be applied to buildings and garments. In conclusion, the human skin acts as standard for the purpose, performancs, and form for the mediation of environmental stimuli.

Shigiru Ban, 1995

Curtain Wall House,

Tokyo Japan 1993-

This project was the embodiment of the “curtain wall� into full fruition. Fabric has many qualities, the most beneficial is its ability to cool an transfer convection. Ban took advantage of this, and it creates this stunning bilowing effect. Photo courtesy of Skin + Bones page 54



Can you cool a human body and a building using the same techniques on both entities?


Thesis Due to global warming, environments are changing; in a hot, urban environment, life preserving skin as customizable form generator using a system of layered cooling and ventilation can be applied to a enclosing couture garment and the envelope of a building, to create a building that responds to the human scale and sensitively solves issues of systems occupying intermediary space.



incertitudes snake dress (no)where (now)here living pod voltage dress accupuncture dress defensible dress


digital grotesque

capriole cape

hylozoic ground Maison Folie

hygroskin-meteorosensitive pavilion

al bahar towers

passive cooling active cooling ventilation material exploration




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incertitudes snake dress (no)where (now)here living pod capriole cape voltage dress accupuncture dress defensible dress

capriole cape

passive cooling

digital grotesque

active cooling ventilation material exploration

hygroskin-meteorosensitive pavilion

hylozoic ground maison folie

al bahar towers



the body is a complex composition of shapes with cultural, spiritual, formal, and ideological implications. how are garments made? moreover, how are garments made in relation to architecture?


hair follicle


stratum corneum basal cell layer collagen & elastin

dermis artery veins

fatty tissue



Skin Skin is the largest organ of the human body. It protects the other organs, but it is also vulnerable and needs to be protected. Skin has many connotations in a variety of disciplines, particularly that of architecture and fashion. Most notably is the use of skin to construct the exterior of a membrane. However, of skin is a loaded subject, as is the integration of fashion skins in architecture. Skin can be gendered, contain depth, be obscene, define ethnicity, project beauty, and even be coveted. It is more than a layer of cells or a thin curtain of material. It is the first line of shelter to our very fragile bodies, and garments are the second, and buildings the third.



they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:25

If Architecture, the bold creation of space, were Adam, then Fashion would be Eve. They would be of “one flesh.” The personification of these two disciplines

Hussein Chalayan Spring 1997 These models are wearing black chadors that vary in length exposing erogenous zones, It is an example of idealism and indecency in fashion and its cultural effects Skin + Bones pg 64-65

would be gendered. Fashion is highly gender specific. It centralizes art on the female form, and the male form is secondary. Moreover, the female skin is more criticized in most cultures, and there is a historical pattern of the achievement of perfection. The flaws are often scorned for indecency and the exposure of skin is bereft of taste. Skin’s cultural implication can inform design in fashion and architecture, especially by means challenging propriety.





comfort 20



Architectural Skin The word skin is mostly used to describe thin tensile or static coverings, most notably in architecture as a description of an exterior. However, is so much more than just a covering. It has an interior and exterior, depth and purpose. Human skin consists of the epidermis and dermis, the thin exterior and fleshy membrane below, respectively. The most fascinating aspect of human skin is its ability to self-regulate. Conduits of nerve ending and hair follicles are evolutionary engineered to detect heat, cold, and pain. Sweat glands produce perspiration to cool the body via evaporation, and blood vessels carry life-giving blood to cells. The skin and its ability to sustain itself lend reason to its purposeful use in architecture and even fashion. The goal is to expand the skin of garments and buildings to function more like actual skin, and create responsive climate feedback, particularly climate of a hot environment. Skin is temperature controlled, in heat pores open to literally breathe. Sweat glands release sweat to the surface to create cooling by evaporation. The body will always need these cooling devices; they are already used in a buildings internal system; however what design decisions could be made from bringing those systems to the exterior in the likeness of skin.

HygroSkin–Meteorosensitive Pavilion, Achim Menges in collaboration with Oliver David Krieg and Steffen Reichert, FRAC Centre Orleans, France 2013 Close-up photo of the pavilion exterior. The surface of is reactive to variances in relative humidity.








blouse front

front basic dress darts

back panels basic skirt

back panels basic dress darts

front basic skirt

blouse back panels

basic short sleeve

basic long sleeve

back leg panel

front leg panel BACKGROUND


Fabric Fashion at its most basic form is the thread. Spun and woven by looms and manufactured into fabric, each basic quality is intrinsically meticulous and detailed. The creation of fabric has been at the forefront of technological human advances; for example the creation of the cotton jenny was integral Industrial Revolution, and later high-efficiency synthetic fabric made it possible for human beings to survive in space. Fabric can be classified by any factors, essentially it’s based by yarn or fiber type and the construction of those fibers. The structure of the fibers and how they are constructed on a loom creates the structure, texture and feel of the fabric. Those factors also qualify the drapability, weight, and opacity of the fabric.

Type Fabrics are named by the type of weave or structure on the loom, the type of fiber can differ, in turn there may be several ways to achieve a given fabric type, but with different texture qualities. Properties or Characteristics may include, but are not limited to:

Isabel Dodd, Silk Satin and polyester velvet machine-embroidered for scarves, 2004 Clarke, Sarah E. Braddock., Marie O’Mahony, and Sarah E. Braddock. Clarke. Techno Textiles 2 :. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2006, p95

Inherent fiber properties

Interrelationship of the fiber or yarn

Size, shape, and construction of the yarn

Arran gement of the yarn and thread count

Type and method of fabric structure

Type and method of finishes

Type and method of color or surface design application

Fibers Aside from animal pelts used for leather, suede, and fur, there are fibers that are the basis of constructed fabric. Even synthetic fibers, often with their own qualities, seek to imitate these essential fibers. The essential fibers are: cotton, linen, silk, burlap, wool, and animal hair. The yarn is created from these fibers, 24


in turn, are made into fabric on a loom or by hand. The way the fibers are connected, can be by either weaving or interlocking creating wovens and knits, respectively. The construction of the fabric can create different surface effects classified by name: crepe, satin, taffeta, felt, knits, lace, net, pile surfaces, and layered multicomponent fabrics. These are fabrics at their most conventional forms, which have been used for ages. Unconventional fabrics seek to change everything from the fiber to the construction and multimedia finishes and applications. However a basic understanding of textiles is integral to fashion design much like building systems and construction materials serves as the basis of the architectural pedagogy.

Nigel Atkinson, 2004

King Lear Leaf Interpretation

Clarke, Sarah E. Braddock., Marie O’Mahony, and Sarah E. Braddock. Clarke. Techno Textiles 2 :. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2006, p 10



Innovative Fabrics In the world of textiles, synthetic fibers and textiles is ever-changing and evolving. The original synthetic fabrics were inefficient and otherwise very cumbersome and uncomfortable. This discomfort was often a result of a lack of circulation and breathability and general roughness to the skin causing irritation. Unlike construction materials that do not need to fully interact to the human touch, fashion has a more sensitive and intimate scale to the human body. Due to this relationship, textile engineers strive to create fabrics that work at an optimal level of performance and comfort.

Japan Textile production has been traditionally influenced by Japanese culture. Textile production and one’s interaction with textiles is essential to the Japanese heritage. Most contemporary textile production techniques have been derived from Japan. Japan remains to be at the forefront of textile innovation. Kyoto, particularly the Nishijin Region, is well known for its fabrics, kimono art, and obis. Amongst the many textile production companies, most well-known is the NUNO NUNO Corporation, Reiko Sudo

Corporation headed by lead textile designer Keiko Sudo. NUNO creates many

Burner Dye 2000 This textile was created by coating steel fibers (with a cotton base) in a water-soluble metal. After the threads were woven, the fabric was then hand burned using gas jets creating the iridescent effect. Part of an exhibition for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

textiles that are used in ready-to-wear clothing, sportwear, interior fabrics, highperformance products, and even architectural fabrics.

Microfibers Microfibers offer optimum performance and protection unlike natural fibers. They are lightweight, flexible, efficient, breathable, and functional textiles. Microfibers are derived from coal and oil based formulas, manipulated at the molecular level, like most plastics. The term microfiber comes from the extremely thin structure of the filaments, some as small as a 1/60th the size of a human hair. Most commonly known microfibers are: • 26









Super Fibers Super fibers are microfibers that perform on a superior level. Hey are most commonly used in extreme environmental conditions. Polyamide is a microfiber that was created by DuPont in 1938; DuPont still creates innovative materials to this day. Polyamide 6.6 was developed by Italian company Nylstar, it is a highperformance textile that can withstand extreme temperatures, waterproof, and wind-resistant. 6.6 Tactel is similar to Polyamide 6.6 wherein its protective qualities and breathability. 6.6 Tactel can even protect the human body from -112˚F (-80˚C)!

Health Sustaining Textiles Health-Giving or health-sustaining fabrics feel good, are attractive and benefit the wearer’s health. This works by creating air pockets that store health sustaining agents, or microencapsulation. Microencapsulation can be triggered by movement, sunlight, or body heat. Common health-sustaining agents include: •


Natural Remedies


UV blockers

Insect repellent


Essential oils


Nigel Atkinson Fire 1, 2004 This piece is a mixed media design. Originally Japanese kimono silk, it is layered with dye, many of which are heat responsive. The texture relief effect is a signature techniques of Nigel Atkinson.



Supernaturals Synthetic fabrics can be unsustainable. Due to their oil-based formulas, these fabrics can take an undeterminable amount of time to biodegrade. Textile engineers have made natural chemical fabrics that are made from organic chemicals. For example, Viscose is made from wood pulp and the cellulose of other natural occurring chemicals. Supernaturals are fiber obtained from natural organisms that behave much like synthetic fibers. Supernaturals can be blended with synthetics as well. Odin Optim is very soft supernatural wool that drape very well was created by Nippon Keori Kaisha Ltd (NIKKE”) in cooperation with Norma Starszakowna Wood, 2003 This textile is expiemental in creation and concetion for fashion or interior settings. Originally silk organza, it was then printed and glazed and other mixed media techniques were applied to give it the texture and appearance of wood.

the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). Supernatural fibers have also been made from bamboo, nettles, banana stalks, and soya beans.

Metallics Metallic fabris is very popular for its attractive qualities and high performance. Metallic textiles are created by metal sheets that are cut into strips and pulled taught to create thin filaments. Those fibers are either woven standalone, or coat natural fibers to optimize drapeability. Common metals used in metallic fabric are: gold, silver, steel, copper, brass, and even platinum. The properties of metallic fabric are:




Work well with soft fibers




Thermo regulating


Nonwovens Are Textiles that are not woven or weaved, but rather a single or multi-ply sheet of material that is easily transformed into shapes or can be manipulated and cut by machinery and digital means. Nonwovens are growing popular in the fashion industry for accessories and avant garde fashion. Tyvek developed by Dupont is very popular, paper, and synthetic foams and gel have grown in use.

Ryoko Yamanaka Strata 2, 2001 Commissioned by the Miyuki Hospital in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. The colorful woven bands consists of polyethylene fom tape framed against a fluorescent lamp to show the depth of colors



Designers are the tastemakers. The ever changing mode of fashion, particularly couture fashion, is created by culture and motivates it. The forms of fashion appear to be futile in the midst of the innate qualities that can perform architecturally.


Meejin Yoon the Defensible Dress marks the wearer’s personal space by activating a spacedefining physical projection around the body. The extents of the personal space zone are defined as a numerical distance by the dress wearer. When infrared sensors detect an approaching body entering the personal space zone, a series of mechanical quills are activated, bristling to prevent encroachment.



Acupunture Vest



Ying Gao Ying Gao is a Montréal-based fashion designer and professor at Université du Québec à Montréal. Her work captures a level of intrigue and artistry that has earned her several awards. Part of that intrigue is her preoccupation with technology and interaction, versus her colleagues that may operate in a more textile based designs. She often uses sensory perception software and mechanized movement that individualizes the experience per viewer. The audience is always aware of the garment, and the garment responds directly to its audience and commands dialogue. This is a characteristic of Ying Gao’s work that transcends the realm of fashion.

Living Pod Two Interactive Coats, leather, super organza and electronic devices This project confronts the user in the realm of the urban environment. Light sensors are sewn into the organza that activates mechanisms according to light. The effect of the light responsiveness is an undulating breathing organism that moves through an already living urban context. Ying Gao challenges the constructs of fashion design by giving agency to the garment itself, rather than the agency of the wearer to manipulate how a garment is formed.

Living Pod Front



Living Pod top

Living Pod On Mannequin

Living Pod Jacket

Ying Gao Photos Courtesy of Dominique Lafond



Walking City Three Interactive Dress, Cotton, nylon and electronic devices, 2006 Playing against the convention of fashion, tis project also deals with the public’s perception. Sewn directly into the fabric is light sensing monitors and pneumatic devices that create a breathing space that responds to the environment. At rest the form of these dresses resemble Japanese origami, but altogether lack a stylistic origin, which is common in Goa’s work. The inflatable liveable space of this piece also nods to the mid-century work of ArchiGram, and their focus on pneumatic, nomadic tensile structures.





(NO)WHERE (NOW)HERE 2 interactive dresses, Super organza, photoluminescent thread, PVDF, electronic devices The project was inspired by the essay entitled “Esthétique de la disparition” (The aesthetic of disappearance), by Paul Virilio (1979). “Absence often occurs at breakfast time – the tea cup dropped, then spilled on the table being one of its most common consequences. Absence lasts but a few seconds, its beginning and end are sudden. However closed to outside impressions, the senses are awake. The return is as immediate as the departure, the suspended word or movement is picked up where it was left off as conscious time automatically reconstructs itself, thus becoming continuous and free of any apparent interruption.”

Eye-tracking technology stimulates the photoluminescent thread that slowly ripples across the exterior of these pieces. Much is lost from the experience of any phenomenon through a photograph, that is especially relevant to this work because the dictates the movement which is lost in a still image.

Ying Gao Photos Courtesy of Dominique Lafond





INCERTITUDES 2 interactive garments. PVDF, dressmaker pins, electronic devices This interactive project was inspired by the inevitability and uncertainty of technological innovation. “The less foreseeable the future, the more we need to be mobile, flexible, ready to react, permanently prepared to change, supermodern, more modern than the moderns of the heroic period.”

(Lipovetsky, Les temps

hypermodernes, 2004) Moreover, the use of sound-responsive technology causes that uncertainty to vibrate and course though the very being of the form, like the activation of one’s cutis anserine in piloerection, otherwise known as hair-raising goose bumps.

Ying Gao Photos Courtesy of Mathieu Fortin 40


UK Pavillion, 2010 Expo

Thomas Heatherwick Studio








front leg

back leg

arm panel





Iris Van Herpen is one of the most prolific couture designers of this age. By the age of 28, she has achieved more conceptually than other designers have explored in a lifetime. Her work borders on the beautiful and grotesque. The forms she creates often leave the viewer with a sense of despair, even confusion because of the unknown material qualities of her work. There is a range of material from the older traditional hand to more innovative prototyping techniques using unconventional materials. She works alongside and gathers inspirations from many architects and artists which give her work an innovation and unique edge over her contemporaries.

iris van herpen

Capriole This was Van Herpen’s flagship show as a member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. The designer recalls the feeling of free-fall jumping from an airplane the metamorphosis of feelings one experiences. The word Capriole is of French origin meaning “playful leap”; however these pieces are the antithesis of playful. First is the materialization of adrenaline-fevered chills coursing through one’s body; followed by the free-fall feeling of being torn and twisted in twain. This feeling is illustrated by the serpentine dress reminiscent of the Laocoön, the Greek sculpture of a priest and his sons combating snakes. Some of the works are inspired by the parametric permeations of Neo-Gothic forms created by architect Michael Hansmeyer; in particular the frontispiece resembling the skeletal remains of the soul in free-fall. The 3-D exoskeleton dress was made in collaboration with architect Isaie Bloch and printed by Materialise. Artist Bart Hess was also in cooperation for this collection. United Nude also provided shoes for this show.





Transparent and black acrylic sheets











Micro Iris Van Herpon was inspired by the landscapes of the microscopic world as photographed by electron microscope photographer Steve Gschmeissner. The microscopic world has several hidden forms that facilitate movement, consumption, and preservation. The ciliate, plasma, and tentacular organisms are portrayed throughout this collection. This collection was created in part with millinery by Stephen Jones and shoes by United Nude. Forms and prototyping were conceived with artist Bart Hess and architect Isaie Bloch, 3-D printing was executed by Materialise.

Materials DRESS MI031 - SHOES M1032





Dark metallic double weave silk with water polish

Polyamide with art copper treatment

Lasered transparent reflective acrylic


Transparent acrylic sheets

Silver Magniflex

Ray leather

Transparent snake skin

Metallic coated strips




Snake chains



Escapism This collection was a commentary on the escapist tendencies of society, to dive into the bosom of technological entertainment away from the banal, mundane analogue world. She tries to capture the feeling of loss and emptiness into twisted, grotesque forms. Some of the ornate motifs are inspired by the Baroque sculptures of Kris Kuksi. What is most prolific about this collection is the mixture of old techniques with futuristic 3-D prototyping. This collection was created alongside artist Bart Hess, millinery by Stephen Jones, and shoes designed in collaboration with United Nude. The 3-D pieces were designed in cooperation with architect Daniel Widrig.





Black transparent acrylic sheets

Metal satin

Smocked leather

Burned copper gauze




spiral section

spiral top view

Escapism Skirt The detail of this skirt is in the pleatedlike forms on the sides of the skirt. This is derived from 16th century bustles, but given a contemporary twist. The spiral forms are created by twisting lasercut acrylic sheets. The spirals are reminiscent of wind foils. In Section, the spirals are layered like an onion. However interesting the form of this skirt is, there really is no other purpose than an aesthetic or artistic expression.



Voltage January 2013 The Voltage Collection describes the characteristics of lightning and electricity, showing the chaos and movement of electrons in space. Voltage was also influenced by New Zealand artist Carlos van Camp and his use of suits conducting electricity, and was a collaboration with architect Philip Beesley and his Hylozoic Ground project. This collection was in collaboration with shoes by United Nude and 3-D Printing by Materialise.





Ecco Leather

Lasered Translucent Acrylic Sheets

Lasered Clear Acrylic



Voltage Dress (Prism) This dress embodies the electricity of the collection. Tetrahedral prism clad in highly reflective acrylic mark the dress, rendering it exhilarating to see. The dress is symmetrical following angles of bisecting the body, and running tangent to the curve of the shoulders, bust, and hips. In section, there is no use of the space of the tetrahedrons. The composition is static, monolithic, and quite cumbersome. If there was porosity, a change in material, or how could this dress be used to cool the body?









Voltage Dress (Hylozoic) This dress was collaborated between IVH and Canadian architect Philip Beesley, whose project the Hylozoic Ground uses natural occurring electricity. The Hylozoic foils covering the dress on linear patterns are simply appliquĂŠ. So in the revisioning of this project, true nature of the Hylozoic ground engages the electricity of the human body to the natural batteries and movable sinews.





Architects are spacemakers, they can manipulate form to house a humans in comfort and facilitate activity. Scale differs from a single room to megaliths. How architecture responds to its surroundings is paramount to its purpose


Architecture It is evident that architecture and the world have fashion have coincided. Whether it has been renowned architects designing stores or collaborating with fashion designers to make clothing and accessories; one thing has remained constant, the other has merely adapted the others discipline. The crossover has not been of purposes for one another, just merely form and taste.

Flesh Architecture is the art of space, how a body can interact within the space. The Veech Media Architecture, Sprach Pavilion, Austria, 2001 Because they are translucent and lightweight, inflatable buildings transcend the density of conventional buildings. Inflatable pavilions take minutes to erect and later shrink to one-tenth of their expanded size when deflated.

utility and efficiency of its form is what qualifies architecture. So in matters of the skin, architecture is the skin and the flesh. Flesh is different than skin, it is the shelter and the sheltered. Often this interest in the flesh is where the skin has depth and purpose.

Fabrication Designer Iris Van Herpen worked with and was inspired by architects Daniel Widrig and Philip Beesley. Her designs, where they had a surplus in intrigue they lack an architectural purpose. What is disappointing is the work of those architects solve very real architectural and urbanism problems. Alongside their work, there are also a slew of architects who use digitally fabricated techniques like Iris Van Herpen, Ying Gao, and Meejin Yoon. Architect Michael Hansmeyer designed an entire room completely parametrically conceived and entirely threedimensionally printed. Widrig is also masterful with computational techniques in parametrics and fabrication; most of his interior design work, the Spider Table, was parametrically designed and 3-D printed. Lars Spuybroek, , Lille, France, 2004 Textiles have emerged as a material that can sculpt a building’s profile into a variety of unexpected shapes. The undulating facade of this building is created by the stainless-steel Escale textile, the interlocking metal components of which appear to have been knitted together.

Where designers use architectural fabrication techniques, architects also use fashion design techniques, particularly on the building skin. High tensile structures use laminated fabric, like coated nylon, mylar, and vinyl. High



performance fabrics are very durable and easy to clean. They cover buildings with thin epidermis-like membranes, and like Skin, protect from the elements. The Maison Folie in Lille, France is covered in textiles. There is an example of architecture actually utilizing fashion design techniques. Beyond the spectacle and the material, it covers, but reveals the body; something that cannot be achieved by brick or glass cladding.

Reaction The Skin is responsive, architecture is as well. How can a building react to the environment? In the HygroSkin-Meteorosensitive Pavilion by Achim Menges Architect + Oliver David Krieg + Steffen Reichert, the apertures on the exterior react to the humidity in the air. Unlike most responsive architecture, it is naturally receptive. Conversely, the Al Bahar Towers Responsive Facade by Aedas uses mechanical shutters to allow sunlight into its faรงade. Those projects beg the question of how does architecture react to the environment. Furthermore, they solve design issues that could be compounded upon by garments creating a true Flesh for the body.



Philip Beesley Philip Beesley is a Canadian Architect that conceptualizes the evolution of architecture towards a more organic form. As in, architecture a living breathing organic entity. His work on the Hylozoic Ground is a study of that principle, where these synthetic plants serve their own power and move and breathe according to human interactions. There are many layers to this work including natural batteries powered by saline solutions. The Tendons are lasered acrylic and held together by nets made of individual arms that interlink to create the net like canopy.





Daniel Widrig Tower Study No.6 (2011) Conceptual design Various sizes Private commission

An architect based out of the UK, Widrig’s work is collectively focused in the digital realm. He run the gamut of projects ranging from jewelry design to skyscrapers; which is ameliorated by the use of parametric design, which has infinite scale in space. Widrig’s work influenced IVH in her Capriole, Crystallization, and Escapism collections, which he collaborated with her in making 3-D printed parametrically designed capes and dresses. Although their forms were unique to the work of fashion, they are just surface treatments. What happens when the surface is combined with other materials, or given depth?

Escapism Couture No.2* (2011) Polyamide 3D printed couture collection

C.Tiles (2009) Prototype, plaster and silicone Various sizes Courtesy Type Object, London



Digital Grotesque Architect Michael Hansmeyer designed this entirely 3-D printed room. It is between chaos and order, both natural and the artificial, neither foreign nor familiar. Any references to nature or existing styles are not integrated into the design process, but are evoked only as associations in the eye of the beholder.



HygroSkin-Meteorosensitive Pavilion 2013 The pavilion is designed by Achim Menges in collaboration with Oliver David Krieg and Steffen Reichert for the permanent exhibition for FRAC Centre Orleans, France. Most Responsive architecture is mechanically driven. Whether by the use of motors, sensors, and robotics; the chance its mobility is given by natural methods is nil. The meteorosensitive skin is driven by hygroscopy, or the ability for a material to expand or condense by the relative humidity in the air. The design was a culmination of 6 years of research into material properties influencing meteorosensitivity. The pavilion was fabricated using robotics and parametrics, the exterior box is formed by the ability for plywood to bend and mold according to its atmosphere. The use of hygroscopic properties of plywood creates the subtly ever-changing faรงade of this pavilion.



Al Bahar Towers Responsive Faรงade 2012 The Al Bahar Towers were designed by Aedas Architects and is located in Abu Dhabi. The weather is extreme with high temperatures and destructive sandstorms. A latticework resembling the indigenous mashrabiya screen covers parts of the exterior. The sun screen is parametrically designed and situated where the sun angles are most harmful to the building. The structure is standalone from the faรงade and is made of coated fiberglass. It is lightweight and sturdy, preventing up to 50% of sun exposure to the building. The screens are mechanically enabled to fold at night to let the faรงade shine. This project is highly sustainable; the coverage prevents the overuse of energy consuming air conditioning. The latticework is very similar in form to the Voltage Dress. In the Design phase of this thesis, there is a crossover of the this building and the IVH dress. How could the technology that shields from the sun be applied to a garment while still maintaining the integrity of couture design?



The most extreme environment known to man is space. It ranges in temperature, has no atmosphere or planetary gravity, and has constant threats of harmful radiation and micrometeoroids. How is the void of space guarded from the body? What design opportunities can a space suit provide?

suit up

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) An EMU, Extravehicular Mobility Unit, is the protective suit worn by astronauts, or in the most simplest of terms, called a spacesuit. The primary function is to protect the occupant from the most extreme environment of all. An EMU is the embodiment of life preservation; every element is conceived and calculated to sustain the life of the astronaut inside. Each layer has a specific purpose, the inner-most layers are made for comfort, whereas the outer layers are pressurized and insulated.

Purpose Extravehicular Mobility Units are virtually one person space crafts. They mediate pressure, thermal/radiation/meteoroid protection; provide oxygen, cooling/ heating, water, food, waste collection, power, and communication. The main components are The Pressure Suit, Hard Upper Torso pack (HUT), Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), Liquid Cooling and Ventilation Garment (LCVG), Urine Collection Device (UCD), and the Primary Life Support System (PLSS).

Parts The EMU has a pressure suit made of coated neoprene. It keeps the body from succumbing to the negative pressure of space and causing instant death. The Liquid Cooling and Ventilation Garment (LCVG) is housed within the pressure suit. The LCVG has a layer of thin netting entwined with nylon tubing circulating water throughout the body. The entire suit is highly insulated; overheating of the astronauts is a common concern. The LCVG has its own ventilation system complete with pumps, stabilizers, and filters. This sophisticated system feeds through the EVA pack, sustaining clean air.



The over-pragmatic form of the EMU lends no room for aesthetics, which is only necessary to such an extreme case of sheltering the body. Either high practicality can yield an aesthetically pleasing results, or a level of banality that boarders the realm of unattractive to a designer’s’ eye. That seems trivial to consider aesthetics in matters of life and death, but where can the intersection of beauty and function truly be beneficial?



extravehicular mobility unit (emu)

tv camera lights radio antenna muffler caution/warning computer fan/seperator/pump/motor assembly sublimator h20 tank primark o2 tanks contaminant control cartridge primary life support system battery secondary o2 tanks o2 regulators

lights extravehicular visor assembly communications carrier assembly helmet hard upper torso in-suit drink bag connection for service mmu mount display/control module temperature control unit o2 control actuator gloves

liquid cooling/ventilation garment lower torso assembly




emu arm assembly

Legend 1. LCVG Liner (nylon triicot) 2. LCVG Water Transport Tubing 3. LCVG Outer Layer (nylon/spandex) 4. Pressure Garment Bladder (urethane coated nylon) 5. Restraint (dacron) 6. TMG Liner (neoprene-coated nylon ripstop) 7. TMG Insutation (aluminized mylar) 8. TMG Cover (ortho-fabric)



liquid cooling and ventilation garment LCVG garment

LCVG connector

PVC Manifold

feedwater reserve

nylon tubing

feedback loop

water drain connector


water shutoff valve h2o fill connector




sublimator feedwater transducer relief valve

h2o vent connector



low feedwater pressure switch and transducer vent

steam to vacuum check valve



What do EMUs, couturiers, and architecture have in common? Can the skin truly extend from the surface of the skin to regulating the exterior of a building? Additionally, when couture design informs a building skin, what is left of the original garment? Can it, too, make an architectural statement?


snake dress facade



longitudinal section

HVAC Cooling

HVAC Heating


*note: The tubes double as sunshading devices as well as transport of services. In the case of a cooling system,in an arid, hot climate, the tubes could function as passive cooling devices.



faรงade front



latitudinal section



voltage faรงade



longitudinal section DESIGN





Iris Aperture



cooling vest

vertical planes

perspective 92



horizontal planes



Bibliography “Abu Dhabi Investment Council Headquarters - Responsive Facade | Aedas | Research & Development | Abu Dhabi, UAE | Abu Dhabi, UAE.” Abu Dhabi Investment Council Headquarters. ADIC-Responsive-Facade (accessed November 25, 2013). Clarke, Sarah E. Braddock, and Marie Mahony. Techno textiles 2:. Rev. ed. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2006. “Digital Grotesque.” Michael Hansmeyer - Computational Architecture. profile/about.html?screenSize=1&color=1 (accessed October 14, 2013). Garcia, M. (2006), Architecture + Textiles = Architextiles. Archit Design, 76: 5–11. doi: 10.1002/ad.345 Heatherwick, Thomas. Thomas Heatherwick: making. New York: The Monacelli Press, 2012. Herpen, Iris van, and Mark Wilson. Iris van Herpen. Groningen: Groninger Museum ;, 2012. Hodge, Brooke, and Patricia Mears. Skin + bones: parallel practices in fashion and architecture. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art ;, 2006. “Iris van Herpen.” Iris van Herpen. (accessed October 8, 2013). Lemire, Beverly. The force of fashion in politics and society: global perspectives from early modern to contemporary times. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate Pub., 2010. Quinn, Bradley. Techno fashion. Oxford: BERG, 2002. Quinn, Bradley. The fashion of architecture. Oxford, UK: Berg, 2003. Quinn, Bradley, Textiles in Architecture. Archit Design, 76: 22–26. doi: 10.1002/ad.348. 2006 Vogt, Gregory L., and Jane A. George. Suited for Spacewalking: A Teacher’s Guide with Activities for Technology INDEX


Education, Mathematics, and Science. Tech. no. 19980237687. Houston: NASA, 1998. “Work.” Daniel Widrig. (accessed October 14, 2013). “Ying Gao.” Interactive Projects. (accessed September 29, 2013). Yoon, Meejin. Young architects. New York: Architectural League of New York :, 2003. “ZAHA HADID for UNITED NUDE | United Nude Shoes AW13.” United Nude. collaborations/zaha-hadid (accessed October 14, 2013).



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