i t a
ON THE COVER
Editor-in-Chief/ Creative Director
Samm Jordan Lindsay McWilliam
Contributing Fashion & Design Editor
Alexander Horne Madelaine Lutterworth
ContributingWearable Technology Editor Valerie Lamontagne Web Design
ON THE COVER Illustration Lindsay McWilliam email@example.com
What seems unthinkable to the outside world is a life’s work for designers who constantly challenge themselves to create sustainable design. No longer buzz words; sustainable design is sensible, efficient, well made design that reduces waste, and is also effortlessly stylish. Probably one of the most striking, sublime, examples of wearable technology hails from Montreal designer Ying Gao. Not only an expert in cutting and draping, Ying Gao’s garments allow for interaction between the viewer, the self, and the environment. I can see the potential for social media integration in the most discreet and ultra stylish way in Ying Gao’s clothes. Wearable technology is slowly making its way to the masses via the media and through designers who see unlimited potential. Another designer who fits into this category is recent graduate Benjamin Parton. With patents and trademarks already pending, what drives his appetite for design is to simply make our lives better. Delivering simple solutions, whilst reworking what is familiar is his idea of the ultimate challenge. For cobbler Marloes ten Bhomer no challenge is too great when it comes to making
the kind of shoes you want to collect. She stopped for a mere moment to give an interview to Think magazine, and shared her reasons for making highly desirable shoes wanted by private clients and collaborations. Her work is astoundingly clever as she takes moulding to an entirely new level. Fine tailoring has never gone out of style for those that know it, like design label Hemcya, another fashion house Think magazine is happy to get behind. Showing in their 6th season, the AW collection whispers of what is to come for this young label. Choosing to source fabrics locally and sustain local craftsman, they’ve turned out the sharpest, tailored, collection for this season that echoes military in a softer more feminine way. Lastly, architectural firm AQSO’s work made me ponder the thought of what is possible. Muhammad Ali once said “impossible is nothing,” something the architects at AQSO would also agree upon. When I first saw their interpretation of floating structures, it felt familiar yet so different. We are in an era of innovation.
Marloes Ten Bhรถmer
TEXT: JACQUELINE CARLISLE fashion editor
Where do you find inspiration? Abstraction, materials, and technology are my inspirations. The inherent logic and mystery in machines, and their highly specific language of efficiency are a major inf luence on my work. This language has as much to do with concealing as it has with revealing and this contradiction opens up opportunities for interpretation.
What type of materials are you using?
I have used a wide variety of materials in my work ranging from; leather, metal, non-woven fabrics, polyurethane resin and rubber, wood, digital materials for rapid prototyping, carbon fibre, and glass fibre.
Do you reuse materials? So far I havenâ€™t re-used materials.
How comfortable are your shoes? As comfortable as most high heeled shoes. I think it is most uncomfortable to wear something you donâ€™t agree with aesthetically.
You work with private clients, do you get challenging requests? The work for private clients are mainly wearable shoes. Making shoes in a non-conventional way and still making them technically accurate is a real challenge.
What is the benefit of vegetable tanned leather? Vegetable tanned leather is tanned with natural substances such as bark rather than chemicals. The vegetable tanned leather that I mainly use in my work is a great material to work with as it is can drastically be deformed using water. After it dries, it retains its shape and doesnâ€™t become too stiff or brittle. I have used vegetable tanned leather in Mouldedleathershoe, Pressedleathershoe and Blackmouldedleathershoe. Pressedleathershoe is made using a leather processing technique in which vegetable tanned leather is soaked in water and pressed in between a two-part mould, forming it into a three-dimensional shape. The leather parts are then dried,
cut, and assembled into one shoe, embedding the structure that gives the shoe its strength. Blackpressedleathershoe is made from three preformed leather parts.
Where is your next exhibit? Not quite sure when the next one is,
but one that I am currently creating now will be at the Stanley Picker Gallery. I am a Fellow in design there this year. The project I am working on during the fellowship is based on research into the structural parameters required to support a foot (in a high-heeled position)
while in motion. The aim is to completely replace common or traditional shoe manufacturing methods (and resulting aesthetics) with materials and construction techniques (and resulting aesthetics) developed in other industries. The result will be a collection of shoes
that foregrounds the essential parameters required for an object to carry a foot, rather than the customer, style, trend and regimented footwear manufacturing. MARLOESTENBHOMER
ALEXANDER HORNE HOLA@ALEXANDERHORNE.CO.UK WWW.ALEXANDERHORNE.CO.UK
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hemyca British fashion label, Hemyca, is a progressive assemblage of vigorous proportions toward high-quality garments performing sustainable practices for the au courant woman. Strong and clean tailoring maximizes the exquisite construction of the luxury brand designed by Helen Clitch from London, U.K. and Myra Nigris from Trieste, Italy. Both met while studying at the London College of Fashion and came together with
the vision of developing a line that was both ultramodern and deviceful. Thus, Hemyca was born in 2006 and their debut collection emerged at London Fashion Week 2008. Inspired by architecture, Hemyca is focused on creating beautiful silhouettes that exude strength and confidence. Often the pieces are structured from classic menswear fabrics to emanate a stunning draping
TEXT: Meredith Corning contributing fashion editor
effect whilst holding the bold shape of the garment. Manufacturing the line in the U.K. and utilizing textiles directly from the U.K. and Italy is part of their sustainable measures for production by promoting local businesses. Touted as “the brightest and most directional fashion brand” by Fashion Press Week, Hemyca has earned top-notch credits from leading fashion sources and do not seem to be digressing any time soon. Showing for six seasons now at London Fashion Week, their latest exhibition turned heads with the ‘House of Shadows’ collection. Dancing along the light and the dark, this collection is an exploration of divisive worlds with symphonic fusion. Obtaining this effect with their use of contrasting textures, shades and silhouettes, Hemyca is making more than a fashion statement-they are making history. Adding to their level of social enlightenment, the brand also works with leading charities including Coppafeel Breast Cancer Awareness and the Campaign for Wool in collaboration with HRH Prince Charles. Hemyca is also teamed up
with Age UK to design a limited edition velvet handbag in which 100% of the net proceeds benefit the organization, which is focused on helping the elderly improve their lives by providing vital support and life enhancing services. Proving themselves to be pioneers of luxury fashion, sustainable design and civilly cognizant business partners, Clitch and Nigris have been recognized by some of the world’s most well known celebrities including Helen Miren and Tori Amos. By utilizing a forward thinking approach to style they have dually inspired the design world and beyond. Not lacking in glamour, dramatics or femininity the brand moves onward working with private clients in their London studio. Offering their Atelier Service creates a discrete way to interact with their celebrity clients, VIP’s and Stylists. Hemyca will continue to evoke emotion from their following as they continue to provide excellence by way of design and company practices. HEMYCA.COM
THE Dots of
Books readily available, to seismic economic reform â€“ few could doubt that good ideas and innovation will be high on the wish list of those directly affected by 2011â€™s bumpy
market to leading the way in mobile telecommunications globally. Telecommunications was the booming new market opportunity that Nokia took advantage of to
ride of the not so good, to thoroughly awful developments. If there is to be some light for the year ahead then it could be from the example of countries such as Finland and specifically Nokia, who in response to one of the country`s worst recent financial crisis in the early 1990s went from manufacturing tires and wellington boots, amongst other rubber products, for a limited
get out of a bad situation almost twenty years ago. Now we have the knowledge economy. Information is business: Twitter and Facebook run highly successful companies dealing with it, material libraries, trend agencies, and creative workshop mentors are sizing up the same pie â€“ and they are not the only ones. Communicating and selling
TEXT: Alexander Horne design editor
from hand-making festive gifts, helped by the increasing sleigh load of craft- themed step-by-step guide knowledge has often been a prerequisite for designers and architects, only now they are expected to do so more frequently and with more transparency through blogs, social media such as Twitter, articles and public events. One such studio following this information focused approach is the multi-disciplinary and internationally represented architecture practice AQSO. Set up by Spaniard Luis Aguirre, AQSO delivers ´contemporary architecture, urban planning, and cultural research` from offices in Spain, Beijing, and China. By melding together their ideas and knowledge from East and West and in the process of completing civic, cultural, interior and residential projects on both sides of the world, they have accumulated numerous awards and accolades – Europan 9 and the self-sufficient IaaC being the stand outs. In 2012, AQSO will aim to showcase these assets on another prestigious global platform at the Yeosu Expo.
Unlike fellow Spanish architects Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, who created a twisted woven structure that mixed traditional Spanish and Oriental weave techniques at the 2011 Shangai Expo, AQSO will focus on the surrounding project environment and the expo theme of ´The Living Ocean and Coast`. Acknowledging the coastal setting for the building, the design comprises of six interconnected circles reaching out over the water and wrapped in a double layered skin. The inner layer remains still while the outer layer gives a remarkable fuzzy Moire effect, moving as if it were part of nature and giving varying transparency to the inner circular pods at the same time. It is a stunning after effect that pays respect to the natural environment at the same time as f lexing the architects’ technological know-how. Members of the EU may look longingly to the emergent BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) economies for a promising branch. It is through the creative participants who sow the seeds for exchanges to come that there may be the most hope. AQSO.NET
scottjarvie.co.uk PRODUCT - FURNITURE - SPATIAL
TEXT: Valerie Lamontagne contributing wearable technology editor
There are few fashion designers who have in earnest ventured into the field of technologized garments with success or elegance. Of note is the work of Hussein Chalayan who pioneered the integration of robotics, and LED-encrusted garments as performative grand finale/fantasy pieces in runway presentations. Ying Gao, an emerging Montréal techno-fashion designer, is another who has embraced the potential of technology in fashion. However, Gao sits at the other extreme of Chalayan’s showmanship, rather exploring the personal and intimate relations constructed between techno-fashion, the body and the public. It could be said that Gao’s designs question the very heart of a positivistic drive of an increasingly technologized society by creating playful and irreverent designs, unexpected in their poetry and ability to display the nonutilitarian aspects of techno-fashion. Trained as a fashion designer, and working as a researcher/professor at the Univerisité du Québec à Montréal, Gao uses technology as artistic expression—and material conduit—to choreograph a fashion object relative to machine, body,
environment, as well as social and material transformation. Her garments can be understood as relational objects, drawing on the public to react and act with them and by this virtue creating subtle andunexpected moments of kinship with these “living” objects. Gao’s sartorial works of art have, for example, explored instances where the garment is modulated by the viewer’s movements, breath, or capacity to explore an object in the dark with a f lashlight, all with an aim to enchant as well as posit a better understanding of what technologized fashion might add to the larger conversation of fashion discourse and experience. Works such as “Walking City 1 + 2” (2007) contain motion sensors, which trigger pneumatic systems in a dress, making the garment’s origami layers “breathe” and move when someone is present. While, “Living Pod 1 + 2” (2008) is activated by a pocket lamp shone deep into its organza and leather folds, launching a series of small motors to make it modulate. Finally, “Playtime 1 + 2”
(2010), inspired by the Jacques Tati film of the same name, is triggered by the f lash of a camera wherein one dress becomes uncapturable by act of rapid motions, while the other dress echoes back to the “paparazzi” with a f lash of its own, thus blurring the photograph. In both cases the garment’s immediate reactions cause a miss-documentation of the object, as well as an awareness of the act of looking and attempting to capture its image. It should be mentioned that beyond the technological finesse of Gao’s designs is the meticulous crafting of fashion garments which
stand on their own stylistic merits, irrespective of technological addons. Combining leather and organza along with sensors, robotics and kinetics, Gao creates fashionable second skins which breathe, move and shape-change before our very eyes, and with our bodies, environments and acts. This is also what we ask of fashion: to transform us in the very moment, and in the very act of being part of our body as we navigate unknown social and architectural terrains. After all, fashion is our lived accomplice. YINGGAO .CA
the curious world of benjamin parton
Benjamin Parton Royal College of Art 2012 ©
Benjamin Parton’s desire to combine a myriad of disciplines seemed an impossible task at first, but fate soon intervened as he realised the way forward was to enrol in the design products masters at the Royal College of Art. Why would someone want to combine maths, physics, art and design? Because that’s what great designers do. A recent graduate with three patents and two trademarks pending, Benjamin was also awarded the James Dyson Fellowship and is currently in the RCA Incubator with 3 projects being funded by the college and a chance to make history.
Self described as “dyslexic and overloaded” Benjamin didn’t start out designing products; he previously graduated from Kingston University with a BA (HON) in graphic design, and awards from D&AD, Donside, and Ray-Ban. He went on to join design firm Lambie-Nairn as a brand developer for O2 telecommunications and broadcast industries, and Ragdoll for the inventors of the Teletubbies. A brief stint in advertising as an art director and copy writer, he felt at home visually but worked quite hard to write.
TEXT: Madelaine Lutterworth contributing design editor
Benjamin Parton Royal College of Art 2012 ©
Benjamin Parton Royal College of Art 2012 ©
Experimentation, and a natural curiosity for how things work, seems to drive this newly minted designer to delve deeper to challenge function and form. Simplicity and utilitarian elegance can be seen in the patent pending Oi wearable travel card. A small discreet travel ring born out of watching frustrated commuters in congested queues, it can be worn on a watch or as a ring. A variety of juicy colours gives the wearer a sense of familiarity and humour whilst you load up the ring with your budgeted travel allotment for the month. “The Oyster card, London’s electronic travel card system, is something that’s become synonymous with Londoners and visitors alike, but the design has remained unchanged in the 8 years since its launch.” Humour can also be seen in his rose floor lamp, who would have thought to take a ceiling medallion, bring it down to the ground and turn it into a lamp, this is the work of a mind that sees no limits. Often the ceiling medallion may get a glimpse of attention but on the ground it garners a conversation borne out of curiosity. Elegance combined with comical function and you’ve got a piece worthy of keeping in the family for generations to come.
Benjamin Parton Royal College of Art 2012 ÂŠ
Benjamin Parton Royal College of Art 2012 ÂŠ
Benjamin Parton Royal College of Art 2012 ©
Striving to design products is as much about mass enjoyment as they are consumption, products that lift the spirit and raise a smile.