Fashion 2050: Biolace
Carole Collet is a professor in Design for Sustainable Futures and Director of Design & Living Systems Lab, focusing her research on biodesign, biofacturing, high-tech sustainability. Collet is also a pioneer of the Textile Futures discipline at Central Saint Martins.
What is unique about Collet’s work is that most of her projects are fictional, in the sense that they represent possible products or situations in the year 2050 and beyond.
One such fictional project, is “Biolace” (2010-2012), a series of four plants, Strawberry Noir, Basil n 5, Tomato Factor 60, and GoldNano Spinach, which are presented in a hyper-engineered state. The works are provocative, in the sense that they bring up discussions of the pros and cons of living technologies and genetic engineering. How far is ‘too far’ when it comes to controlling living organisms to our benefit? What happens when these plants become a reality? The main goal is to eliminate chemical-based textile manufacturing while also harvesting food to eat.
But would you, as the artist states, “eat a vitamin-rich black strawberry from a plant that has also produced your little black dress?”
In the future, plants may become multi-purpose factories, producing both food and fabric. Instead of polluting the air with gas or the water with runoff like in a traditional factory, water and sunlight are the only fuels these ‘factories’ would need. Sustainability has never looked (and tasted!) so good.