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Will the Next Alexander McQueen Be a Biologist?

Amy Congdon Image: Biological Atelier :  AW 2082 ‘Bio Nouveau’ Collection

Sponsor Pratt Institute | BF+DA
February 9, 2016
Panel starts at 7:30
BF+DA 630 Flushing Avenue, 7th Floor, Brooklyn, NY

How is science challenging the apparel industry and who are the bio-tech superstars leading the charge? With life science technologies becoming more integrated with the apparel industry, we explore what’s next and how biology has become the new muse for fashion design.
Join biological designer/researcher Amy Congdon, architect, co-founder of Terreform ONE Mitchell Joachim and Suzanne Lee, New York based Chief Creative Officer at Modern Meadow for a deep dive into the world-changing use of bio-tech to create new materials, expand our capabilities and challenge how we think about who makes our clothes.


More about our panelists:

Amy Congdon, Biological Designer, Researcher

amy congdon head shot

As a designer Amy Congdon is interested in exploring the crossovers between design and science, through a highly experimental and research driven practice. Using speculative design work she investigates the implications of engaging with new technologies, such as biotechnology. Employing her work as a vehicle to provoke debate, and discussion, into the potential ramifications of using living materials to create our future products.
Alongside her speculative work Amy continues to work within laboratories with existing life science technologies, such as tissue culture, to further her research and understanding of the current capabilities of these technologies.

Suzanne Lee, New York based Chief Creative Officer at Modern Meadow

suzanne lee

Suzanne Lee was the pioneer of creating clothing through the use of microbial cellulose. Lee used fermented tea, bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms that can spin the ingredients into eco-friendly fibers. The term Biocouture came from her work and has now transitioned into a biocreative consultancy she runs. She is also the New York based Chief Creative Officer at Modern Meadow, an innovative New York-based team of scientists, engineers, designers and artisans developing cultured animal products and exploring new ways to create sustainable animal materials, such as lab-grown leather. Lee is also founder of Biofabricate, the leading event for the field of design, biology and technology, focused on the emerging world of grown materials.

Watch her TED talk here.

Mitchell Joachim, Ecological Design Innovator, Architect, Urban Designer

mitchell joachim

Mitchell Joachim is a leading figure in ecological design, architecture, and urbanism. He is the founding co-president of Terreform ONE, a nonprofit think tank for architecture and smart city design. Joachim is also an Associate Professor of Practice at NYU. Formerly, he was an architect at the offices of Frank Gehry and I.M. Pei.

He has won a number of accolades ranging from the AIA New York Urban Design Merit Award, 1st Place International Architecture Award, Zumtobel Group Award for Sustainability and Humanity, History Channel Infiniti Award for City of the Future, Time Magazine’s Best Invention, and the Victor Papanek Social Design Award. His living ecological home design, Fab Tree Hab, has been exhibited at MoMA and widely published. He has received recognition for his work by Wired, Rolling Stone, Popular Science,  and Dwell.  In 2015, Images Publishing Group honored him by selecting him as one of Fifty Under Fifty Innovators of the 21st Century.  Professor Joachim and Nina Tandon’s book, Super Cells: Building with Biology, was published by TED Books in 2014. Professor Joachim, along with Peter Anker and Louise Harpman, published Global Design: Elsewhere Envisioned (Prestel 2014), a showcase of design research as it relates to visionary architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, and ecological planning.

Moderator: Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator Executive Director, Debera Johnson

deb johnson head shot

Worthy of mention: Pratt Institute will be launching “Coded Couture,” on February 11, featuring an exhibition that proposes a new interpretation of couture where coding is the ultimate design tool for creating customized garments and accessories. The works displayed range from forward-looking garments and accessories to video projections, objects, drawings, photographs, and interactive applications that provide the public with greater insights into what the future of fashion may hold. The exhibition, which will open during New York Fashion Week in February 2016, is curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox of c2-curatorsquared and features work by 10 international designers including work from panelist Amy Congdon, former t.LAB Artist-In-Residence Alison Tsai and former t.LAB Research Fellow Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman.

More info here.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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