Intention – Brief before the trip for the Uk market.
Initially, the intention of the project was to learn about the Kyrgyz material culture and use this approach applied to the Uk market to design woman’s wool felt, slipper like day shoes.
I envisioned I would understand better the properties and characteristics of the material, a bit of material history and production then apply this approach for a UK market. Part of the brief was to use the Kyrgyz nomadic approach of utility in modern context. To make relevant what was useful today in the UK and for woman as opposed to from a time long ago in Central Asia. I did consider pulling into the brief the Kyrgyz duality of contrast colours, of sky and earth but this was to be a more decorative consideration. I thought about on a simple level changing the Kyrgyz colour palette of the blue sky and the warm grey dry land to the British blue sky and the wet green land. But this will prove to be surface. More on this in later posts….
In my previous work in the Natural Selection work (see below), I aimed to exploit natural fibres to offer potential new constructions and design vision for a desirable future additive vision of production.
Ultimately, 3D printing natural fibres, or additively laminating up these natural fibres, then bounding the fibres with an organic, varied density material(s) and/ or varying the design structure to enable flexibility.
Part of what I saw in this project was an opportunity to understand the production and material culture of wool felt on a deeper level.
This simplification of old materials meets new processes I saw as the cure for modernising traditional nation productions and in turn modern industries could learn about raw material culture to inspire future more sustainable future productions. But what I discovered was not so simple….
A bit about Natural Selection…
In my pervious work I had designed felt shoes for woman. Before designing these shoes I had intended to address the economic and sustainable issues the footwear industry was facing by using additive production processes, meaning in this case 3D printing. I had been away from 3D print or stereolithography since the late 1990’s. In this time I was teaching design and designing fashion handbags, so coming back to this technology I assumed many advancements would have emerged. I intend to use soft, fluffy, natural materials. However this is not really available so I shifted my focus to materials which have the qualities of mass customisation and stumbled upon wool felt. From here I used a tubular construction steam formed around 3D printed moulds to suspend footbeds. The wool was impregnated with resins and shellacs to create three levels of densities.