Photo: Christrini

Throughout the design process, the students focused on developing a unique formal language that would conform to the body through a procedural algorithm; finding a voice through a new emerging manufacturing paradigm. "We do not want to be teaching technology for the sake of technology," explains Bitonti. "This isn't about training technicians or draftsmen. We are trying to teach students to think through the computer as a medium and develop sensibilities for these new virtual materials."

We do not want to be teaching technology for the sake of technology. This isn’t about training technicians or draftsmen. We are trying to teach students to think through the computer as a medium and develop sensibilities for these new virtual materials.
— Francis Bitonti

Computation is now a medium that permeates popular culture. 3D printing enables this link between the physical work and a virtual design environment for designers today. The goal for the New Skins Workshop was to have the students embrace computation as a means of artistic expression. Now, the students are thinking through digital processes to create new culturally relevant and iconic forms. What was once Haute Couture is now ready-to-wear.

The entire design was printed on two MakerBots using MakerBot's new Flexible Filament material, which offers more flexibility than traditional 3D printer materials. The Flexible Filament allowed us to produce a flexible, 3D-printed garment that is able to conform the body's movement when worn. The rendering software Lagoa allowed the participants to develop photorealistic 3D images of the dress prior to printing. The lower portion of the garment was crafted using the Flexible Filament material from MakerBot, a stunning display of what is possible in design through 3D printing technology.


Instructors Francis Bitonti and Casey Rehm