Online digital platform RESHAPE promotes the design, research, and production of digital ideas, and represents a large international community of makers, designers, and customers who are inspired by innovation and want to explore the implications and applications of technology in today’s society. In 2014, RESHAPE held a Digital Craft Competition, and then a Wearable Technology Competition in 2015, where this 3D printed ocean-cleaning bikini took first place. After the success of these two challenges, RESHAPE has launched the third edition of its popular tech-oriented design competition.
The RESHAPE 17: Programmable Skins Competition invites architects, bioengineers, designers, professionals, and students to conceive of and create wearable products that not only act as augmented prosthetic skins, but also reinvent conventional clothing so that it actually puts the emphasis on how connected data, environment, and users are. Wearables are turning into supplemental, active skins that facilitate everything from movement and respiration to growth and nutrition; they also offer our bodies protection.
This type of connective intersection is happening more and more often in our everyday lives, and the Programmable Skins Competition is looking for “innovative yet feasible” design concepts that can be proved with physical prototypes that combine interdisciplinary processes and showcase these intersections. The contest is being co-organized by Noumena Studio, a collective group based in Spain that focuses on design, education, and research, and IN(3D)USTRY, a three-day exhibition held at Fira de Barcelona that looks at additive manufacturing from the adopters’ angle.
Aldo Sollazzo, the RESHAPE director and Noumena Studio founder, said, “The RESHAPE competition goes beyond ubiquitous computing, towards integrated and holistic strategies with the objective to move beyond electronics, in favor of programmable materials. This time we are focusing specifically on new materials and interactive relations. Fashion, a clear manifestation of the connections between environment, body and technology, offers a dynamic entryway into smart materials, biomaterials, sustainable production methods and new fabrication technologies, such as 3D printing.”
The design competition also gives IN(3D)USTRY a way to push past its current target of strictly 3D printing solutions and focus on a digital, connected workflow and more advanced manufacturing techniques. Some of the top consumer companies in the world, like Sony and Adidas, have embraced 3D printing technology, and these companies are always on the lookout for ways to keep their global footprint smaller. As the next conference at Fira de Barcelona is coming up this October, the main goal of IN(3D)USTRY is to be able to offer those top companies more sustainable manufacturing processes.
To submit a design for contest consideration, you’ll need to include a maximum of three A3-sized boards that showcase your unique design, and the design concept’s fabrication process; please note, only vectorial PDF files are allowed. Each board needs to include photos of the physical prototype, text, diagrams, and renders of the final design. Participants need to submit a a short mp4 video (maximum one minute) about the proposed design, and a brief explanation (about 600 words) that gives the details of the design proposal and a “realistic economic estimation of the product.”
The design proposals will be judged on a scale of one to ten in the following three categories:
- Concept idea – how well does the project rethink, in an experimental and inventive way, contemporary clothing, while at the same time showcasing connections between data, environment, and users?
- Prototype fabricability – is there a clear fabrication process for the wearable? The process should incorporate innovative manufacturing techniques, like 3D printing, that can be used to materialize design solutions using tools readily available in a Maker Space or Fab Lab.
- Dissemination strategy – what is the submission’s potential impact on the fashion world? Participants need to clearly illustrate how their designs could both transform the currently-held concept of clothing and be used in the real world.
Submissions can be made by groups or individuals, and the registration fee of €30 is necessary to receive your entry identification code. All contest entries must be submitted online, in a .zip or .rar format, on or before midnight (Barcelona time) on June 30, 2017; to see official rules, visit the contest page. A panel of experts from the computation, digital fabrication, and fashion design will choose the three winning proposals; jury members include Areti Markopoulou, the Academic Director at IAAC and the founder of StudioP52; Peter Hanappe, startup founder and researcher at the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris; and Miquel Serrano, the Director of the IN(3D)USTRY From Needs to Solutions conference.
First prize is €1500, while second prize is €700 and third prize is €500. The judges will also choose 5-7 honorable mentions, who will, along with the three winners, be included in RESHAPE’s online platform. Due to RESHAPE working with IN(3D)USTRY on the competition, the winning project entrants will have the chance to participate in a RESHAPE Symposium, organized with IN(3D)USTRY, that promotes idea exchange in numerous fields like additive manufacturing and product design. Additionally, RESHAPE will exhibit the winning projects at an IN(3D)USTRY retail event for the first time. The winning projects will be announced on September 1, 2017. Discuss in the RESHAPE forum at 3DPB.com.