One of the biggest innovators in Dubai’s 3D printing scene has recently been WASP (short for World’s Advanced Saving Project). The pioneering Italian 3D printer manufacturer specializing in sustainable additive construction has recently helped the Spanish pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020 unveil a 3D printed intelligent forest; completed a flagship fashion store designed by External Reference in the city; and now with fashion brand Dior, it has unlocked an immersive experience that incorporates innovative materials and architectural designs. For this remarkably unique concept store, WASP merged natural materials like raw earth and sand to create the brand’s signature pattern on the walls. Consistent with its high-quality and beautiful style, the result is unlike any other Dior shopping experience, ramping up the brand’s green credentials.
Built on Dubai’s Jumeirah beach, on the coast of the Persian Gulf, the unique Dior installation is composed of two circular modules crafted with WASP’s exceptional 3D printing system called Crane WASP. This so-called “infinity 3D printer” is composed of a main printer unit that can be assembled in different configurations depending on the printing area and, therefore, on the dimensions of the architectural structure to be calculated in 3D. Two Crane WASPs were transported from Italy to Dubai to develop the pop-up store for the French fashion house, and the results are stunning.
Anyone traveling to Jumeirah beach will first distinguish the signature Dior cannage motif on the walls. The pattern has become a symbolic theme for the house of Dior since its inception in the late 1940s. In fact, it was Christian Dior himself who fell in love with the pattern, which he had seen in eighteenth-century salon chairs. He later incorporated the unique design into the packaging of his flagship perfume L’Eau Fraîche. From then on, the pattern featuring two warp and weft threads combined with two crossed diagonal threads has been a big part of the brand, incorporated within the designs of clothes, accessories, perfumes, jewelry, and even homeware.
According to WASP executive creative director Francesca Moretti, “it was really challenging to print this pattern.” Recreating the design on the walls was not easy “in terms of coding,” she revealed. However, thanks to WASP’s proprietary software capabilities, the design was optimized, and the walls of the store resemble the natural weaved threads on one of Dior’s handbags.
Once the high-tech feat was finalized and the state-of-the-art ephemeral structure complete, Dior decided it would house the brand’s Dioriviera summer women collection inside. Designed by Dior creative director and famed Italian fashion designer Maria Grazia Chiuri, the collection is a staple of the brand with ready-to-wear seasonal essentials like toile de Jouy-swathed surfboards, sandals, and shopping tote bags. The emblematic Jouy print design is also featured on the lounge chairs facing the “audacious showcase that carries the promise of a dreamy interlude,” as Dior describes it.
The innovative space also houses Dior Maison beach essentials, including deckchairs, parasols, cushions and bottles, and iconic bags, such as the Dior Book Tote and the Dior Caro, that mingle with the latest additions to the Dior 2022 cruise line, such as the Lady Dior in the horizontal East-West format and the Lady Dior Wicker baskets.
Unveiled as WASP’s latest “3D printed opera,” the beautifully crafted and eco-friendly architectural store is a homage to the House of Dior’s traditions, as well as its commitment to sustainability. Preserving nature, particularly flower gardens across France has been a long-time custom of the brand, dating back to Monsieur Dior’s passion for horticulture. Honoring his legacy, Dior has focused energies on regenerative farming and reviving flower gardens across France, as well as engaging in other environmentally-friendly actions. With a target in place to have all production sites certified for environmental management, Dior announced that by 2024, all its gardens will be Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT)-certified, a strict label that will reinforce the house’s commitment to responsible sourcing. Additionally, the project with WASP adds a layer of environmentally-sound construction to Dior’s sustainability initiatives.
As part of a vision to revolutionize building practices, WASP uses materials found close to the construction site. In fact, the company’s manifesto states, “Earth’s resources are not enough to support the existing population explosion,” which is why the brand has created economically and versatile 3D printers that can execute a wide range of products. In just three years, the company has turned its vision to scale up 3D printing technology with additive into a reality.
With its initial goal realized, WASP has proven once and again the possibilities of its additive manufacturing processes. Past projects include the sustainable living project TECLA, an innovative eco-habitat, circular housing model created entirely with reusable and recyclable materials, sourced from natural products adaptable to any climate. Similarly, the creative minds behind WASP recently embarked on an artistic project, an entirely 3D printed artwork built using natural materials and the company’s flagship modular collaborative crane 3D printing system for the Museum Wiesbaden in Germany. Other projects include sustainable 3D printed motorcycle models with Honda, 3D printed orange peel cups for a sustainable juice bar project, and even furniture.
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