Sonja Baumel

crocheted membrane

Sonja Baumel membrane

source: sonjabaeumelat
The crocheted membrane translates scientific data into crochet pieces representing a design language in-between science and fashion design. How would a piece of clothing, which is defined by personal physical needs or, for example, our body temperature look like?

‘Crocheted Membrane’ experiments with creating a momentary fiction through fashion artifacts. Starting with the physical needs of one individual human body in an outdoor temperature of 10 degrees Celsius, seven hand-crocheted body forms were produced. The clothing’s texture got thinner or opened up completely on areas of the body that needed less warmth and were thicker where warmth was lacking. In this way, a fundamental change in the aesthetic and function of clothes was displayed. Fixed forms, such as trousers, were recreated into new, unique body forms. Instead of one uniform surface, the textures became alive and inimitable. “Her concept of clothing does not derive in the same way as most fashion design, from shape or historically patterned form with embedded social hierarchy and material richness, but is instead determined by the needs and sensations of the human body – performing in the same way that bacteria populations individually respond.” (Villeré 2014) The resulting fictional artifacts illustrate how we could use knowledge about our unique bacteria population to create a novel layer.
Sonja Bäumel (AT) works across various disciplines including art, design, fashion and biological practice. The interest in Sonja’s ongoing research and creative process lies in the human body and the unexpected diversity of the human ecosystem, in its ‘social network’ and in our changing perspective on the human body.

Sonja studied Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Vienna, and holds a Bachelor in Arts from the University of Arts of Linz, as well as a Master in Conceptual Design in Context from the Design Academy Eindhoven. In 2012 she was awarded with the Outstanding
Artist Award Experimental Design, for the project Textile Anatomy, from the BMUKK Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture of Vienna.

Her work has been exhibited internationally in Ars Electronica Center(AT), Anthology Film Archives New York (USA); MAK Museum of Applied Arts(AT); Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (TW), Museum of Natural History Vienna(AT) or ZKM Center for Art and Media(DE).
Her Textured Self project is in the permanent collection of the Textielmuseum in Tilburg in the Netherlands. Her works have also been the basic impact for documentary films (ORF/ARTE: BioArt – Kunst aus dem Labor; Servus TV_Terra Mater: Wir sind Planeten) to which she actively contributed. She is co-founder of the Dunbar’s Number collective (2011), member of Pavillion35 (2012) collective based in Vienna, and of the WNDRLUST (2013) collective based in Amsterdam. Sonja currently teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.
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source: superabril
Já imaginou uma roupa inteligente que se adaptasse à sua temperatura corporal ficando mais fina nas regiões mais quentes do seu corpo, e mais grossa nas partes em que você sentisse mais frio? Pois é, a designer austríaca Sonja Bäumel não só imaginou, como tem trabalhado neste projeto.

A roupa seria feita de uma espécie de membrana de crochê, mas, em vez de linha e agulha, a matéria-prima seriam as próprias bactérias do seu corpo. Segundo Sonja, essas bactérias reagiriam de acordo com a temperatura da pele para formar fibras de tecido. Lugares mais quentes, por exemplo, repeliriam a multiplicação das bactérias fazendo com que a fabricação de tecidos se concentrasse nas áreas mais frias do corpo.

Mas a ideia ainda está muito longe de se tornar realidade. Sonja afirma que existe, sim, a possibilidade de que as bactérias formem fibras têxteis, mas, daí para esse tecido surreal se concretizar, é um grande passo. Ainda bem – ou imaginem o escândalo que seria o próximo verão.
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source: iwenleewordpress
你知道身體的細菌居然有2公斤重嗎?你能想像細菌有23種顏色以上嗎?你以為洗澡後全身上下是最乾淨的嗎? 許多意想不到的冷知識都在參與荷蘭設計師Sonja Bäumel在台北當代藝術館的座談會後得到解答,當然,更別說她把原本在顯微鏡下才能觀察到的「細菌」給視覺化了!

荷蘭設計師Sonja Bäumel本身是服裝設計師,因緣際會下開始嘗試在自己肩膀上開始進行細菌的培養,也因此發現了另一個新天地,她希望能用正面的角度讓自己與大家重新去認識「細菌」。

因為對於感興趣的事情好奇,但又對於科學領域不太熟悉,所以她決定去訪問科學家,並又主動提出當研究室實習生的想法,希望能藉此對科學領域更加熟悉,當她親身參與實驗後,發現就像小孩進入大的世界般,打開了知識的廣度,其實藝術家的角色也可以像個橋樑,將織品設計與科學連結起來,可以讓艱深難懂的專業也能被大眾了解並獲得共鳴。

Sonja首先以自己的身體做為媒介,提供良好環境讓細菌生長,起初細菌也無法如想像中的生長,經過多次實驗以及尋求專家協助,也發展了一套自己的工具,能夠把細菌最真實、色彩豐富的一面保存下來。

她認為身體就是最大的媒介,與走過的自然環境交換,藉由溫度變化讓細菌現形,從原本空心到密集,產生外型變化。

此外,她也提出了有趣的理論,Who feeds whom? 到底是人體提供細菌棲生之地還是它保護了我們? 她認為細菌的微小生活圈很美妙,經由持續不斷的觀察,仍有細菌不斷的被發掘,而且細菌也有強弱之分、也會彼此互相溝通(透過化學訊號,就像人類的語言溝通一樣),我想細菌圈裡也像個小世界,有不同種族在用多國語言傳訊息吧!
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source: theglobalskinorg
This project explores the human skin and its invisible membrane. Instead of focusing on valuated historic forms it zooms on the microcosm which exists already on our skin.
The (IN)VISIBLE MEMBRANE confronts scientific data and methods with fashion design in order to find a balance between individual identity and the surrounding local environment. By doing so, I want to create a new second living layer on our body based on the interaction between individuals and the surrounding.
How will a piece of clothing, which is defined by, for example, our body temperature look like? What if we were able to collaborate with our skin bacteria in order to create a new second living skin?
All these assumptions led to my first project, the crocheted membrane in 2008. Crocheted membrane displays a fundamental change in the aesthetics of clothes. Usually, the conventional production of clothes is connected to some aspects of fashion design history, for instance, regarding an item’s shape: a shirt is defined as a shirt; trousers are defined as trousers etc. Opposed to this, the crocheted membrane process had a different starting point: an individual human body and its needs with an outdoor temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. Completely new functions, aesthetics and shapes emerged.
This caused further questions: What if our second skin would be able to locally adapt to changing conditions in a flexible and autonomous way? Would the aesthetic diversity of our clothes with individual colors, shapes and structures, be more inspiring and would we be more aware of our surroundings? Is it possible that even social integration would become more dynamic due to the adaptation of the outer layer to its surroundings?
In 2008, all these questions brought me to Wageningen University in the Netherlands. In order to learn more about the lives of bacteria, I had the opportunity to complete a microbiological internship. After having been introduced to the basics of microbiology, I started to experiment with skin bacteria and, at a later point, their reaction to textiles.
During this time I have learned how inspiring interdisciplinary cooperation between art and science can be for all the parties involved. New aesthetic and verbal vocabularies emerged. I noticed that scientists usually focus on their own special microcosm and that artists prefer interdisciplinary projects so that artists are usually in a position to recognize causal relations more easily.
Furthermore I intended to visualize a large part of the invisible bacteria membrane. This project I called: Oversized Petri Dish. I observed the transformation of invisible skin bacteria into a living organism, into visible bacteria on external material. Something which was part of my body became autonomous and visible due to the more favorable conditions in a petri dish. To see a human body outside the context of a living organism and the lack of awareness for its invisible beauty made think about the generally accepted “body-image”. This was new input for my work, i.e. to visualize the invisible, to raise awareness and cause food for thought. Our body does not end with our skin; it rather extends into the room in an invisible way. The skin border blurs and presents new views.

I’m especially interested in symbiotic biological systems, i.e. partnership models which are beneficial for all parties involved. In my opinion we could learn a lot from these systems about justice, fairness and mutual respect. Not in order to create an ideal world, but in order to discover new topics and a new aesthetic, to make progress thanks to the symbiosis of art and science. Art/fashion can visualize scientific processes. Science can contribute methods and data to fashion.

In 2009 I developed the film (in)visible. It shows the four layers of the (in)visible membrane– utopian vision and inspiration for new possibilities.

Since 2008 I am exploring the human skin and its potential. This project is part of my on-going research and creative process.

text by Sonja Bäumel
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source: gadzetomaniapl
Uprzedzam: ten temat nie będzie łatwy. Ani dla estetów, ani dla stylistów mody, ani dla pragmatyków. By zrozumieć iddę, która towarzyszy pomysłowi tworzenia ubrań powstających bezpośrednio na skórze człowieka, potrzeba wyobraźni, znajomości biologii oraz wiary w to, że skóra nie jest warstwą graniczną ludzkiego ciała, lecz membraną, umożliwiającą kontakt z Kosmosem.

Projektantka Sonja Baumel wierzy, że można wytwarzać odzież, traktując skórę człowieka jako matrycę i zaprzęgając do pracy bakterie, które są naturalnymi mieszkańcami zewnętrznej warstwy ochronnej organizmu. Ów przedziwny pomysł polega na tym, że powierzchnia ciała traktowana jest jak membrana łącząca świat zewnętrzny (baaardzo szeroko pojmowany, bo od bakterii zasiedlających powierzchnię naskórka aż po bezkres Kosmosu) z wewnętrznym, obejmującym wiele warstw żywej skóry.

Kolejną implikacją jest, że mikroorganizmy zamieszkujące ludzką skórę i sam człowiek stanowią niejako jeden skomplikowany, hybrydowy super organizm.

Na czym dokładnie polegałoby “membranowe szydełkowanie” odzieży, trudno mi na razie napisać, ponieważ nie są znane szczegóły idei – chwilowo jest to tajemnica samej projektantki (na stronie autorskiej nie ma, niestety, obiecanego filmu, który ma tłumaczyć koncept i jego ewentualne zastosowanie w praktyce). Wiadomo tylko, że stylistka stworzyła mapę ludzkiego ciała, która pokazuje, gdzie najliczniej zamieszkują je bakterie i jaki to ma związek z temperaturą różnych miejsc ustroju.

Niemniej, ubrania powstające na bazie membrany utworzonej w procesie – nazwałabym to: wizualizacji mikrobiologicznej mają za zadanie dogrzać te rejony ciała, które są najbardziej narażone na działanie chłodu.

Rozumiem, że ten cały wywód jest nieco skomplikowany, idea szczytna, a proces byłby całkowicie naturalny. Doceniam wkład myśli, trudu i pracy w opisywaną teorię. Przyznam jednak, że dla mnie, biologa, idea jest nazbyt transcendentna; a poza tym dla mnie – zmarzlucha – rzecz jest jasna jak słońce: najzimniej jest mi zawsze w stopy i dłonie.