A collaboration between Di Mainstone and Joanna Berzowska at XS Labs took the shape shifting element of garments a bit further in the SKORPIONS Project, a set of kinetic electronic garments that move and change on the body in slow, organic motions.
The shape change is realized with the use of shape-memory alloy (SMA) Nitinol to achieve the slow adapting material and organic motions of the wearer.
The idea of integrating Nitinol into textiles might be obvious to create shape changing, responsive fabrics. But according the experience of Joanna, the process is quite complicated and expensive which explains the lack of Nitinol-based shape changing garments on the market.
SKORPIONS integrate electronic fabrics, soft electronic circuits, specially designed circuit boards, Nitinol, mechanical actuators such as magnets, and traditional textile construction techniques such as sculptural folds and drapes of fabric across the body.
The cut of the pattern, the seams, and other construction details become an important component of engineering design. All those elements are essential to create such interesting, sophisticated dresses as the XS Lab team realized in the SKORPIONS project.
Below is a short video clip showing how the SKWARTH model – my personal favorite – changes
For a wealth of information about the finished dresses, the team and background information of the SKORPIONS project. I highly recommend you read the inspirational material found on Skorpions Website.