Digital Morph
Sarah O’ Neill

-NCAD Staff Prize Award Winner 2016
-Thomas Dammann Junior Memorial Trust Award 2016

Texture, experimentation with materials and technology in fashion are a key element of my work. How antibodies function in the immune system to neutralise bacteria and viruses sparked an interest in physics simulations of materials in movement. I explore the idea of an outside force attacking a garment and materials through physics simulations I create using software. Through these movement simulations, I can see how materials and shapes can interact with each other.

Throughout the collection the garment material transforms, morphs and moves while maintaining a silhouette relating to the body form. Beginning with indents in the silhouette from the embellishments attacking the garment. There is a sense of visceral interaction between separates in the collection. Towards the final garments the shapes of the fabric morph outwards rather than inwards while relating to the body.

The challenge in this project was to use desktop 3D printing to develop an approach to embellishment and surface design that is in total contrast to the usual architectural aesthetic. I use vibrant clashing colours to evoke joy and interaction between sections of the garment. All of the software and technology I use is open source. The open source philosophy means that underlying code (whatever its form) should be open, accessible, and shared—so many people can have a hand in altering it for the better. I combine technology with the hands of a crafts person as another tool.

I hack the 3D printer in order to be able to print with silicone. I experiment with embedding 3D prints into materials such as jersey. I sandwich heat reactive binders into materials to give stretch fabrics textures similar to antibodies. I transform calico fabric into bodily organ-like textures with use of binders. I discover methods of 3d printing large textures covering parts of shoes.