Justin Marshall and Ollie Hatfield from Falmouth's Makernow Lab were among the winning team in the Climate Change and Fashion Hackathon held at London's V&A museum as part of the London Design Festival.
Taking place over Digital Design Weekend 21-22 September and organised by the MET office's Michael Saunby and Helen Storey from the London College of Fashion, the event saw over thirty scientists, technologists, designers and makers imagine future fashions in a world adapting to changing climates.
The Makernow Lab brought along digital production technologies including a 3D printer and CNC milling machine to support delegates. Alongside offering operational support, Justin and Ollie worked with Jon Rogers and Nick Taylor from the Product Research Studio at Dundee University and James Thomas from Northumbria University to explore ways in which the cultural artifacts within the V&A collection could be used to reveal the impact of climate change on the natural environment.
Taking the prediction of a four degree Celsius rise in average temperature by the end of the 21st century as a starting point, the team identified images at the V&A that illustrated particular geographical contexts and then researched what species would be more likely to inhabit that environment if the temperature was four degrees warmer.
Their winning prototype garment utilised an image of Roman ruins featuring a golden guinea fowl and through stencils, mirrors, LEDs and an Arduino controller transformed this into a peacock. Judges were particularly taken with the idea of reimaging cultural artifacts as a mechanism for raising awareness and debate around climate change. The team is keen to build on this initial work through further meetings and events to be held later in the year.