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Bio-Wear Activism

Bea Brücker

Bea Brücker's work ask how the integration of biodesign practices and new fabrication technologies could be used as a tool for an economically and socially liberating design practice. 

After graduating with a biodesigned collection from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in 2018 she was part of the Youth Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, a two-year sustainability programme launched by the UN Global Compact, the Copenhagen Fashion Summit and the Global Fashion Agenda. This motivated her to reflect on her own practice and to continue the intensive research of circular fashion systems. Her work has been shown at multiple exhibitions and shows, including the Berlin Fashion Week. While studying at the RCA Bea has interrogated the existing eco-dogma prevalent in the discussion around bio-design conversation in Fashion.

FASHIONCLASH Festival // October 2021, Maastricht

ICADE 2021, Tsinghua International Conference On Art & Design Education// October 2021, Online exhibition, Beijing

Westfield London's Future Fashion competition, winner of category 'textiles' // Aug 2021, exhibition, London   

WESLDET Exhibition Award- WES Lunn Design Education Trust // Jul 2021 London

BERLIN FASHION WEEK / Neo.Fashion // Jan 2019, Berlin

‘Green Cycles- Corporate Social Responsibility im Textilen Kreislauf ‘// Speaker with Hilke Scholz, HAW Hamburg// Sept 2018 Hamburg

WHAT IF?- Kollektiv Island Hamburg // Aug 2018, Hamburg

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, exchange semester // DAAD PROMOS scholarship, 2016/2017 Long Beach, California

Nacht des Wissens, exhibition‚ Manufacturing technology of textile art techniques// Jul 2015 Hamburg

What could a future look like where we live in partnership with nature instead of exploiting it? How can new technologies and biodesign help us find alternatives to capitalist systems of exploitation and pave the way for new ways of making, working and living together in social communities?

The last year in particular has shown us the need for a systemic change in the fashion industry. Bea sees her responsibility as a designer to question current power structures and to not only create a more eco-friendly industry but also a more equitable society and environment. Her work combines working with living organisms, computational design and the development of compostable algae leather, in which she sees the potential for a new production framework for the fashion industry. She is fascinated by the combination of natural systems and digital design tools, and the exciting potential this has in enabling future design practices for a more ethically, socially, and environmentally sustainable system.

Her work Morphogenesis is set in a speculative reality characterized by pandemics and ecological dead zones. In this world, biohackers and designers band together to use Biofashion as a political design movement, one that empowers through the creation of tools, brings together diverse communities and liberates them from existing neoliberal economic models. The collaborative work in local labs enables independent, sustainable production processes and creates equity and self-reliance. Using mathematically generated patterns and self-bred algae leather, a new design practice is being built that could lead to new ways of making and unleash new modes of creativity. 

engraved algae leather
finishing with heat instead of sewing
moulded algae leather
transparent algae leather

Due to the rapid growth of algae there is an increase of ecological dead zones in the sea. But algae is not only harmful but can be an opportunity: The Biomovement uses them as the main source of the future: For food, medicine and also for air purifying garments. Due to its great adaptability algae can be found and cultivated almost all over the world. It doesn't take fresh water nor a highly equipped lab to grow this material.

Multiscale turing patterns
— With huge thanks to Steve Bunn
wet moulding

In 1951, Alan Turing mathematically explained the creation of patterns and shapes in nature. Through a computer model, we can use his model to create multi-scale turing patterns that digitally create clothing. A digital design tool emerges. The idea is, that anyone can design unique garments with these patterns and via moulding techniques it is possible to make these garments in a local lab using algae leather, CNC and 3D printing. A circular system is created: Design process, material production, and reuse happen in a collaborative facility.

Circularity through Tambour beading and bio leather — By using algae leather and compostable yarn, the corset can be disposed of in the compost. The beads can be reused by simply pulling them off. Embroidery by Jenny Choi
Algae print & algae leather
Print collaboration — The use of algae pastes creates a toxic free screen printing process. Print and algae pigments by Meredith Wood.
Bio x Knit collaboration — The use of turing patterns in knitwear. Eucalyptus yarn and banana fiber yarn were used for this piece. In collaboration with knitwear designer Megan Sharples.
The breakthrough

With the biggest thanks to my partner Vincent Goos who worked extremely hard to help me realize this huge project and without whom I would never have gotten this far.

I love you.