Christophe Guberan’s living textiles self-adapt, move, and transform

Global graduate Christophe Guberan creates products that challenge the limits of matter.

Product designer Christophe Guberan is a keen observer of the traditional with the aim to change and challenge the limits of matter. Born in Switzerland and based in Boston, USA, Guberan has become known for innovations such as “Hydro-Fold”, a printer that prints ready-to-fold origami, and “Active Shoes”, a self-forming and self-adaptive shoe.

In 2014, Guberan was stationed at MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab alongside Carlo Clopath and computer scientist and designer Skylar Tibbits. They received an invitation to design future footwear for Camper’s Life On Foot exhibition at Design London Museum under the Minimal Shoe Project.

The result was a geometrically complex shoe, printed on a 2D, stretched textile surface that can self-transform into a shoe when released from the printer.

“Material of varied layer thickness and property is printed onto stretched textiles then released after printing, allowing the shoe to jump into pre-programmed shapes. The combination of stretch fabric and printed patterns offers both flexibility and stability,” reads Self-Assembly’s project page.

The new production method reduces the complexity and labor required for shoe production while combining different materials for self-forming and adaptive shoes.

“We can have active textiles that self-transform, but also make it efficient so that it could be feasible to produce these because it’s a minimal amount of time and material to get the textile highly active,” Guberan told the Creators Project. “Whatever pattern, type, and thickness of the material you use, those become the geometric program, so that when you release the textile it jumps into shape based on what you printed. So, that’s how we can get the right shape and textures.”

Watch the Talk with Christophe Guberan

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