Leaving design up to chance

Origami-inspired game randomises the textile design process, encouraging the creation of new knowledge.

London-based design studio Faber Futures’ creative pursuits are centred on the desire to develop and question existing methods of manufacture and the design-making process using their exploration of bio-design and living technology. Headed by Zimbabwean-born Natsai Audrey Chieza, the studio has become known for its work that explores the use of pigment-producing bacteria to dye and print fibres, alongside the development of an adaptable and scalable system of biofacture for the Fashion and Textile industries.

In her latest endeavour, Chieza has designed an origami inspired method to randomise the design process. Called Random by Design, the method takes on the childhood game of fortune origami. The game lets the player choose at random, four compatible variables from the following attributes: fabric type; media recipe; inoculation style; and fabric preparation method.

According to the studio’s webpage, the four variables are instructional to how each experiment will be conducted. The design was inspired by the impact of even the smallest variables in scientific experimentation.

“As the designer’s dexterity in microbiology expands, so too do the inventive tools required to innovate this emerging craft,” reads the webpage.

By mixing up the usual protocols used to print and dye textiles with bacteria, the project calls for inventive tools. “These tools must be able to negotiate the performative space between creative, material and utilitarian aspects of craft in the age of living technology,” says the studio.

More on Product Design