Central Saint Martins Material Futures graduate Tina Gorjanc explores the intersection between design, biology and luxury with a conceptual collection of leather items made of skin grown from the DNA of Alexander McQueen.
In her project "Pure Human – Embodied Luxury" Gorjanc pushes the definition of luxury in the design industry and criticises the current legislation on biotechnology, which until now, only focussed on medical procedures. The Pure Human project uses recent developements in tissue engineering, in which scientists are able to grow human skin in a laboratory. Genetic material is extracted and placed in a cell culture, then the cells are harvested and skin tissue is tanned and processed into leather.
Gorjanc shows how genetic information can be seen as a source of luxury but also points out how easily a person or corporation can claim ownership over biological material, highlighting a concern about the protection of biological information.
In her graduate project, Gorjanc has designed a line of future commercial leather products cultivated from extracted DNA of Alexander McQueen. The products in the human skin collection include a tanned bag, a freckled backpack and a tattooed jacket.