Using DIY-biotechnology, Kazuya Kawasaki is changing the fashion of the future

Kazuya Kawasaki is a graduate of Keio University and a bio-activist using speculative design to pursue the possiblities of growing materials for fashion.

Kazuya Kawasaki is a speculative designer who is investigating how biology and fashion can come together. A graduate of Keio University’s SFC X design programme, Kawasaki is a DIY bio activist growing biological textiles to explore the range of possibilities that biotechnology presents to the fashion industry.

Kawasaki’s research involved studying the possibilities of producing a fibre – and eventually a garment – made of biomaterial through biohacking. At Design Indaba Conference 2016 Kawasaki presented some of his findings from this research. "Growing" the material involved combining organisms such as bacteria, yeast, fungi and algae together with liquid in a children’s blow-up pool to produce bacterial cellulose – a material that has similar properties to leather.

The Keio University graduate hopes to introduce speculative design and biomaterial into fashion design process in order to present new technological, environmental and social imperatives into fashion industry.

Using this DIY method involving a children’s pool and a cocktail of organisms, Kawasaki was able to grow a strong textile. With environmental concerns in mind, Kawasaki had to use a zero waste pattern cutting process to reduce the waste produced in the pattern cutting and garment making process.

Kawasaki presented an item of clothing grown using his bioactivist method and sewn using zero-waste process. Kawasaki says that the garment can withstand washing and provides adequate insulation. 

Watch the Talk with Kazuya Kawasaki