Swiss product designer and ECAL graduate Christophe Guberan works in a studio in the picturesque Swiss mountains. His studio (and his time) is split in half: one side for commissioned work and the other half for material experimentation.
It is the experimental side of his work that he shared with the Design Indaba audience. His explorations into active textiles came from his fascination with how paper is able to fold itself when in contact with moisture. He developed a desktop printer that can print lines of water and ink onto paper in grids and patterns. As the ink dries the paper automatically folds itself along the lines, creating mountains and valleys.
A professor from MIT saw Guberan’s paper at an exhibition in Milan and invited him to visit MIT in Boston and develop the project further. Guberan extended his active material exploration to include wood, rubber and fabrics. He went on to work on a textile shoe project with the London Design Museum.