Eindhoven is the city where design and technology connect – this makes it the right place for the regular meetings of Women of Wearables. Their recent meeting, which was held on the 6th of June, was organized by Tsarina FashTech Platform and Yksi Expo.

The guest and one of the speakers of the meeting was Koen Snoeckx representing Eindhoven hub of the Creative Ring. Koen Snoeckx emphasized the importance of collaboration in the creative industry: “According to the UN, the partnership for the goals is one of the components of the sustainable development. Here, in Creative Ring, we need a new form of partnership – passion based co-creation. We believe that the connection with the like-minded, intrinsically motivated people is the true key to sustainable development.”

The keynote speaker of the event was a fashion designer Maartje Dijkstra from Rotterdam whose works combine technology and design. This is not the first visit of Maartje Dijkstra to Eindhoven – she participated in Manifestations 2017 during the Dutch Design Week.

Maartje Dijkstra coined the term “Manual 3D printing” to describe her technique of using a 3d pen. This technique unites the tradition of the craftsmanship of the past and the recent technological advances in design: for her wearables, Maartje Dijkstra sculptures the intricate ornaments and shapes entirely from Flex filament overcoming the limitations of this material. When the 3d printed pieces are ready, they are sewn together with the polyester silk strands which are used in the production of the ropes used in maritime industry.

 

At the Women of Wearables event, Maartje Dijkstra presented the Suspended Animation dress made with the usage of nitinol memory alloy. Nitinol parts are moved by the battery pack and controlled by the computer in the back of the garment.

Maartje Dijkstra is always on the lookout for the technology which can serve as the means of conveying her ideas. For her TranSwarm Entities project, Maartje Dijkstra and creative technologist Erik Overmeir found the open source Bitcraze drones and used tracking system Ros platform to control them. Maartje Dijkstra says: “When I told the drone company that I would like to make a dress of drones, they replied that this would not happen soon. But in 2017 we already had the TranSwarm Entities dress with drones as the dress parts; the dress made fully of drones might be our next step.” TranSwarm Entities won the 3d price at T-Mobile Fashion Fusion contest in 2017.

Pieces like this are not the ones which can be worn in daily life. “If we draw the analogy between wearables and cars, the ones that Maartje Dijkstra creates are concept cars,” says Simone de Waart, creative director of Material Sense.

“When I hear from the company that produces the technology that at present it is not used in the way I plan to use it, I take this challenge because I derive inspiration from entering the areas where no one has gone before, ” says Maartje Dijkstra. “As a designer of wearables I wish that in the future technological companies would be more open to experiments on the integration of their solutions into design.”