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MaDe Finalist

Sara Kickmayer

Nanostructured Biomaterials
Future Vision

Sara Kickmayer, born in the Austrian alps, discovered early her interest in fashion, attending a school for clothing construction and exploring costume design during an exchange year in the USA. In 2015 she started her studies in Fashion & Technology at the University of Applied Arts and Industrial Design in Linz, developing a special interest in unconventional materials and quality textiles also through different internships, including one at the Dutch Designer Iris Van Herpen.
Her current work is mostly Research, working with Microstructures- and Nanostructures on textile and also exploring the range of traditional textile techniques in different materials.

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Project Information
Material Qualities
The quality of any material, that is nano-structured, doesn’t change the basic properties of the material. It is just changing the aesthetic of it. For example: the material can be completely biodegradable but still look super artificial.
COLOUR Depending on the structures that are used to imprint - mostly all rainbow colors.
SOFT/HARD Most of the recipes were the process could be applied on where more hard likely material, even if they have flexibility in it.
SHINY/MATE Always shiny, because of the reflections and the light
SMELL Depending on material used - Nanoimprint doesn’t change any smell
TEXTURE No texture. The structure makes a flat and even surface. You can not feel it.
OTHERS The qualities are really depending on the material that is used for the process and the mold. With nanostructure design you could even achieve different functions like to make it water proof,...
Material Recipe
There is not a specific recipe to make a micro- or nanostructured Biomaterial. The process is the most important to work on. It is very much about
the finishing and how to make it as easy as possible to use nano- or micro imprint as a design tool for biocomposites without using additional recourses and a lot of energy. The idea was to use already designed Nano- and Microstructures as a mold. Following the most important property of the material
had to be its liquid consistency at the beginning. As soon as the material got into the nano- and microstructures it was all about the drying process, how to make the material dry properly and fast.
Material Application
In this process I am not working with a specific material but
with a specific process regarding materials.
The process is inspired by natural phenomena. Especially
from shiny, translucent surfaces we can find in nature. For example Morpho Butterflies and other insects or plants like the farn Sellaginella willdenowii. They show different effects depending on light and sight. This is possible through structures that influence the light on nanoscale without any pigments and just the material itself. In my research I figured that you can use that as a change in the way how we look at materials regarding sustainability and aesthetic at the same moment.
In cooperation with the Austrian research lab Profactor, I was trying to use nano- and microstructures as a design tool and implement them into textile design. The idea was to reduce chemicals and other polluting treatments to get different effects. We developed an additive Nano- and Microimprint method.
Material Method
This method in fact I found out, that the application on biomaterials can be quiet easily without having to use any additional recourses.
My samples show, that the process, that was developed can be used to imprint nanostructure in biomaterials as for example bioplastics and give them a very different aesthetic. I think from a material designers point of view, this is a very interesting research and can change the whole idea of designing completely biodegradable product,
Material Narrative
Coming from Fashion and Textiles I think from an environmental point of view to show this little step can have a big influence on very polluting industry
regarding coloring and finishing. This process can bring the fun and the aesthetic to any biomaterial. This makes it especially interesting from a design point of view. Not only in fashion, but in any industrial design. The little nanostructure pieces, that were made during the workshop, could already be used as jewellery or other decoration, but even if you think further this method gives a whole new important look to biomaterials, not only regarding the importance from a sustainable and environmental point of view, but actually also the look of it, when you see it. Would do you think? Does it look compostable? It is compostable!
Material Classification
The process can be applied to any classification. Always depending on the the properties of material during the process. The aesthetic and the way it is done, I might even be mutant.
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MaDe, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of The European Union, aims at boosting talents towards circular economies across Europe partnering with design and cultural institutions, Elisava, Ma-tt-er and Politecnico di Milano.

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