OurOwnsKIN - Material Anatomies in Design (@ Digits2Widgets) 'Can understanding our body’s material make up inspire product design for the future?'




Talk / Seminar

Can understanding our body’s material make up inspire product design for the future? Design consultancy OurOwnsKIN probes this question with a showcase and talks from design (OurOwnsKIN), anthropology (Victor Buchli, UCL) and 3D print (Jonathan Rowley, Digits2Widgets) perspectives. Free event.

This is a free event but booking is required. To confirm a place please follow the link below.

Material Anatomies in Design is the launch event for start-up design consultancy, OurOwnsKIN, founded by Designer Liz Ciokajlo and Artist Rhian Solomon.
Hosted in partnership with 3D print bureau, Digits2Widgets, this evening of talks, and displayed artefacts will probe the question - Can understanding our body’s material make up inspire product design for the future?

This subject will be explored from a multitude of perspectives including Design, Anthropology and 3D print.

Jonathan Rowley, Director of Digits2Widgets, will discuss the abilities and expectations of 3D print, emphasizing the paramount importance of the designers input in defining the future of 3D print and in advancing digital production processes. In short, the hardware can only attempt to give back whatever data it is fed. He will also discuss the roles of these technologies in representing forms for product manufacturing.

OurOwnsKIN (Ciokajlo and Solomon) will present outcomes from their recent project that has developed 3D printed footwear inspired by human foot skin structures. The duo will discuss the intimacy of the body with technology, emphasizing a need to build a deeper understanding of the body in order to digitally and intelligently design for it.

And Victor Buchli, Professor of Material Culture of UCL, will discuss the ways in which humans familiarise themselves with technologies, processes and products of 3D printing. In particular he will discuss how similar technologies in the past changed our relation to the material world and ourselves and how we might begin to understand these changes now.

The talks will conclude with a panel discussion and questions from the audience, followed by a short tour of Digits2Widgets print rooms, led by Jonathan Rowley.
An exhibition of OurOwnsKIN’s recent work will also be on display.

Biographies -

OurOwnsKIN design consultancy combines the existing practices of Directors Liz Ciokajlo and Rhian Solomon.

Liz Ciokajlo is a concept development footwear designer and researcher, focusing on how material innovation and emerging making processes can impact design constructions and form.
Since 2013 she has worked as a freelance consultant at footwear companies such as C&J Clarks International. Liz has initiated independent collaborative projects that investigate and develop design concepts surrounding the application of bio renewable materials and alternative making processes for future manufacturing. Collaborative projects she has worked on have been supported by UAL SEED fund, Arts Council England and British Council.

Rhian Solomon is a UK based artist and facilitator whose practice interrogates contemporary perspectives of the human body. Brokering interactions between design and medical communities, she creates projects that conceptually blur boundaries between the interfaces of skin and cloth, the body and dress.
Rhian’s practice has been commissioned by and presented at The Wellcome Trust, Arts Council, The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, NIKE Design Kitchen, Maggie’s Cancer Care, Leverhulme Trust and The Arts and Humanities Research Council. Alongside her role as co-director of OurOwnsKIN, she has curated events, exhibitions and publications that emphasize the role of the human body in contemporary design.

Jonathan Rowley
Jonathan’s background is as a qualified Architect. Starting as Design Director of Digits2Widgets in 2011, he and the team have striven to assist all potential users of digital manufacturing processes to get purposeful results from the technology as it exists, today. This approach is only possible through D2W’s availability to talk to clients about their projects BEFORE they print anything. Their day to day experience of 3D printing technology, hand in hand with design dialogue within a working bureau is unrivalled. This somewhat analogue approach (not “click and print!”) and the creative ambition of some clients, leads to extraordinary objects being produced through the studio. The aim is always to try and achieve things that transcend the technology. Objects should justify themselves and how they are produced should only be the second part of any conversation. Jonathan has presented talks about 3d printing to audiences as diverse as Chatham House, to the Crafts’ Council, always with an emphasis on the demystification of what is often presented as a complex and impenetrable “Sci-Fi” technology.

Victor Buchli
Victor is Professor of Material Culture within the Material Culture Group at UCL and works on architecture, domesticity, the archaeology of the recent past, and critical understandings of materiality and new technologies. He has conducted fieldwork in Russia, Britain and Kazakhstan. His latest book An Archaeology of the Immaterial (Routledge 2015) examines questions surrounding immateriality particularly the significance of material cultures that paradoxically attempt to deny their own physicality. At present Victor is starting new research into new materials and new technologies examining the rise of 3-D printing.

Press enquiries
Rhian Solomon/Liz Ciokajlo
+ 44 (0) 7800 907380


OurOwnsKIN is a consultancy re-thinking design for the body.
By collaborating with communities of medical and material specialists, we translate anatomical characteristics and emotional perspectives of the body into design for items we wear. We develop and communicate ideas through knowledge sharing events and prototyping to propose material constructions for future manufacturing.

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