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Metabolism #2

Can programming be applied to fashion to achieve interesting chance silhouettes that can push the limits of a zero-waste fashion aesthetic?
Drawing inspiration from two fields - the Metabolism architectural movement and cellular automaton - this project investigates further aesthetic  possibilities of zero-waste patternmaking in fashion.
Cellular Automata generated patterns

The Metabolism movement formed in Japan in 1960  and was based on an ambitious vision of accelerated urbanism and advanced technology existing in parallel with an untainted nature, i.e. a selfsufficient techno-utopia. The key element to the movement was the use of identical modular units for the construction of whole cities.
The complexity of the set-up of Metabolist megastructures to be selfsufficient is apparent, yet, the simplicity of the idea of modular units that can make up whole cities provides a somewhat contrasting viewpoint to the concept. Interestingly, a new kind of science that specifically deals with this idea of a simple rule that generates complexity is Stephen Wolfram’s cellular automaton (Wolfram 2002, p. 23).

Cellular Automaton

The cellular automaton refers to a simple program with very few set of explicit rules and the behaviour of which can be instantly visualised for analysis. It consists of a row of cells, each row referring to a specific step in the programming and each cell coloured either black or white. Using this anomaly of a simple rule that is able to generate complexity, this project investigates the design possibilities of a zerowaste garment for which the patterns were generated by a cellular automaton.


Several patterns generated by cellular automata were translated into laser-cutting templates and cut into heavyweight wool suiting. The final fabric sheets with the laser-cut designs were used to generate interesting drape on the body as an alternative to traditional patterncutting methods without producing waste during the entire process.

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