Where Art meets Science: Introducing new materials paradigms through high fashion

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Chemistry


Environmental concerns are increasingly important and the UK produces 3 million tonnes of plastic waste per year - the majority of which is in domestic waste streams. Despite this perceived concern consumers seem unwilling to contribute to more environmentally friendly consumption patterns - either through more expensive environmentally smart packaging or through their own recycling efforts. We will provoke a debate into the ephemeral nature of the materials used in consumer goods through an internationally acclaimed art installation. The first exhibit will question how materials interact with their surroundings using the metaphor of high fashion. The second exhibit will change the context of the interaction using familiar branded packages. The visual impact of the installation will be augmented by a selection of accompanying audio tracks with an artistic commentary, a lay-persons interpretation and a deeply technical description of the materials and methods. The exhibits will be toured around target audiences, schools and high impact locations, such as art galleries and sculpture parks. The link with high fashion and luxury goods will ensure TV, radio and press coverage. Furthermore, these markets are likely to be early adopters of any new technology.


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