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#Techstyle – When Science Meets Fashion

By: , Posted on: May 4, 2016


Acquisitions Editor Kayla Dos Santos recently visited theTechstyle Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA and found out what the future holds for Technology in Fashion.

“Viktoria Modesta wearing a spike as a prosthetic leg dances across a glass floor. Balancing on wires the dancer, glides, jumps, stabs and jerks in a short and unsettling performance piece that is a prominent part of the new Museum of Fine Arts Boston #techstyle exhibit.

The exhibit looks at the convergence of technology and art through fashion. Some pieces were collaborations between scientists and artists, such as Iris Van Herpen’s 3D printed Cape and skirt. Van Herpen is known as one of today’s most futuristic fashion designers, her designs are often inspired by and incorporates scientific innovations. For one of her Paris 2014 collections titled “Magnetic Motion” all of the accessories were grown using magnetic fields.

For the exhibit, she collaborated with MIT Media Lab’s Neri Oxman, a researcher who looks at how fabrication technologies impact the design of objects and coined the term ‘material ecology,’ to create the first piece of 3D-printed clothing fashioned out of hard and soft materials. The result is a colorful shirt and cape that reminded me of a coral reef, something that a particularly fashionable mermaid would wear.


Other pieces incorporated elements of technology into the design or the methods of fabrication of the garment. There were many contributions to the exhibit that featured LEDs or light emitting diodes. The most interesting was developed by London’s CuteCircuit, a label that specializes in wearable technology. For the exhibit, they contributed an interactive dress featuring thousands of MicroLEDs that allows the wearer to select the patterns to display on the dress through a mobile app.

As an Acquisitions Editor for the electronic, magnetic, and optical materials list, I found it inspiring to see the product of the combined efforts of designers and scientists. The exhibit drives home that such creative collaborations can lead to not only fun garments, but new methods of fabrication and applications that in the future will have an impact on the day-to-day. It could be just around the corner when we’ll see biometric shirts that measure a wearer’s heart rate, or a solar cell dress that can charge a battery.


The Viktoria Modesta piece ends with the powerful statement, “Some of us were born to be different. Some of us were born to take risks.” #Techstyle shows what happens when designers and scientists take imaginative approaches to the practical limitations and boundaries that are part of being a researcher or an artist to create innovative works of art or science. Sometimes, they are both, a true convergence of art and science.


1. Smart Clothes and Wearable Technology Edited by J. McCann D. Bryson 


2. Wearable Electronics and Photonics Edited by X.M. Tao


3. Nitride Semiconductor Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) Edited by Jian-Jang Huang, Hao-Chung Kuo, Shyh-Chiang


4. Solar Cells by Augustin McEvoy, L. Castaner and Tom Markvart

You can save up to 30% on any of our books on Electronic Materials when you order via the Elsevier store, enter STC215 at the checkout! Need it now? You can also access our books via ScienceDirect

Do you have a book idea in electronic, magnetic, and optical materials? Email Kayla Dos Santos ( .

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Materials Science

The highly interdisciplinary field of materials science examines elements of applied physics and chemistry, as well as chemical, mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering. Nanoscience and nanotechnology in particular have yielded major innovations in this area, such as graphene and carbon nanotubes. Elsevier’s authoritative content in this area ranges from undergraduate textbooks to multi-volume reference works investigating the relationships between the structure of materials and their properties. Our journals (including Materials Today), books, and eBooks help researchers stay abreast of developments in this swiftly advancing field, coving major sub-disciplines like energy and power; metals and alloys; ceramics; composite materials; polymer science and biomaterials; interdisciplinary materials science; and structural materials.