What if our garments could be made of smart living organisms? Physarum Polycephalum is a genus of Slime Mould, a unicellurar organism that can be attracted and repelled by certain food sources, chemical or aromatic compounds distributing its body mass around those and making its distribution network very efficient. Following those rules it is possible to control the Physarum behave into pre-designed patterns and motifs generating living printed textiles and garments. Although Physarum Polycephalum does not have a nervous system, it can operate the best choice due to its remarkable problem-solving abilities making Physarum the best candidate as a type of simple control mechanism. In this project we are describing and investigating how Physarum Polycephalum can control a humanoid robot arm through the pulsations of its cell and how this system could interact with the Physarum harvested on the garment.
Through our work we investigate the potential use and implementation of a simple biological life form like Physarum Polycephalum into a number of computing, robotics and wearable applications. Bio (Piero D’Angelo) I studied Fashion and Textile at Central Saint Martins and I'm currently undertaking a Master degree in Fashion Womenswear at the Royal College of Art. During my time at Central Saint Martins I specialised in print and weave textiles. I've got involved into an assisting tutor position which at the end of my studies became a teaching job. Now I'm running my own life drawing, portfolio, hand and screen printing workshops. In 2015 I won the Dorothy Waxman Textile Design Prize with the ‘Hybrid’ collection. This experience led me to explore deeper the fields of science and technology bringing them into my work. Today, at the Royal College of Art my focus is on biotechnologies and through my practice I’m investigating how they could shape not only the aesthetic in fashion but also inform new silhouettes and ways of making. https://www.opencell.bio/project/piero-dangelo