Nothing to wear? What if you could digitally print a dress, put it on and go?
That possibility is not so far-fetched with a process created by Nervous System, an innovative design studio that describes itself as working at the intersection of science, art and technology.
The company’s Kinematics Dress is made of thousands of nylon triangular panels and hinges, but prints in one piece and is ready to wear—no assembly required. Design, simulation and fabrication are integrated into one process.
Located in Sommerville, Mass., Nervous System creates computer-generated designs inspired by processes and patterns found in nature. But the studio’s designers don’t just create a design; they craft a system that incorporates distinct pieces and aspects that are interactive and responsive to change, allowing for customization.
The Kinematics Dress is patterned from body scans and can be tailored for rigidity, drape, flex, porosity and pattern, depending on individual preferences. In that way each dress is one of a kind because it can be custom-fit to each person’s body.
Since the dress is too large for a 3-D printer, Nervous System employs 4-D technology, which means the garment can change shape after it is printed. Prior to printing, the dress is compressed by 85 percent using a smart folding strategy that folds it in half twice. Once printed, the garment unfolds into its intended shape and is ready to wear.
The dress and the software that created it have been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City for its permanent collection.