The Icelandic music and film icon Björk has taken yet another fashion-forward step. Before an invitation-only audience at Tokyo’s Miraikan Museum, Björk performed in a 3D printed mask designed by MIT professor, designer and innovator Neri Oxman. Inspired by Björk’s most recent album, Vulnicura, Oxman, renowned in design circles for her use of 3D printing and biomimicry in particular, used 3D scans of Björk’s face to create digital interpretations of her bone and tissue structure. The customized design was brought to life using Stratasys’ unique full-color, multi-material 3D printing technology.
Stratasys Multi-material 3D Printing Key to Oxman’s Designs
Björk wore the 3D printed mask, entitled “Rottlace” (a variation of the Icelandic term for ‘skinless’), during the opening performance of the Tokyo leg of her ‘BJÖRK DIGITAL’ event series - a new virtual reality project from the musician running from June 29 to July 18, 2016.
Björk wearing the Stratasys 3D printed mask during the opening performance of her ‘BJÖRK DIGITAL’ event series, the first-ever event to be broadcast live via 360-degree virtual reality streaming. Photo credit: Santiago Felipe.
The event is the first to be broadcast live via 360-degree virtual reality streaming. Björk performed the single ‘Quicksand’ from her latest album to a backdrop of high-resolution images of the earth, along with an impressive sequence of light projections mapped onto the 3D printed mask.
“I am so incredibly blown away by Neri Oxman's work and excited to finally work with her,” says Björk. “She is a true pioneer in capturing the biological with 3D printing in such a refined and profound way. It’s been a real joy to get to know her!”
Björk casting her own special musical magic with the Rottlace 3D printed mask. Photo credit: Santiago Felipe.
The Rottlace mask reflects the complex human musculoskeletal system, based on Björk’s own facial structure. Using Stratasys multi-material 3D printing, Oxman and Mediated Matter were able to mimic the elaborate combinations of contrasting materials found in the face, such as the soft tissue, muscle and rigid bone structure – all within a single print. According to Oxman, the unique capabilities of this technology to recreate complex geometries with varied material properties allowed the mask to retain a unique flexibility and freedom of movement integral to Björk’s performance.
Oxman believes that such developments in high resolution 3D printing will inspire designers to rethink the design and production of textile goods made with fibres. “Multi-material 3D printing enables the production of elaborate combinations of graded properties, distributed over geometrically complex structures within a single object. With Rottlace, we designed the mask as a synthetic ‘whole without parts’.”
“The Rottlace mask was designed for Björk while we are also working with Neri on a larger mask collection for Stratasys, which will debut later this year under the title ‘The New Ancient’,” says Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design at Stratasys. “It’s an honor to see visionaries such as Björk embrace 3D printing for the expression of her art. This technology not only provides the freedom to produce perfect fitting costumes for the film and music industries, but also the inimitable capacity to materialize a unique fantasy to such a precise level of detail and 3D expression.”
BJÖRK AND THE STRATASYS 3D PRINTED ‘ROTTLACE’ MASK, designed by Neri Oxman and The Mediated Matter Group, produced using Stratasys’ unique full color, multi-material 3D printing technology.
Photo credit: Santiago Felipe.
Nano Enhanced Elastomeric Technology – A New Movement in Fashion
Earlier in June, Björk also appeared in a Stratasys 3D printed fashion piece, the Pangolin dress, at the launch of her ‘BJÖRK DIGITAL’ exhibition series in Sydney, Australia. Designed by high-profile designers, threeASFOUR, and unveiled earlier this year at New York Fashion Week, the dress was also produced using Stratasys’ unique multi-color, multi-material 3D printing technology. The dress additionally marked the first-ever demonstration of Stratasys’ ultra-flexible and durable Nano Enhanced Elastomeric Technology material* – now also used in Rottlace – which has proved to be a big step forward for 3D printed fashion design.
“Being able to create personalized designs, unique to an artist’s individual profile and needs, is another example of how 3D printing is transforming manufacturing and catalyzing a shift towards mass-customization,” explained Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design at Stratasys. “It’s a pleasure to work with world-leading designers and artists such as Neri to demonstrate the impact 3D printing can have on traditional forms of design, while they continue to pioneer new creative concepts. It’s an honor to see visionaries such as Björk adopt these designs to innovate the music industry and set new standards for creative fashion.”
* The Nano Enhanced Elastomeric Technology material will become commercially available later in 2016.