'Design Research for Change' Symposium

Location: London, UK

Participants: University of Arts London - Elisa Palomino

ArsTinctoria - Gustavo Defeo

“Fish Leather, A New Environmentally-Friendly Material” - lecture by FishSkin project researchers presented during the two-day Design Research for Change (DR4C) symposium at the Design Museum, London.

The AHRC Design Research for Change (DR4C) Showcase at the London Design Fair 2019 included 61 design-led research projects that spanned a range of design disciplines, ways of working, geographical spread across the UK, methodological and conceptual boundaries. Each explored how design is increasingly involved in social, cultural, economic, environmental and political change, and hoping to be an active part of it.

The lecture draws on findings gathered through a partnership between the UAL, the Icelandic tannery Atlantic Leather and the Italian analytical laboratory Ars Tinctoria connecting fashion designers, scientists and leather technicians from the UK, Italy, and Iceland to advance material innovation by using new technology (water-based ink digital printing methods) on fish leather. The paper presents the journey of the mapping process, illustrating the key stages of the research, which led to the discovery of new material properties and finishes through applying digital printing processes to a food industry by-product material – such as fish leather.

The methods and practices of the project included dynamic interaction between the researchers facilitated through the cooperative framework of the FiISHSkin Horizon 2020 project. The findings identify that new materials, processes, and techniques are often the result of the successful union of fashion and technology to help drive the industry towards a more sustainable future.

Symposium Program Video