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Austrian Designer Imagines Clothing Created From Your Body’s Bacteria

There is definitely something haunting about rendering the invisible “visible,” particularly when it comes to dissecting layers of the corporeal self. Austrian designer Sonja Bäumel goes one step further with her “(In)visible Membranes: Life on the Human Body and Its Design Applications” project, a fusion of fashion, philosophy, and science that explores how bacteria on our skin could be used to create clothing. Or, in her own words, how we could witness the “transformation of invisible skin bacteria on our living body to visible bacteria on a body-external medium.”

Currently on display at Design Academy Eindhoven’s Graduation Galleries, Bäumel’s four-part series examines the relationship between our body and our clothes, our individual identity and the surrounding environment. “I want to confront people with the fact that our body is a large host of bacteria,” she says, “and that a balanced perception of the body is closely linked with a balanced perception of the self.”

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