Bringing Science and Creativity Together
The 2008 project Wonderland is testament to the theory that two heads are better than one.
Through a collaboration with Professor Tony Ryan, a polymer chemist at the University of Sheffield, designer Helen Storey, Professor of Fashion & Science at London College of Fashion has found a way to turn questions into answers, with staggeringly beautiful results.
Helen’s first question:
Could there exist a bottle that would have an intelligent relationship with its contents, that would know it was no longer needed when the contents were gone and would shrink or disappear all together?
Well, why not?
Together, the disappearing bottle was made a reality. Using the same chemistry, Helen developed the project to create Wonderland, a dramatic and beautiful installation of disappearing dresses which were crafted and subsequently dissolved in a touring exhibition starting at London College of Fashion last year. Using the dissolving dresses as a metaphor, Wonderland shines light on the wider and much greater issues of sustainability and ethical living.
Tony and Helen comment:
“We chose a dress to manifest our new approach because we wanted to create something beautifully familiar with which to stimulate an emotional connection, particularly here at LCF. To watch a dress, that has taken months to create, disappear in a few days seemed to connect directly to that place of unfathomable loss. We hope this may work as a metaphor for our disappearing world.”
In bringing science and creativity together, Helen and Tony are on a journey, catalysing ideas and prototyping solutions to some of the major issues facing our environment. In the three years since they began working together, they have created four new products – including the disappearing bottle and a revolutionary water purification pillow. Two patents have already been applied for and the future potential is enormous, both in terms of the environment and humanitarian development.
“This is our call to creative arms. We are exploring the power of shared ideas. We all have a duty to use our talents, our imaginations and our rigour to create a healthier planet.”
The newest collaborative ventures continue the focus on water, with awesomely impressive results: Free Radicals, Catalytic Clothing and Water Amnesty.
- Watch the film by Nick Knight for Showstudio documenting the aquatic aerobics of Helen’s collection in the last stage of its life.