Arts Thread

Charlotte Werth
Material Futures MA

Central Saint Martins UAL

Graduates: 2022

Specialisms: Textile Innovation/Textile Art / Sustainable Design / Sustainable Fashion/Textiles

My location: London, United Kingdom

charlotte-werth ArtsThread Profile
Central Saint Martins UAL

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Charlotte Werth

charlotte-werth ArtsThread Profile

First Name: Charlotte

Last Name: Werth

University / College: Central Saint Martins UAL

Course / Program: Material Futures MA

Graduates: 2022

Specialisms: Textile Innovation/Textile Art / Sustainable Design / Sustainable Fashion/Textiles

My Location: London, United Kingdom

About:

Charlotte Werth is a material designer working between textile- and biodesign.She has been researching bacteria dye since 2017. Her main focus hasbecome growing pigment-producing bacteria directly on the textile andguiding them to co-create textile patterns. In 2019 she built up amicrobiology lab including her own equipment and machines. She worked ona project in the intersection of fashion and biology and got awardedwith the cologne design prize. Coming from an Integrated Designbackground, she now looks into scaling up her practice by reviewingexisting tools to challenge the limitations working in between designand biology. Next to her own projects, she is teaching her expertise toothers.

Moving Pigments

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Appreciations  11

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‘Moving Pigment‘ scales up and automates the process of co-designing textile patterns with pigment-producing bacteria. It enlarges and makes visible a reality that is usually hidden from sight. The high degree of uniformity demanded in the context of mass production and consumer capitalism has led to extensive usage of petrochemical dyes. These have disastrous impacts on ecosystems. In contrast, bacteria dye has many environmentally friendly advantages, including far lower water-usage and no use of harmful chemicals. Placing this method within the industry’s context is necessary to provide an alternative to the destructive status quo. Bacteria dyeing is a unique method of dyeing, creating colour-gradients and lines when guided, which can not be imitated. Nevertheless, the microbes grow in slightly unexpected ways and thus take part in the design-process. Through centring living organisms as an integral part of a collaborative production process, the outcome can be explicitly designed but never foreseen precisely. Co-designing and co-producing with microorganisms means understanding their way of growing and applying that when generating patterns. Challenging the established separation of human and non-human species can create meaningful innovation. Designing with and not against nature necessitates alternative practices and new instruments. The machine developed within this work is designed to experiment and explore the process of bacteria dyeing through automation.