Jun 30, 2016 | By Tess

Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk is no stranger to forward thinking fashions and provocative performances, having been a notable client of designer Iris van Herpen and fashion collective threeASFOUR and having released a music video filmed entirely inside her own mouth. Now, with her latest album Vulnicura, Björk has ventured into the realm of virtual reality, having performed the first ever virtual reality live-streamed show for her new single Quicksand. The performance, which opened the artist’s ‘Björk Digital’ event series was not only notable for its VR aspect, however, as it also featured an especially striking piece of 3D printed fashion.

The piece in question is a 3D printed mask designed by renowned American-Israeli designer Neri Oxman in collaboration with MIT’s Mediated Matter Group, and Stratasys Ltd. The mask, called ‘Rottlace’ (a variation on the Icelandic word for “skinless,” roðlaus), was inspired by Björk’s recent album and was designed specifically for her face. That is, Oxman and her team based the mask off of 3D scans of Björk’s face, and even based the mask’s intricate form on the singer’s bone and tissue structure.

Björk, who wore the 3D printed mask during her opening performance of Björk Digital in Tokyo at the Miraikan Museum, was excited for the opportunity to work with Neri Oxman. She said, “I am so incredibly blown away by Neri Oxman's work and excited to finally work with her. 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!”

The mask itself was 3D printed using Stratasys’ multi-material 3D printing systems, which allowed Oxman and the Mediated Matter team to capture the textural intricacies of the human musculoskeletal system, including soft tissues, muscle, and bone in a single print. The variable material properties afforded by the multi-material printing technology also allowed for the mask to be flexible and comfortable enough for Björk to wear throughout her performance.

Neri Oxman says, “Inspired by their biological counterpart and conceived as ‘muscle textiles’, the mask is a bundled, multi-material structure, providing formal and structural integrity, as well as movement to the face and neck. 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’.”

In addition to the 3D printed mask, Björk also wore a 3D printed dress to an event in Sydney, Australia earlier this month. The dress, threeASFOUR’s Pangolin dress, was also printed with Stratasys’ multi-material, full color printing systems and was made out of its soon to be released ultra-flexible Nano Enhanced Elastomeric Technology material (also used in the making of the Rottlace mask).

Pangolin Dress

Björk’s innovative digital event series will be running until July 18th, 2016. Additionally, we can expect to see more impressive 3D printed masks come from Neri Oxman’s collaboration with Stratasys on their The New Ancient project.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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