10 April–18 May 2013
Layer by Layer focused on 3D printing and its potential as a tool for design. By outlining some of the processes, stages of development and materials involved in the printing of objects, this exhibition demonstrated some of its most innovative uses in contemporary practice. 3D printing, otherwise known as additive manufacturing or rapid prototyping, was first patented in the 1970s. New advances in 3D-modelling software have enabled designers to think creatively about their output in ways that were previously unimaginable.
The exhibition was loosely divided into three sections – process, materials and applications. Process explored both the process of making and designing, and featured work by Marloes ten Bhömer, which revealed the entire production process. Iris van Herpen’s A/W 2013 collection, Voltage, featured one 3D-printed ensemble created in collaboration with Neri Oxman from MIT’s Media Lab and printed by Stratasys using multi-material technology. It also featured works by Victoria Spruce, Marla Marchant, and a collaboration between architect Julia Koerner and printer Materialise. Materials featured a newly commissioned materials library, to illustrate the number of materials and finishes currently available to users, created in close collaboration with Shapeways, a leading 3D-printing marketplace and community.
Also featured were the Melonia Shoe, designed by fashion designer Naim Josefi and industrial designer Souzan Yusouf, and printed by i.materialise; the Biomimicry Shoe, printed by i.materialise and designed by Marieka Ratsma in collaboration with Kostika Spaho; and designs by Chau Har Lee, Hoon Chung and Liz Ciokajlo, and Ron Arad’s PQ Eyewear. Applications featured 3D-printing companies, such as Nervous System, who have begun to harness these new capabilities in order to market and sell their products. Their digital design applications enable visitors to their website to customise and purchase jewellery online. Julia Gaimster has worked with Enrique Ramos to create a program through which the design of a ring can be altered via twitter.
A Makerbot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer ran in the gallery throughout the exhibition, giving visitors a firsthand experience. The Fashion Digital Studio oversaw the printing of new work by jeweller Silvia Weidenbach, which took place twice a day, Monday to Friday.
Layer by Layer was curated by Leanne Wierzba and Gemma Williams.