Friday, 17 December 2010

the maths of miyake

Yes, here is yet another Issey Miyake maths inspired collection!

I was really excited to learn of Miyake's Autumn/ Winter 2010/11 ready to wear collection, a collaboration between Issey Miyake's creative director Dai Fujiwara and William Thurston, Professor of mathematics and computer science at Cornell University. "We used the technology of mathematics to make art" said Fujiwara at the opening show in Paris this March.

Fujiwara and Thurston share an interest and enthusiasm in three dimensional design, so the  collection entitled '8 Geometry Link Models as a Metaphor of the Universe', based on the fundamental geometries of three dimensional spaces, was of mutually beneficial interest to the pair. This article from ABC news and this interview on You Tube by Parismodesen gives an interesting insight into the common interest that unites these two seemingly disparate professions. Thurston explained "We are both trying to grasp the world in three dimensions, under the surface, we struggle with the same issue."
Fujiwara created garments based on different elements of Thurston's principles, resulting in inwardly twisting, knotting and crossed draped fabrics.

These designs have been criticised for there over simplified form, and there is no doubt that they are only loosely based on mathematical principle and not a literal interpretation, but then they have been used as inspiration, rather than to communicate an idea.

As one of my main focuses for this research I am looking at the question can maths be beautiful? As a designer I find these interpretations of mathematical ideas aesthetically pleasing. Is that because beauty truly lies 'in the eye of the beholder', or is there actually a winning formula that the majority of us would agree as beautiful? I find this collection of particular interest as there are many similar mathematically knitted objects already out there on  websites, such as that of Sarah - Marie's: The Home of Mathematical Knitting.

Even if the 'perfect' pattern is defined for us by the laws of mathematical 'beauty' (that of proportion & symmetry etc), there will always be a very personal design decision made by the knitter as to choice of scale, tension, yarns and colour used, and it appears to me that it is these elements that determine as much aesthetic value as the pattern itself.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with the writing Gaby. I know your gonna do a fab job x