Adhitya, Davis, Mahony, Frankjaer & Flanagan: BIOdress



BIOdress allows the natural environment to communicate with humans and provides a precursor of how design might be approached from an environmental perspective. By linking the human wearer of the dress to a selected element of their natural environment, BIOdress provides a heightened understanding of the environment’s quantitative state. The wearer is linked to a specific plant, which is able to sense the quality of its surrounding environment on subtler levels, such as changes in air quality. This piece is the first representation by this group of a broader exploration of interspecies communication and the development of an approach to sustainable design that moves beyond the Anthropocene. It creates a mode of expression for silent, non-human elements, such as plants, which are often forgotten due to their inability to compete against the human voice.


Sara Adhitya is an urban designer with a multidisciplinary background in environmental design, architecture, urbanism, music, and sound design. She collaborates with design, research, governmental, and non-profit organisations around the world towards improving the sustainability of our cities. Awarded a European doctorate in the Quality of Design of architecture and urban planning, her research is concerned with the multisensorial design of our environment in space and time. She is currently a Research Associate at the Universal Composition Laboratory of the Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering department, University College London. 

Beck Davis is the acting Program Director of Design at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Beck holds at PhD (Industrial Design) in the analysis of gestural interactions between design teams ¬as well as the use of metaphors and analogies during the creative process. She maintains a particular interest in the philosophy of technology and sustainable design and is currently researching Mediated Interactions: how technologies shape experiences and creative collaborations. In 2016 she co-founded The Walter Collective a transdisciplinary collective that explore and critique wearables, embodied media, human-non-human interactions and inter-species communication – e.g., the wood-wide-web and fungi bio-haptic wearables. Recent exhibitions she has curated include Wear Next at artisan Gallery, Brisbane (2015); Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong (2016), and Experimental Thinking: Design Practices at Griffith University Gallery, Brisbane (2015).  

Tricia Flanagan began her career as a fashion and costume designer, but has been working as a practicing artist and academic since 1996. Since completing a Master’s degree in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies in 2003, her practice has focused on the public sphere through the mediums of site-specific sculpture, social sculpture, sound sculpture, sculptural installation, wearables and performance installation. She established the Wearables Lab at the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2009. She currently works at the University of New South Wales, Art and Design. Flanagan has a PhD (Public Art) from the University of Newcastle and has received awards, published and exhibited internationally, and is represented in private and public collections in Australia, Ireland, Germany, Italy, and China. Flanagan also sits on the programming committee for the Design, User Experience and Usability (DUXU) initiative in the context of Human Computer Interaction International (HCII). 

Raune Frankjaer is a spatial interaction designer with a background in architecture, photography and artisanry. Her work explores the mediation of nonhuman and post-human data, and new ways of blending digital technology with traditional craft practices and organic materials. Deeply vested into the pursuit of a more sustainable and livable world for all of us (humans and nonhumans alike), she sees the role of design and designers in imagining new and better solutions to what things are, what they could be and how they can be done. Raune hold a masters degree in new media design and is currently a PhD fellow at Digital Design and Information Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark. 

Zoe Mahony has been a fashion designer, business CEO and educator. Her current research explores aesthetics, technology and identity through the multidisciplinary field of computational and responsive clothing. Mahony has extensive Australian and European experience in RTW markets with roles in design, production, ethical supply chains, and marketing. She is a seasoned educator, teaching design thinking, communication, and new technologies. Recipient of the Churchill Fellowship, Mahony has written on design studio practice in England, Belgium, and France. In addition she engages in curating, exhibiting, and freelance design projects with established and emerging artists/designers.