Text by Lucrezia Sgualdino

TYPE-V Nature Architects Projects by A-POC ABLE ISSEY MIYAKE


Issey Miyake presents a new project at Milan Design Week 2023 in collaboration with Nature Architects, exploring the role of design in its structure, materiality and production.

The production systems of A-POC ABLE ISSEY MIYAKE meet the latest design solutions of Nature Architects, a company that expand on design algorithms in direct collaboration with the University of Tokyo, developing functionalities beyond those of conventional products and using innovative technologies together with meta-materials. The latter are recreated with different properties than they would have in nature, the term itself being a combination of the words meta and material, literally meaning “beyond matter”. The project deals with one big process, exploring the potential and every possible innovation of “a piece of cloth” through a series of prototypes. For the occasion, the innovative Direct Functional ModelingTM scheme was adapted to the Steam Stretch technique of A-POC ABLE ISSEY MIYAKE. DFMs are design algorithms that make it possible to determine the shape of a product through processes that put the consumer’s needs at the centre, optimizing the production phases and making human intervention no more necessary.

“Through collaboration with A-POC ABLE ISSEY MIYAKE, together we developed a fabric that can transform into a three-dimensional shape through the mere application of heat. The properties of this fabric made it suitable for the creation of a jacket requiring a minimum number of seams.”

– Nature Architects

To describe the research carried out by the two brands in more detail, some prototypes obtained from a single piece of fabric are presented, such as a dress and a jacket for the fashion sector, and other pieces of furniture, design and lighting. The inclusion of meta-materials in the process conceived by the integrated design and production system A-POC, an acronym for A Piece Of Cloth, allows for a variety of pleating and processing that could not be considered before. A-POC was originally launched in 1998 with the computer programming of a knitting or weaving machine that integrates all the information and elements needed to design and produce a garment in one step. Since 2021, Yoshiyuki Miyamae, designer at Issey Miyake, has been working closely with his team of engineers and professionals from different creative and industrial sectors to find new production potential. The interaction between people and the exchange of ideas allows for continuous growth and an interdisciplinary approach between art, fashion, technology and craftsmanship. The aim of the project is precisely to give young people a new way of dressing for the future.

“A-POC stands for A Piece Of Cloth, the philosophy behind Issey Miyake’s design and making. With A-POC ABLE ISSEY MIYAKE, together with my team of engineers we continue to explore the potential of the A-POC system, developing this innovative technology.”

– Yoshiyuki Miyamae

THINKING DESIGN, MAKING DESIGN can be divided into two categories, project types and product types. The first in reference to the collaborative projects with professionals from other artistic and creative disciplines, with the focus on research and design processes, while the second category includes products created with the A-POC system, which encapsulate the characteristics of versatility and practicality, making them suitable for a refined, everyday style. The new PROJECT TYPES series was presented in the Issey Miyake boutique at Via Bagutta 12. It includes a collaboration with the artist Mr. Miyajima, who focuses his research and work on the concept of time and life. He employs the numbers 0 to 9 in each of his works, which is based on three fundamental philosophical concepts: “It keeps changing”, “It connects everything”, and “It has no end”. The clothes feature motifs with Miyajima’s numbers, hand-printed and developed in various colors; this collection is therefore a true wearable art.



The exhibition at the Issey Miyake store in Via Bagutta 12 in Milan will be open to the public from April, 18th to 23rd, from 10 am to 7 pm. 

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