a reverse engineered future

I am a designer developing and working with Reverse Engineered Silk. The material is a protein based material that has almost limitless applications. I am currently working on the scale-up, product design and development while working intensively within a laboratory setting. Working as a Creative Director I believe in the importance of sharing ideas across all aspects of this multifaceted project and the interdisciplinary transfer of knowledge.

We are working in collaboration with ‘for-profit’ and ‘not-for-profit’ organisations, companies and individuals developing connections and conversations between design, material research, high and low technology and environmental sustainability through biomimicry and closed loop systems.

‘…We experience the world through our senses. Once we have acquired verbal language, we rarely acknowledge how much we understand through our textural awareness; there is an intimacy, a privacy surrounding our sensory experiences. Thomas’ objective is to make these intimate connections public through his work. The unique properties of new materials or relearning of old can support this. The more we attempt to control our environment and our interaction with the physical world through intellectual scrutiny of objects we deny the fundamental importance of textural experience, the more we risk losing that level of emotional communication.

Tufts University

Thomas Duggan

View Project

By exploring questions of the symbolic, cultural, social, technical and emotional aspects of materials we will better our understanding of design in relation to a sustainable future.

The contemporary emphasis on visual styles has ignored the sense of touch. What we see everywhere are warnings: “don’t touch”. Particularly in developed nations, where people have easy access to design that satisfies their senses of sight, hearing, smell and taste but their sense of touch however is starving. Thomas is firmly convinced of the importance of a new mission for contemporary artists, designers and scientists to work together with new materials, and to reinvent old, to develop and resolve this omission…’

Here is a small example that is able to communicate this message well and I think is fitting for this site:

‘…The reinvention of a 5000 year old material is expressed as a seed containing a new and hidden life. I have redesigned this childhood toy and the material it is made from. I hope this offers a new way of thinking towards design, global health, high and low technology and material science. Life in nature induces conditions conducive for life. This new design protects the seed and also the environment it lives in, so that future generations have conditions conducive to life, and play. This product integrates within the environment both during and after its useable life because it is made from Silk. The reverse engineering process of the bombyx mori is entirely ‘green’ and water-based, and the ‘lifetime’ of the silk seed can be timed as desired. A joyful throw of the ‘helicopter seed’ allows it to gently spin to the ground and then as desired will integrate within the environment without any trace whatsoever. The mulberry seed is then planted in its place developing new material and opportunities for a sustainable world…’