“Innovation Square is a place where science and pragmatism can meet, a place to foster potential connections generally overlooked by people”. Fiorenzo Omenetto’s first impression about this innovative space, inaugurated at Lineapelle95 in the morning, is a great deal positive. By reading his report, the Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University (USA) has illustrated some research projects recently developed: they start from spiders and their ability to “transform a liquid compound, made of water and fibroin, a protein, into a filament that is nearly as strong as steel”. The audience did appreciate such tips among the others speeches today. Omenetto’s words aroused the curiosity of Lineapelle Innovation Square visitors, by showing the images of the new materials that may arise from that cobweb: plastics, micro-needles, pipes, electrical lights, pottery, screws and much more. In addition to the Italian professor, researcher Livio Valenti also participated in the event. Forbes listed him in the prestigious ranking that includes the “30 Under 30 Top Innovators”. While giving his speech, he offered some prompts starting from his personal experience at Harvard Innovation Lab. One more (virtual) speaker has been Skylar Tibbits, co-director of MIT Self Assembly Lab, who told about the several opportunities provided by the research studies on which his lab is currently focusing. For example, he mentioned some materials that can be split and subsequently recomposed as long as they are simply shaken. Conversely, others can self make objects in three dimensions, such a shoe, if properly programmed. “We are talking about products that can become wider or shrink according to temperature”, pointed out Tibbits. Such are the features of potential new tools that fashion and designers may employ: their applications are only limited by the ability to think about their best use. Paolo Netti, Anthony Covington, Susan Schofer and Hendrik Bargel also took part in the debate on “Fashion and biotechnologies” that took place in the morning. In the afternoon, speakers will be Luigi De Nardo, Micol Costi, Hannah Croft and Assa Ashuach. Focus tomorrow on another issue: “Biomimetics and the world of fashion”.
Photo by Davide Torchio / Polimoda