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Collagen is the main component of animal connective tissues; organized in fibers, this cathegory of tissues comprehends the skin.

People’ faces are scanned throught a sensor and acquired in a digital environment. The software application written by the designers generates customized masks for each person. The masks are produced as unique pieces through 3d printing and WINDFORM materials. On February 10th 2013 the first three models take part in Venice Carnival’ parades.

This project is developed by DO THE MUTATION | generative design lab, in collaboration with EDGELAB S | space and form strategies. The three masks are produced by CRP GROUP with their WINDFORM materials.

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DO THE MUTATION develops applications for generative objects, strategies to design and produce adaptive and customizable objects. Exploring aesthetical and performative properties of biological systems, formation and growth simulations are embedded in the design processes.
The creation of a set of masks offers the opportunity of deepening this sensibility throught a research on the relationship between body and dress, imagining the mask as the product of the growth of a virtual organism on the human face. The object keeps its traditional functions of body prosthesis, providing identity alteration and concealment, stimulating viewers’ imagination and visual association.
This project explores the border territory between physical and virtual, connecting computer code’s abstractions with the intimate, visceral dimension of body alteration’s sense brought by the mask theme. The topographic anatomy of the face acts as input for a set of algorithms that under designer’s control generate the fibers that form the object, creating a material formation that after 3d printing perfectly fits its territory, people’s faces.
The set of objects produced represent a population of differentiated individuals, phenotypes sharing the same genotype. No matter how many masks might be produced, they all will share the same genetic code. The system is then flexible in offering possibilities of formal and diagramatic variation, in creating even highly different objects, customizable on different faces and as expression of different designers.




Masks are produced throught additive manifacturing technology, also known as 3d printing, and WINDFORM materials provided by CRP GROUP from Modena. This production technology is perfectly integrated in the design strategy, allowing to create an hypothetically extended set of unique objects, each different from the other, of highly articulated geometry. Moreover, the complete digitalization of the processes allows the web integration, and consequently the possibility of relocating the different development phases: it is possible to scan the face, create the mask and produce it in totally distinct places.


All this technological benefits do not imply losses for the visual and material qualities of the objetcs: WINDFORM materials, specifically WINDFORM LX 2.0, black polyamide based material reinforced with glass fibre used in high performance fields from motorsport to aerospace industry, are aesthetically pleasent, able to preserve in time the chromatic features, showing important mechanical characteristics that allow to create highly complex geometries avoiding the risk of breakings or deformations. The feeling on the skin is nice, allowing for a long-lasting dressing.

A new concept of the object is proposed, moving away from close models to be identically reproduced for open processes to be mass customized and led towards the production of unique pieces. The creation of a generative application allows a strong possibility of customization reducing the design effort on each object to a simple user interaction.

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Form, structure, colour, size, ergonomics, pattern of the objects can be radically transformed according to personal preferences and features, and produced as unique pieces throught 3d printing and CNC fabrication techniques, together with high quality and performing materials as WINDFORM.

The software application is written in Processing, programming opensource framework based on Java.

The face scan is performed throught the kinect sensor, that allows to acquire the topograhic and chromatic data of the models in the digital environment. The mask is created drawing traces on the digital faces of the models, from which the set of curves that forms the fiber system is generated. From the fiber system the application generates the 3d geometry that forms the mask body.

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DTM _ collagene _ portrait0202

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DTM _ collagene _ portrait0303

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research and coding: Filippo Nassetti, Alessandro Zomparelli

masks design: Mario Da Deppo, Filippo Nassetti, Alessandro Zomparelli


models: Lucio Pedrazzi, Silvia Tagliazucchi, Maria Regina Tedeschini

make-up and dresses: Laura Bedosti, Lucia Raffaelli

photographic support: Studio 129, Stefano Paolini

soundtrack: NONIMA – protozoaONO – difference

video production: DO THE MUTATION


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