Visiting Designer Will Talk About ‘Black Panther,’ 3D Design and Sustainability

Images of two pieces of clothing designed by Julia Koerner
Left: Jacket by Julia Koerner based on microscopic images of the wings of a butterfly. (Courtesy of Julia Koerner/Stratasys) Right: One of Koerner’s clothing creations with components that can be combined in various configurations. (Courtesy of Julia Koerner/Re-FREAM Project Digital Vogue) Photos by Ger Ger.
photo of designer Julie Koerner
Julia Koerner (Photo by Ger Ger)

Julia Koerner, who worked on the Black Panther movie and is at the forefront of 3D printing and sustainable design, will be the guest for the UC Davis Alberini Family Speaker Series in Design. Koerner, whose creative endeavors include architecture, fashion, sculpture and product design, will give a presentation titled “Models & Models” on April 22 at 4 p.m. PDT.  Register here for Julia Koerner’s presentation.

Koerner collaborated with Ruth E. Carter, costume designer for Black Panther, to create the 3D-printed crown and shoulder piece worn by the character Queen Ramonda. The movie won a 2019 Academy Award for costume design.

The kingdom of Wakanda in the film is a fictional place where advancements in technology and innovation are taking place,” Koerner said in an interview with Archinect.com. “The costumes of Queen Ramonda were meant to exemplify the combination of traditional African culture and the most high-tech fashion.”

Koerner’s online talk will focus on how architects and fashion designers are collaborating to create new looks and construction techniques with 3D printing, while also reducing shipping costs, waste and other environmental impacts.

3D-printing designs in the costume world is such a great opportunity because there are no limitations on the form and geometries, she said in an interview with DeZeen magazine.

Based in Los Angeles and Salzburg, Austria, Koerner teaches at the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design and is founder of JK Design GmbH. Her designs have been featured in National Geographic Magazine, VICE, WIRED and The New York Times, and exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Art Institute of Chicago, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Museum of Applied Arts MAK Vienna and the Ars Electronica Center. Visit Koerner's website. 

Her recent collaborations have included printed fashion pieces, and she launched an entirely printed ready-to-wear collection. One of her jackets features an intricate network of multicolored 3D-printed bristles that mimic the hairlike structures on a butterfly wing. Another collection is made up of a set of 38 components that can be combined in various configurations to form different garments.

“My work is between the beauty of organic and synthetic processes, and it enables me to envision a kind of synergy between the two,” Koerner said in a video by Dassault Systèmes.

The lecture series is organized and presented by the UC Davis College of Letters and Science’s Department of Design, the only comprehensive design program in the UC system.

Professor of Design Susan Taber Avila met Koerner at a textile conference in Europe in 2019 and Professor Christina Cogdell also met her previously. Both felt she would be a perfect guest for the lecture series that is supported through an endowment by the Carlos and Andrea Alberini Family Foundation.

“All of the Alberini series speakers have been uniquely different, but they are all at the cutting edge of design,” Avila said. “Julia is what I'd call a design technologist. She is an expert at additive design processes, and because of this expertise, she is frequently invited to collaborate with other designers. Her ability and practice working with designers in architecture, product and fashion is a good fit with our program, as design disciplines are becoming increasingly more interdisciplinary and this is also the direction of our department.” 

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist in the College of Letters and Science

 

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