CASKIA – Growing a MarsBoot
CASKIA / Growing a MarsBoot (2017-2018) is a design project which rethinks and questions our 21st century material culture, its values and the ongoing challenges and perspectives of living on Mars.
The project addresses the restrictions characterising space travel and the need to optimise logistical needs, by minimising the quantity of required matter loaded into the spacecraft at launch and by later growing materials and tools during the journey towards Mars.
As part of such a framework, the astronaut’s sweat is filtered and combined with fungal mycelium, partly contributing to feeding the fungal culture for the materialisation of responsibly grown materials. Raising debate about how much of our own bodies can be utilised as a material source for producing clothing items in space and on Mars.
A combination of hi-tech and lo-tech processes are implemented to construct the footwear with mycelium variants, such as pure or composite mycelium-based materials – cotton, hemp and fungus –characterised by different physical and technical qualities.
Culturally, the concept references and addresses both H.G Wells dystopian view of Mars scarcity and Alice Jones and Ella Merchant's utopian view of Mars as a place of female liberation and harmony, as evident in science fiction when discussing the province of Caskia.
While Tecnica’s Original MoonBoot (early 1970s) reflected the material culture characterising the ‘Plastics Age’, with this project we aim to evolve the archetype towards a degradable, ‘made in space’, female MarsBoot, reflecting on our 21st century challenges and values, as well as on the responsibility towards the consequences deriving from the introduction of any material on any typology of the ecosystem.
Biofabrication and bioassembly with fungal mycelium growing on sweat and on bodily waste materials, 3D printing, shoe-making.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Mycelium, sweat, cotton, felt, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
Officina Corpuscoli | Maurizio Montalti & OurOwnSkin | Liz Ciokajlo. The project was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Senior Curator, Paola Antonelli, to be presented as part of exhibition: “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” Additional contributors: Rhian Solomon | OurOwnsKIN and Manolis Papastavrou Materials provided by: Officina Corpuscoli & MOGU Film credits: Craig Gambell, George Ellsworth, Wim van Egmond Photography: George Ellsworth Supported by: The Museum of Modern Art – MoMA