What do a fashioner designer and a nobel laureate have in common? Quite a bit, frankly, if the two-year long collaboration between UK fashion designer Shelley Fox and scientist Sir Peter Mansfield is any indication of how the two fields can creatively overlap. Sir Peter Mansfield won a Nobel prize in 2003 for his contributions to medicine centered on his work with medical resonance imaging (MRI). Working with Fox, the result of the collaboration is The Fat Map Collection, a fashion collection based on 3D MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans of six individual’s body’s fat deposits. Using MRI technology, Fox monitored changes in the internal and external body fat of six individuals who underwent a controlled exercise and dietary regime. The volunteers were scanned before, during, and after the regime. The resulting “fat maps” form the basis of the collection.
This project was part of Nobel Textiles, a collaboration between Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and the Medical Research Council. Why is this important? Innovation lies in making connections in what at first appears to be two disparate concepts. By bringing together two different disciplines, each, the scientist and the designer, can inspire creativity in the other. I hope to see more such collaborations in the future.