“It all started when I went to the first international 3D print show last year to conduct research for my Hybrid Adornment class,” says Catherine Andreozzi 87 AP, head of RISD’s Apparel Design department. She’s talking about her cross-disciplinary collaboration with FAV Department Head Dennis Hlynsky 74 FAV to create the 3D-printed iBag, a fashionable clutch – complete with matching thigh-high boots – that displays a full-sized iPad and was featured on the catwalks of recent 3D printing shows in Paris and London.
Hlynsky is RISD’s resident expert on Maya, the computer software they used to design the bag. His interest in the program lies primarily in its ability to help him crank out the small, subtly varied pieces needed for stop-motion animation. “3D printing has revolutionized what you can do in animation,” he says. “And working with Catherine taught me a lot about creating surfaces that the printer can tolerate.”
Inspired by coral, the duo went through many design iterations in order to create a pattern that looked organic and proportional. “The computer allows you to come up with extremely complex shapes and geometries that you might not discover sketching with a pencil,” says Andreozzi.
The designer is quick to point out that she had help assembling the boots (her first) from her Apparel Design colleague Anne Marika Verploegh Chassé. She also notes that the models at the fashion show wore garments by RISD student Maria Canada 14 AP/SC and that the iPad modeled at the show played Hlynsky’s film Murmuration of Starlings – Flight Paths. “Without Dennis’ expertise and dedication to the project, the iBag would not have been,” says Andreozzi. “His video brought the bag to life and completed the concept.”