So this is my 2nd home for the next 4 months. Pretty neat huh! This building is the Waag in Amsterdam. It is home to Waag Society, an institute for art, science and technology. I'm participating in their course program called Textile Academy.

In the Textile Lab I will investigate - together with a team of experts from various disciplines - how the textile and fashion industry can benefit from new technologies, processes and business models. I will learn a lot of new techniques and do a vast amount of experiments. I look forward to discover new ways of designing prints and patterns, dying and manipulating textiles. There's also a Fab Lab and Open Wet Lab where we will do our experiments and research.

View from the Waag (photo: Eddo Hartmann 2012)

The building itself is amazing. The Waag (weigh house) is a 15th-century building and the oldest remaining non-religious building in Amsterdam. It was originally a city gate and part of the city walls of Amsterdam. The building has also served as a guildhall and anatomical theatre, among others. The Waag is depicted in Rembrandt's 1632 painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. The Surgeon's Guild commissioned this painting for their guildhall in the Waag. The anatomical theatre still remains intact for the most part, it is incredible to walk around there, imagining what experiments have taken place there throughout the years.

Now it's our turn to follow in their footsteps.

Can we make a minor or major change in the industry and within ourselves?

The fashion and textile industry is still a very polluting and exploiting industry. Influencers in fashion and textiles are still very set in their ways and making high gross margins seems paramount. Sustainability is on the rise but for a lot of brands and retailers sustainability is just a clever new way of marketing their product. Also the mass consumer is not convinced they should buy less, choose consciously and make it last. I have to admit I’m not completely there yet either although I feel the urgency to make a change. Follow my creative process and find out.

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