Growing a Mars Boot
Caskia / Growing a MarsBoot is a project developed by Officina Corpuscoli in close collaboration with OurOwnSkin. The project has been commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Senior Curator, Paola Antonelli, as part of the exhibition “Items: Is Fashion Modern?”.
CASKIA / Growing a MarsBoot is a project rethinking and questioning, through a designer lens, 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 logistic needs, by minimising the quantity of required matters loaded in the craft at launch (fungal mycelium spores/samples) and by growing materials and tools along the space journey towards Mars.
In this scenario, astronaut’s sweat is filtered and fed to fungal mycelium, partly contributing to feed the fungal culture for the creation of biofabricated materials, raising questions in regard to how much of our own bodies residual compounds can be utilised as input sources for producing suitable garments, tools and fashion items along space travel and on other planetary surfaces (i.e., Mars/Moon).
The resulting footwear is composed by a combination of hi-tech and lo-tech processes and the related mycelium-based variants, such as pure or composite materials, each characterised by different physical and technical qualities.
Culturally, the concept references to both the H.G Wells dystopian view of Mars scarcity and the Alice Jones and Ella Merchant utopian view of Mars female liberation and harmony, as appearing in the related science fiction when discussing the province of Caskia.
While Tecnica’s Original MoonBoot (early 1970s) reflected the material culture characterising the ‘Plastics Age’, the aim of this project is to evolve such archetype towards a biofabricated, degradable, ‘made in space’, female MarsBoot. Hence, allowing for reflecting on our 21st century challenges and values, as well as by critically discussing the responsibility that we – humans – hold towards the consequences deriving from the potential introduction of any typology of material on any kind of ecosystem.
In line with the MarsBoot prototype, the film ‘Material Migration’ has been produced,
providing insights about the overall project.
The Museum of Modern Art – MoMA