Smart Talk / Encouraging a dialogue between science and design



As the head of Boston’s Descience, an interdisciplinary network, Yuly Fuentes works to decompartmentalize knowledge, to stimulate tomorrow’s innovations and business models.

A round-up of the Smart Talk held 19 September 2018 at Première Vision Paris. What happens when a scientist and a designer find themselves together in the same room? | Dr. Yuly Fuentes-Medel, founder of Descience

When not in her laboratory, Dr. Yuly Fuentes, a neuroscientist by training, works to further a fruitful dialogue between artistic creativity and scientific invention. “These are two universes that unfortunately have been historically separated and too often remain walled-off from each other,” she notes. As the head of the Descience network, she organises numerous workshops and collaborations to encourage a resourceful dialogue between researchers, fashion designers and industrialists. She likes to quote Einstein: “Creativity is intelligence having fun,” and imagines what kind of riches could have emerged from a meeting between him and a creative thinker such as Yves Saint Laurent.

Some 61 experiments have been orchestrated by Descience, bringing together scientific and creative experts to develop textile products and innovative fashions. From these she has taken away the importance of the creative processes at work and the virtue of expanded collaboration. From prints that detect bacteria, to borrowing from cancer technologies to developing new textiles….”The conversation between these worlds is a preliminary step to the changes of the future,” she insists.

She believes that changes in the fashion industry will lead to radically new models. In fibres, progress in bio-engineering advances are one illustration: reconstituting spider silk, animal-free bio leathers developed by Modern Meadow, bio mimicry … “My intuition,” she says, “is that the factories we know will be replaced by this type of scientific production.” Organizations, she insists, where both time and resources will be dedicated to experimentation.

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