Berit Greinke (Materials Innovation, 2015)Metatextiles2014

Berit Greinke

Shortlisted in 2015 for Materials Innovation

Berit’s work is multidisciplinary, informed by research and practice within design, art, physics, materials science and electronic engineering. Her work aims to initiate innovation and foster a collaborative relationship between arts and science disciplines, crossing boundaries by producing designed objects, installations, performances and workshops.

Originally trained as a textile designer and printer, she is currently studying towards a PhD at Queen Mary University of London’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science in which she conducts research within the Antennas & Electromagnetics Group to investigate fabrication technologies for microwave textile metamaterials. Metamaterials are composite materials engineered to guide electromagnetic waves along a predetermined path, allowing for a control over the conduction of these fields which were previously outside of technological capability. Inspired by the possibilities of this new material, scientists proposed designs for invisibility and shapeshifting cloaks, perfect lenses, bio-sensors and many more futuristic and practical engineering devices. Through approaching this scientifically researched material from a textile design and craft perspective, and integrating techniques such as screen-printing, embroidery, laser engraving, chemical etching, vacuum deposition and pleating, Berit’s developed textiles that refract microwaves in highly unusual ways. The work produces both scientific knowledge and a practical way in which the technological and creative potential of metamaterials can be introduced to the design community.

In previous installations the art work used accessible techniques such as pencil drawings and colour chromatography, sequenced into sonic projections following a tradition of producing visual art and sound while making use of inherent physical properties of materials. Berit’s work has been shown in a large variety of contexts, ranging from UK Innovate 2014 to Science Museum London and Marrakech Biennale 2012, and has been supported by EPSRC, MRC, London Printworks Trust and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.