My Little Silk Farm: a design concept to inspire new futures for fashion

Sensemaking / My Little Silk Farm: a design concept to inspire new futures for fashion

A toy that teaches children how to grow their own silk worms. Concept by Christian Smirnow.

By Christian Smirnow / 24 Oct 2016

This is one of eight rapid prototypes for the future of fast fashion to come out of a rapid design sprint led by Forum for the Future and Elliott Montgomery of the Parsons School of Design. Enjoy the description below, but remember, it is a design concept, not an actual product. Find out more about the design process here.

Research into international textile practice found that families in India are supplementing their limited financial resources through the unregulated, but accepted, activity of growing silk cocoons in their backyards. Well-connected community members act as agents between the citizens and the national textile supply chain collect the silk cocoons, reimburse the citizens, and feed those resources into the national production.

Looking at the future generation of textile workers in countries like this, My Little Silk Farm aims to foster these private, micro-scale efforts, by educating children about growing silk worms from an early age. This playful DIY toolkit was co-created in an immersive five-day, collaborative workshop with family members from different Indian communities.

It is a pocket-sized greenhouse that hosts up to five silkworms, several silkworm eggs, a vessel with special nutrients for them to feed on, and a strainer for easy extraction and boiling of the silk cocoons, once they are ready for harvest.

Children are offered a playful learning experience, and are responsible for their own pet silkworms. They can even compete with their friends about who can grow the best quality cocoons. With this toolkit, children will develop a practice that will increase their adult productivity, and save on the high costs of late adult learning.

See and hear more about these artifacts at our Future of Fast Fashion event on November 1st in New York City.

More design concepts from the future of fast fashion:

Cyborg-run ‘manufactories’ fund labour for environmental restoration: a design concept to inspire new futures for fashion

The Mender Starter Kit: an artefact to inspire new futures for fashion

Blank Space: a design concept to inspire new futures for fashion

I Love WearMeBa!: a design concept to inspire new futures for fashion

What might the implications of this be? What related articles have you seen?

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