It was 2003 when Sir John Sorrell CBE and Ben Evans CBE first launched the London Design Festival. Their aim was to start an annual event that would exhibit the London city’s creativity, celebrate design and designers, and bring great thinkers from around the globe together with practitioners, educators, and retailers. During the festival, which took place in September 2022, there were many eye-catching designs such as Swivel by Sabine Marcelis and SolidNature, Crinkle-Crankle Concrete by Seratech, Akt II and Byrne Bros., Plasticity by Niccolo Casas, Henge by Stanton Williams, LSI Stone and Webb Yates, I Was Lost But Now I Live Here by RCA, etc. But there was one more impressive design: Rootfull by Zena Holloway.
Zena Holloway and Her Collection
At the design festival, Zena Holloway exhibited her collection Rootfull, which is a collection of products, sculptures, and wearables. These products are completely made from grass roots. As an environmentally conscious person, underwater photographer Zena Holloway looked for a solution. She at last came up with the idea of growing clothes from seed.
At the London Design Festival, the collection included a dress with a collar, substantial wall hangings, other coral-inspired sculptural pieces, and root-grown lamps that had interesting coral textures. The collection leads us to think about the possibilities of textures from grass roots.
It is great to see the Rootfull collection. But we understand that there are some challenges while forming the roots. For example, the artist stated that it is a challenge to cut, sew, pluck, tease, join, etc. in order to find the optimum form. The artist succeeded after working with natural flows of fiber. Zena Holloway also stated that the fiber can be grown in large hanging areas. Later, they set and molded the fibers to form vessels. The fiber responds well, especially after the natural dying process. By the way, we heard that she uses the grass root as a 3D printer. In addition, every pattern is unique because the growth cycle for each pattern is also unique.