Dasha Tsapenko with Han Wösten


In collaboration with Han Wösten (Microbiology Research Group, UU Utrecht)

Fur_tilize offers a speculative prototype of a value-building form of fashion, in which a garment evolves through phases of growing: producing materials as well as food for consumption.

Five grown fur coats show five live-use cycles of one garment and illustrate how different species support each other, increasing the value of a particular piece over time. Hemp fiber mat is used as a base material for the coats.

The first cycle demonstrates the process of reinforcement: the Schizophyllum commune fungus strain is placed in the hemp following a specific pattern to make it sturdy.

In the second cycle, a strain of the opposite sex of the same fungus is added. The fungus takes over the hemp and creates a soft coating all over the coat.

In the third cycle, the strain of both sexes produce spores and fruiting bodies, making it possible to harvest edible mushrooms from the coat.

In the fourth cycle, the seeds of a crop species from the legumes family cover the harvested hemp-mycelium composite. Legumes are responsible for the process of nitrogen fixation, preparing the growing coat medium for more elaborated crops, after the harvest of the 'fur' of legumes.

In the final, fifth cycle, the growing medium is fertile and ready to host almost any kind of crop.

Rotterdam-based artist Dasha Tsapenko was trained as an architect in the Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Ukraine and as a social designer in Design Academy Eindhoven. Tsapenko’s work explores the mutually defined relationship between human bodies and the (designed) domestic spaces, as well as daily rituals performed in these spaces. She combines tools of fashion, architecture, performance and microbiology to unpack social and spatial interactions, question the existing daily routines, as well as speculate about the future in a variety of formats: personal artistic projects, research and education.