15 years of FoAM

It’s been fifteen years since FoAM began as a department in Starlab in Brussels. Since then, hundreds of amazing people, ideas and initiatives have emerged or diverged from our studios. In 2015 we have set aside the time to celebrate, commemorate and reflect on this creative period.

Navigating the Anthropocene

A short update on FoAM’s recent initiatives entangling environmental and techno-social phenomena, including a trip to the Russian Arctic with Dark Ecologies, Earth Coding at Geologic Imagination in the Netherlands, collecting data on the evolution of sociality in India, live coding with environmental drones, and re-valuing the oceans in the UK.

Bartaku's winter update

An update from FoAM member Bartaku, including news about the works on aroniacentrism, agave power plants and transformations of a Serbian mining truck.

Seeker In the Wild

Seeker is a worldwide series of co-created starship sculptures that evolve over time. It's a community art project that invites people to fundamentally rethink the future of human habitation and survival by interconnecting technology, ecology and people. Since 2012 five different versions of the project have been realized in Slovenia, the Netherlands and Belgium. New Seeker versions are currently in pre-production in both Chile and Kosovo. Each new version builds ...

3D warp weighted loom simulation

One of the main objectives of the weavecoding project is to provide a simulation of the warp weighted loom to use for demonstrations and exploration of ancient weaving techniques. Beyond the 4 shaft loom dyadic calculator we need to show the actual process of weaving to explain how the structures and patterns emerge. Weaving is very much a 3D process and these visualisations fail to show that well. It also ...

Coding structure with threads

One of the most inspiring things we heard from Leslie Downs (our Advisor on textile innovation) was about the way he manufactures high specification structures for aerospace engineering by weaving on ordinary looms, sometime even hand looms for their flexibility. It turns out that some of these techniques are also possible with tablet weaving: I came across this mysterious diagram in 'Byways in Handweaving' by Mary Meigs Atwater

Coding with threads: Tablet loom

Tablet weaving is an ancient form of pattern production using cards which are rotated to provide different sheds between warp threads. It's used to produce long strips of fabric, or the starting bands and borders that form part of a larger warp weighted weaving. We'll come to the second use later in the weaving codes project.

Coding with threads: Frame loom

After writing the 4 shaft loom simulation the next job was to try weaving the structures with real threads. Would I be able to replicate the predicted patterns and structures? Ellen warned me that the meander weave would result in unstable fabric, but it would depend on the nature of the material used so was worth trying. Originally I planned to warp up the Harris loom but I need to ...

MidWest Experimental Station

In 2015 FoAM ams works to establish an urban experimental station in Amsterdam West at the MidWest neighborhood coop, aimed at horticultural, ecological and culinary field experiments. The 40 x 12 meter area used to be one of two playgrounds belonging to the former school building. The old pavement will be replaced by a lush orchard of grass and fruittrees. A 6 x 4 greenhouse is under construction offering controled ...