At the 2022 London Design Festival, Zena Holloway presented an intriguing collection of sculptures, products, and wearables grown completely from grass root! Called, ‘Rootfull’, the collection was presented at the inaugural edition of the ‘Materials Matter’ design fair.
Designer: Zena Holloway
The collection includes a dress with a collar piece, other coral-inspired sculptural pieces, substantial wall hangings, and root-grown lamps with interesting coral textures. Holloway’s collection explores the possibilities and scope of root-grown textiles, and how they can be widely utilized in the future.
‘The challenge is to sew, cut, tease, join, pluck, set, and reset until the root has found the optimal form. Root is an exciting and versatile material where the most honest results are achieved by working with the natural flows of the fiber. It can be grown into large hanging structures or set and molded to form vessels and responds especially well to natural dying processes,’ said Holloway. She utilizes the roots as a 3D printer, with every growing cycle resulting in a new pattern, so no two pieces are exactly the same!
Holloway cultivated wheatgrass seed in templates crafted from beeswax, and within twelve days, the shoots grow up to about 20 cm, while the roots connected together to form a beautiful yet natural structure. The roots grow either horizontally or vertically. They can be also coerced into compact spaces, forcing them to be small and flat, or they can be developed more deeply to create more detailed and interesting structures.