DESIGNERS AGAINST AIDS ANTWERP BELGIUM COLLABORATION:
What Do You Get When You Cross A Fashion Designer With A Biomedical Engineer…
This month, DAA caught up with fashion graduate Evelyn Lebis, one of the four founding members of Saturday Light Fever, a synergistic collaboration between two left and two right brainers, to discuss their latest project.
Evelyn Lebis and Laura Clausen, completing their Master in Fine Art at the Swedish School of Textiles, began Saturday Light Fever as a means to experiment with their passion for and fascination with light. They started to meet weekly on a Saturday night and hence this became the impetus behind the name. When their combined passion led them to the world of thermochromism, substances that can change colour when there’s a change in temperature, they realised they needed leftbrainers on board. In walked Javier Fereira Gonzalez and Ruben Buendia, doctor candidates in Biomedical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm to plug the technical gap.
Coincidently (though not so coincidently for us as we are writing this blog), their latest project are t-shirts designed for DAA.
The t-shirts utilise smart textiles (materials and structures that sense and react to environmental conditions or stimuli) such as the heartprint tees in yellow and green which change colour according to the wearer’s body temperature. In so doing, they aim to make the wearer and the viewer more aware of their bodies.
This is a key message for HIV prevention as in developed countries we are all guilty of reducing HIV to a disease and still seeing seropositivity as a death sentence. The piece that’s missing in current HIV communication is much more general. The answer: body awareness.
If we’re educated about HIV we’re disease focused and if we’re uneducated, we’re unaware full stop. If we’re body aware … we may be more empowered to make the decision for ourselves. If we’re body aware we can ask ourselves whether we want to have unprotected sex and whether we want to share needles and whether we want to do whatever we can do to stop transmission between two people. We hold the power and hence the outcome, not the virus.