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Charlotte van Alem

Charlotte van Alem studied Product Design at the HKU (University of the Arts in Utrecht). She soon took an interest in researching materials. During her internship at the Aterlier für Papierrestaurierung Dirk Ferlmann in Cologne, she had the opportunity to explore this interest. While restoring parchment, Charlotte experimented with different materials. As such, historical, pure materials were restored with modern insights. How can you do this properly without damaging the cultural heritage and exhausting the world?

This question got a hold on Charlotte and she decided her graduate piece had to be about material research: fuelled by a fascination of conservatism and the increasing scarcity of natural resources. During a mushroom workshop, she thought about jellyfish: animals that are generally seen as a problem in Europe. Jellyfish wash up on the shores, and they are removed to make sure tourists are not bothered by them. Jellyfish are literally there for the taking. How can we transform this raw material into an applicable material?

Charlotte gathered the jellyfish. During the symposium, Charlotte will take us through her pioneering work. She will provide insight into the process from dead jellyfish on the beach to usable material. You get the chance to see and feel the material. Together with Liesel Zwart and the Shoe Academy, Charlotte will show the first applications of the material. Can we wear booties made out of jellyfish skin in the future? Is this material useful on a large scale and for large objects?