Transition Sonsbeek 2021

During the Sonsbeek sculpture exhibition 2021, Jef Montes and Wies van Santvoort present an adaptive installation. The object called Transition is made of white sugar and white soluble threads. The purity of nature and the weather will affect the installation, in which perishable materials find each other and unravel towards new abstract shapes. The experiment will last 100 days and can be found in the heart of Sonsbeek Park, right next to the round meadow. Transition can be viewed from July 19 to October 26, 2021.
DAY 11
DAY 36
DAY 15
DAY 15
The Transition installation keeps on growing! Wies van Santvoort and Jef Montes will add new objects within the expo area every 2 weeks. Keep an eye on this experiment, because when the weather changes the object will also change, creating a dialogue with the environment. More questions about the art work can be asked by sending an email to:

The making of Transition Sonsbeek 2021

To give an insight into the making process of the Transition object an overview is given
underneath step by step.
The making of the PVA woven jacquard garment:
1. Programming the material blueprint.
2. Manually changing the weaving machine warp cotton yarns with 0,2 white monofilaments.
3. Producing test samples using weft PVA soluble yarns.
4. Checking the quality of the test sample and adjusting technical flaws.
5. Producing the official woven fabric.
6. Cut the fabric from the roll.
7. Sew the seam of the garment.
8. Draping the material on top of the sugar branch.
The making of the sugar branch:
1. Cleaning and sanding the original branch.
2. Smoothing out edges and cutting it up into 7 different parts for molding.
3. Liquid silicone brushwork, layer 1 of 6 for a detailed, airtight result.
4. Liquid silicone brushwork for the second and third layers.
5. Thickened silicone is applied with a spatula for layers 4, 5 and 6.
After 6 silicone layers on each of the 7 molds I continued with the support casts.
6. Claying down half (in case of a two-part cast) or 2/3 (in case of a three-part cast) with chamotte.
7. Patches of burlap submerged in liquid cast created a strong support cast. Each side got at least 5 layers of the cast burlap.
8. With the chamotte removed and the first half of the support finished, the edges were soaped and after that I continued with the other sections for the support.
9. With grip clamps on the edges, the support cast is finished.
After the molds were all done, I was able to start with the sugar casts and their reinforcements to hold the shapes into place.
10. The reinforcements are created with PVC tubes. These were cut into the proper size and placed inside the molds.
11. Sugar, water and food coloring are combined in a big pan and at 140° poured into the mold, up to 4 kilograms per pour.
12. With about 10% of shrinkage, a second or third pour is required to finish up the mold.
13. Cool down takes about 6 hours, depending on the size of each mold.
14. With the PVC reinforcements inside the sugar structure, the sugar casts are sanded to fit end to end.
15. The PVC is glued together, making all sugar structures fit (more or less).
16. Even when the PVC is connected, the sugar also needs to be. With a silicone band tied to the designated area, new hot sugar is poured to connect both ends together.
17. The connecting sugar is sanded to resemble the structure of wood.
18. With a wood drill, multiple holes are drilled into the sugar and PVC to add hooks for hanging the sugar branch in between trees. To seal the hanging system, new sugar is poured into the holes.
19. With a small sanding machine, the structure gets a final touch up before it is transported
and installed.

Project Marinero is created with the idea of using the environment as the main design element, within the shaping process of materials. The concept of the textile design comes from biomimicry, 2D elemental forms that unravel into complex 3D shapes.

In order to emphasize the deformation of the textile it was needed to create conceptual yarns. The Adaptive Archi-Filament was developed in collaboration with co-creation tech platform Re-FREAM. The idea of the filament is to block deforming mechanisms inside a firm coating. This layer melts away with rain and starts to deform.

The materials are developed in collaboration with TextileLab Tilburg. 66 Marinero designs were developed for the design follows material experiment. The outdoor installations are designed by artist Bart Nijboer. This experiment lasted over 6 months and the entire process is published on The goal is to offer the Adaptive Archi-Filament as a commercial product in 2022.

- Jef Montes {-} ”It's about how these shapes have come to realization, garments that are shaped by meteorological conditions. When you buy a dress you normally look at if it fits you well and if you like the aesthetic. The intention of Marinero is to go from 2D to 3D, to reach shape within the architecture of a fabric. Traditionally a fashion designer buys fabrics and cuts the material until it is molded into a dress. In this case the focus specifically lies on creating conceptual fabrics and yarns. The molding process is placed into a literal natural context. This is an alternative production method that offers sustainable solutions. No waste materials are cut during the tailoring process, the Archi-Filaments do most of the shaping development. It's all about design follows material and the benefit of the experiment, offering unexpected beautiful shapes. My vision is that yarns will play an important role in the future, in order to create intricate fashionable shapes.''

Inspired by the contrast of the sea and plastic pollution. Marinero is the first project of Studio Adaptive Skins. The focus of Marinero is to create an architectural blueprint that transforms organically over the course of time due to different weather conditions. The blueprint is one woven square that forms the base of diverse variations. All produced Marinero fabrics are used (no waste). Because the finishing is already incorporated within the woven pattern, the materials take its shape by the various conditions, rather than using traditional cutting and tailoring techniques. The materials used to create yarns for the woven square are divided into several categories. The main categories are: 1 Adaptive Archi-Filament A+B (designed yarn by Jef Montes & produced in collaboration with partners: Aitex Alcoy and Wood K Plus in Linz), 2. Rpet (recycled plastic waste from the sea) 3. PLA (Bioplastic); 4. Seacell silk yarns that are dyed with algae pigment. The vision is to design a new kind of production system resulting into adaptive garments that grow with us individually. The woven fabrics have a warp of monofilament and a weft of integrated variable sustainable threads. The combination of these threads (horizontal versus vertical) cause friction and result into dynamic shapes during different meteorological conditions such as: rain, heavy wind or drought. The design follows the material. All woven and knitted materials were produced at TextielLab Tilburg. The tailored by weather installations are developed with local talented artists from Arnhem. During the final stage of the project all 55 textile designs were placed in open air installations. The Marinero garments have been installed on the rooftop of a chemistry laboratory. This experiment lasted 6 months total. All data collected results, in terms of best design balance filament versus technique, are published open source online.

In 2019 Studio Adaptive Skins joined the Re-FREAM network. An international horizon 2020 project that aims to rethink the production process of fashion. The goal is to create a new fashion aesthetic, that is shaped within the natural frames of the technology. ''tailored by weather'' is the main concept of the collection. The idea was to create adaptive yarns that have unique mechanical components, allowing the material to create complex shapes within a textile. This means that 2D produced textiles deform into complex 3D shapes by the use of smart filaments, based on meteorological conditions. The main European co-creation hubs are: Aitex material technology institute in Alcoy/Valencia and Wood K Plus research institute, at the Johannes Kepler Institute in Linz. We have been working on recycling plastic from the sea (rPET, and also PLA bioplastics) to create the Adaptive Archi-Filament. The technology that we have been working on are: melt coating and dip coating production processes. To create the Archi-Filament we needed to adapt existing filament production machines. Our project partners from Empa, the federal material science laboratories in St.Gallen contributed in lab testing and sharing valuable yarn improvement information. This helped the filament production technicians to create the final high performing filament prototypes.