Yokai Face Masks | Part One
Fashion Beyond the Crisis
After our successful testing and try out sessions for the YOKAI seaming solution (see previous blog post), our motivation to stay on track with our work was high, to say the least.
We were convinced we’d be unstoppable; that our hard work would pay off and we could continue putting all our time and effort into our formlock seaming solution research. Well… and then Corona happened.
Our spirits received a little setback, to put it lightly. Luckily, both of us remained healthy and well while being caught inside the comforts of our home. Yet, not being able to access our equipment had us feeling lost for a good few weeks.
We had to ask ourselves many questions as a result. Where was the purpose of our work heading? Which direction was it going in, now that Corona became a thing and the entire globe seemed to be falling into a deep crisis?
After some careful thought and a lot of self-reflection, we decided that being in a state of crisis was nothing we aspired as a young design collective.
Instead, we decided to see the current situation as a chance to prove to the world, as well as to ourselves, that our YOKAI production method was a sustainable solution which can be adapted to any situation – even a pandemic. We were determined to do anything in our power to help.
Doing Our ‘Bit’
After some careful thought and a lot of self-reflection, we decided that being in a state of crisis was nothing we aspired as a young design collective. Instead, we decided to see the current situation as a chance to prove to the world, as well as to ourselves, that our YOKAI production method was a sustainable solution which can be adapted to any situation – even a pandemic. We were determined to do anything in our power to help.
Even though masks and all sorts of face-coverings were produced in people’s homes for them to have a creative outlet and stay occupied, we discovered that there still was a shortage of them in public spaces. So, we hoped that we would not have to look very far in order to find someone in need of a local and sustainable supplier. But we didn’t expect to find someone right in front of our own doorstep: the GRAND GARAGE.
GRAND GARAGE is the name of the makerspace in Linz which has been home to our production space for over a year now. With the aim to open up to their members in the middle of May, they knew they had to supply masks alongside other safety measures in order for them to provide a safe space to their community.
After some serious sketching, rendering and a lot of conceptual overhauls, we came up with a final concept for the production of our own YOKAI facemasks, which would only use equipment available at the GRAND GARAGE itself. The co-founder of the makerspace, Ruth Arrich, was absolutely thrilled with our solution and the fact that they had found an in-house supplier for their facemasks. She gave us the go-ahead for production, which meant earlier access to our workspace. And wow – did it feel good to be back inside our creative home!
Stay tuned to find out all about the production and distribution in PART 2.
We believe that design is a combination of functionality and innovative forward-thinking methods, that can reveal new looks of fashion products but at the same time, it should face the issues that we are challenging in the 21st century. This way of thinking gives us the opportunity to confront problems from different angles and is the result of the artistic and technical background of the Yokai team members and co-founders Michael and Viktor. The main goal of the Yokai Team is to combine new technology with well-known techniques for the creation of designs in new and exciting ways.
Image: Michael Wieser and Viktor Weichselbaumer (Yokai Team) (C) Mario Riener
Our long term goal is to build a robot based automated manufacturing system, which enables the local production of customized clothes.Yokai-Studios Team