Peter Allen

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Peter Allen and Carla Ross Allen co-founded KnoWear, in an effort to explore new possibilities in art and design that look beyond traditional art and design boundaries. KnoWear's work is based in the act of critique through the exploration of wearable technology, mass-media and the effect of branding on cultural identity. KnoWear's name is inspired by the thought that as digital wireless technology becomes more prevalent in everyday life events at home and work no longer have to be grounded in place but can be rendered as nomadic moments in time. We believe that advancing technology allows environments to break their physical confines leaving openings for a reinterpretation of culture and society. As a collaborative the focus of KnoWear is to be aware of these cultural shifts and react through the act of art making and critique. KnoWear's process is primarily based in the act of collaboration. As a team we work together researching new and emerging technology which typically becomes the conceptual starting point for a KnoWear project. We start with language and discussion and then distill an idea to a form or interaction that best represents our chosen concept. Our methodology in achieving this goal starts by working early on in the concept design phase with 3D digital technology. Such technology enables us to move from an early concept stage of hand sketches to a 3D digital phase allowing for form studies, color renderings and CAD Details. Once the digital design is finalized CADCAM information is extracted and downloaded to rapid prototyping machines. Using this streamlined method we are able to move very quickly from a 2D schematic phase to a fully rendered digital 3D phase, then to a finished prototype. KnoWear successfully has shown work at such venues as The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, National Museums of Scotland and The International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City. We also have been published both on the cover and individual spreads in such magazines as Metropolis Magazine, Octangano, The New Yorker and the exhibition catalog for Skin: Surface, Substance + Design. In the fall of 2007 KnoWear was commissioned by the Tyne and Wear Museums (UK) to create the BrandX series showcased in the 'Our Cyborg Future' Exhibition. In the fall of 2006 KnoWear participated in the 'Second Skins' sponsored by Vitra, Museum of Modern Art and The Cooper Hewitt in Essen, Germany. The 'Second Skin Show' continues to travel through 2007 most recently featured at MOCA Taiwan. KnoWear's past invitations include participating in the Portuguese Design Biennial: 1000 Plateaux The Future of Use/The Use of the Future, a platform where KnoWear lectured about our work as well as presented a talk on the future of products and clothing as well as a six-month residence at the MIDAIR division of Eyebeam Atelier in Chelsea, New York. The work produced at Eyebeam during the residence was featured in the 2005 annual Eyebeam Gallery Show: Produced at Eyebeam. The principals that make up KnoWear are Peter Allen and Carla Ross Allen. Both met as graduate students at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1998. Peter Allen, born in London, England, has a diverse professional background. Peter Allen's accomplishments include a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Hartford, a Certificate in 18th and 19th Century Furniture reproduction from The North Bennett Street School, and a Masters of Fine Arts in 3-D from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Peter Allen's past professional experiences include furniture design and prototyping a range of products for mass-production. Peter Allen's portfolio includes work that has been published and exhibited both nationally and internationally. Carla Ross Allen born in San Francisco, California received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from the California College of the Art and a Master of Fine Arts in 3-D studies from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Carla Ross Allen's portfolio includes work exhibited and published both nationally and internationally. Carla's past professional experience includes working for several internationally known architectural/engineering firms as well as collaborating on the design of a line of office furniture currently in production.