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Leon Baauw, Marcha Schagen (NL)

We humans are creating an enormous invisible network on top of our existing biosphere–the infosphere. The infosphere consists of networks and radio waves. lt’s our new, ever-expanding environment that is growing at a staggering rate. Yet we roam around unprotected with privacy­-sensitive data, which might easily be tracked and misused by virtually anyone. We are not in control of our own privacy anymore. And privacy is what makes us human.

Clothing has always been a means to protect ourselves against the threats of the biosphere, and Project KOVR protects the individual from the infosphere. By testing and combining different layers of metalliferous fabrics, Dutch designers Schagen and Baauw found an effective solution to protect the individual and his/her everyday tech-devices from radio waves and radiation. The black pockets allow the wearer to still be reachable with their device of choice. Project KOVR is a wearable countermovement designed for people who want to regain control.


Telefication Zevenaar, Niederlande

Foto: Suzanne Waijers

About the artist

Started in 2016, Project KOVR (pronounced cover) is an ongoing project of Dutch designers Marcha Schagen (NL) and Leon Baauw (NL). The name originates from Esperanto, created to be an easy­ to-learn, universal language that puts aside political and cultural differences and enhances communication transparency. The project is a result of a unique complementary and multidisciplinary collaboration between two designers embodying different fields of work. Whereas Utrecht based Schagen (1991) creates fashion, wearable objects, and performances, Baauw (1991), works as a (graphic) designer, researcher, and educator from Rotterdam. Their shared vision and interest in contemporary and future social affairs led to what is now known as Project KOVR.

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This project is presented in the framework of the STARTS Prize 2017. STARTS Prize received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 732019.