RESHAPE18 | sensing materialities
Project design category

Designer: Jun Kamei


By 2100, a temperature rise of 3.2°C is predicted to happen, causing a sea level rise affecting between 0.5 – 3 billion people and submerging the megacities situated in the coastal areas.

AMPHIBIO is a 3D printed amphibious garment which functions as a gill. Designed for a future where humankind lives in very close proximity to water, it provides daily comfort to people who spend as much time in the water as on the land. Although the dystopian connotation of a flooded world, the aim of this project is to propose a more optimistic vision of such future, where humans could live in an amphibious manner by virtue of the gill garment; a world where human would have a peaceful touristic dive in the neighbouring church or a night dive in the vivid streets.

Amphibio consists of a gill and a respiratory mask. It is designed to allow humans to breathe underwater with lighter equipment. The white device that is positioned around the neck and chest functions as the gill. It is hollow inside and contains air, which can be breathed in and out via the mask, connected to the gill by a tube. The gill accessory is 3D- printed from a microporous hydrophobic material, which supports subaquatic breathing by extracting oxygen from the surrounding water and dissipating the carbon dioxide that accumulates in the system.
The microscopic pores in the material allow air to pass through, but stop any water from penetrating it. The technology was inspired by water-diving
insects that survive underwater by way of a thin layer of trapped air on the surface of their superhydrophobic skin, which functions in the same manner as a gas-exchanging gill.


The newly developed material can be shaped into the complex form using the recent additive manufacturing technology such as 3D printing. As a next step, I am planning to test AMPHIBIO to support underwater breathing at human scale, where a gill with at least 32 m2 would be required to support our oxygen consumption in water.
If you are familiar with free diving and scuba diving equipment, AMPHIBIO sits right in between those two. In a near future, it could allow the wearer to stay underwater longer than in free diving with less equipment than in scuba diving.

The deep investigation in science, technology, design, aesthetic, society and environment is what makes my design process unique. First, my process begins by understanding the challenges that human might face in an advent of water disaster.
By forecasting the climate change and more flooding incident to occur in the next decade, I focused on the need for lighter, futuristic professional diving equipment. AMPHIBIO is a futuristic design concept supported by a strong scientific research. From the technological point of view, the development of the gill garment is based on both creative and scientific thinking – where the working prototype of the gill resulted in a newly patented technology.

From the aesthetic point of view, many 3D printed garments are shaped in the way they are for the sole purpose of being beautiful. This is not the case for AMPHIBIO, where the aesthetic of the garment and of the mask comes from necessity;
the gill garment needs a maximized surface contact with the surrounding water to have the most efficient oxygen intake. To maximize the oxygen intake from the water, computational form generation was used to create complex high surface area structure around the body. By using such technology, the shape can be customized to individual wearers.


Cost estimation
Full suit 3D printing Euro 1,000 – 2,000
Water tank test Euro 500