Life aquatic: fashion’s future

Designer + material scientist Jun Kamei has created a garment that functions as a gill.

Amphibio (modelled as a prototype) is a 3D printed amphibious garment which functions as a gill.

Amphibio, a 3D printed amphibious garment which functions as a gill, was designed for a future where humankind lives in very close proximity with water, it provides daily comfort to people who spend as much time in the water as on the land.

Created by designer and material scientist Jun Kamei at the Royal College of Art, in collaboration with the RCA-IIS Tokyo Design Lab, an international collaborative initiative between the RCA and the University of Tokyo.

Design by Jun Kamei, Photography by Mikito Tateisi

And that’s not just Blade Runner-inspired conjecture. By 2100, a temperature rise of 3.2℃ 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.

It’s made out of a special porous hydrophobic material which supports underwater breathing by replenishing oxygen from the surrounding water and dissipating carbon dioxide which accumulate in the system.

The technology was inspired from water diving insects which survive underwater by virtue of a thin layer of air trapped on their superhydrophobic skin surface, working as a gas exchanging gill. The newly developed material can be shaped in complex form using the recent additive manufacturing technology such as 3D printing.

Kamei’s next step: the designer is planning to test it 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.


Model : Jessica Wang