Earth Suit Project // Paris Fashion week / by Ashley Zelinskie


The "Мир мир" (Mir Mir) Helmet was designed by Ashley Zelinskie in cooperation with “Earth Suit Project” by Querencia studio for Paris Fashion week 2019. Ashley Zelinskie is a fine artist working at the intersection of art and technology, and this is her first collaboration with a fashion studio.

The helmet’s design includes climate change data that appears to be melting out of a modified Space X helmet design. The data on the helmet is provided by NASA, and “illustrates the change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average temperatures.” As they note, “[e]ighteen of the 19 warmest years all have occurred since 2001.The year 2016 ranks as the warmest on record.” The data on the helmet references not only rising global temperatures, but also the heated debate around climate change and how to address it.

Space exploration is both a new hope for mankind, and also a second chance, as we appear to stumble blindly towards destroying or irreversibly damaging Earth. Our growing knowledge of how difficult it is to inhabit other worlds should increase appreciation of our own, and in turn encourage us to protect it.

The Space X helmet design was chosen as a publicly released modern helmet design, and to echo the collaboration between Kate Walz of Querencia Studio and Pacific Spaceflight. The helmet’s name—“Mir Mir”—is a play on words, as “mir” is a Russian word meaning either world or peace. Every astronaut must learn Russian in order to participate in the space program, a rare area of continuing international cooperation of the kind needed to combat climate change.

The helmet is 3D printed in SLA resin-based plastic, through an additive process that minimizes material waste. This material will decompose when in contact with high levels of UV radiation, meaning the helmet will actually melt in an extreme environment.

THE EARTH SUIT PROJECT is a Kate Walz and Querencia Studio initiative that explores future fashion systems through a collection of technical and speculative garments based on fundamental human needs. The purpose of this project is to address increasingly uncomfortable and unpredictable conditions as a result of climate change, particularly from the rapid proliferation of temperatures, water levels, air pollution, and excess of waste. Through this work Kate aim’s to provoke a conversation surrounding what a modern day “Earth Suit” might look like by stylizing a potential future reality that is closer than it may appear. 

She has studied the spacesuit in partnership with Pacific Spaceflight, as it serves as a model for surviving in climate conditions that are conceivably harsher than our own. By conducting primary research with New Yorkers, the pieces are designed specifically for individuals in coastal cities who are already facing the effects of climate change. The collection includes protective gear paired with garments constructed of materials rescued from landfill. The garments explore key themes of the future of trash, time capsules and the NASA Voyager missions, punk DIY, capitalism and the climate, silver linings, and Max- Neef’s fundamental human needs.