The Salk Institute with Women in Science Scientists & Designers working together


Carlos G. Perez-Garcia & Humberto Buisan

My process with the Salk Institute much like nature has evolved. At first I was paired scientist Tatianna who helped establish this project. Unfortunately due to her prior involvement she was unable to continue with the project collaboration. I was then paired with Carlos G. Perez - Garcia. He has working on many projects including the original Lifeguard protein that Tatianna was involved with. But during my first meeting with Carlos I asked him what project he was most passionate about. We then discussed one of his studies that correlates to Down syndrome and chromosome expression. I was heavily influenced by the black and white images that displayed these genetic sequences.
As I met with Carlos we discussed the design of the dress and how we could demonstrate the science.
The image basically show double labeling using fluorescence. MDGA1 is red and green are the cells that are dividing (progenitors) in a mouse embryo where the cortex is still forming.

After the second luncheon I took a moment to enjoy the Institute and the lovely architecture it had to offer.

Mood Board for the design.
Taking a trip up to LA to hunt for supplies, I was looking for a black sequin fabric. I wanted something that would describe the vitality and life from the DNA sequences. I was fortunate enough to find a material I was originally planning to purchase. We also stopped for lunch at one of the hotdog carts, as you can see above.
This is a black rhinestone metal fabric that I thought was perfect.

I was quite ecstatic about finding this fabric. It was Christmas in July.

Utilizing different colored beads, that would be the best method of displaying the different types of chromosomes.
I draped the pattern using a size 4 dress form and I was also looking and different ways to mold the metal crystal fabric.
I didn't want to hurt the model wearing the dress, so I decided upon a lining with the closest fit as possible.
Here are the pieces for the base of the dress.
Here I am checking the chiffon lining.
I met with our wonderful model Anna. The fitting was a success and no alterations were needed for the final fit.
I purchased additional tools such has chainmail rings and metal wire to secure the pieces together.

I am thrilled to be a part of this project and cannot wait for the finished outcome.

Amounts of beads purchased: 6 Pounds

Let the beading begin...

Come see the final design amongst other lovely collaborations on October 4 from 5:30-8pm at the Salk Institute. For more information please go to

Thank you.

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