Here at Lady Geek Girl and Friends, most of our posts focus on geeky media. We hardly ever broach the techie side of geekdom. But it deserves to be talked about, because women and POC are still massively underrepresented in technological fields. When we think of techie geeks like hackers, tinkerers, and makers, we still think mainly of white men.
There are many reasons for this, but one that I’ve personally heard girls tell me is that they just aren’t that interested in technology careers. Most girls in our culture simply aren’t raised to like the hard edges and so-called ugliness of the “guts” that make up the insides of our devices. So how can we get more girls interested in technology? One way is to meet them where they are, with things they’ve already been socialized to like, in order to show that there is more than one “right” way to approach technology.
Enter today’s Web Crush: The Laser Girls. They 3D print acrylic and metal fingernails. Yeah, you read that right.
Sarah Awad and Dhemerae Ford were art students at NYU when they got the idea to combine nail art and 3D printing, because it was a new frontier of 3D printed fashion that they didn’t think had been done before. 3D printing, in which you design a 3D model on your computer and then “print” it with successive layers of plastic, metal, acrylic, or whatever, has been a mainstay of the Maker Movement and has been hailed as a way to break down the divide between producer and consumer. With a 3D printer, a consumer no longer has to rely on corporations to manufacture mass-produced products. They can print their own unique products, right from their homes. But so far, it has been mostly men who have taken up this technology. That’s what makes the Laser Girls so special.
The Laser Girls design stunning three-dimensional nails with 3D modeling software, and then have them printed out of either nylon or metal through Shapeways, a 3D printing service that will print your designs for you. Some of their designs look like they might be particularly interesting to geek media enthusiasts like our dear readers and blog contributors. Take a look at these!
I just find things like this so exciting. The Laser Girls take digital technology beyond the screen, using it to create beautiful art that you can actually hold in your hands. Not to mention put on your hands!
The Laser Girls take something that many girls may already be interested in—decorative nails—and bring it to a whole new level with the magic of technology. I hope that, beyond continuing to create beautiful art, the Laser Girls will also inspire many girls to get more involved with technology. It also sounds like there are great new things to come from the Laser Girls, as their last post on Tumblr and Instagram from May 9 hints at a “rebirth” that will be “better than ever.” I, for one, am on the edge of my seat!