Transformative Textiles

Research area
Behaving Architectures
Research Project
CITA: Mette Ramsgard Thomsen, Karin Bech, Erin Towsley and Kristjana Sigurðardóttir, HV-Ataljé: Marie-Louise Sjöblom, Gun Aschan and Kristin Enström, Bergen Academy of Art and Design: Hilde Hauan og Ingrid Aarset, support from Bitten Hegelund
Nordisk Kulturfond Statens Kunstfond, Arkitekturudvalget Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond af 1968

A research collaboration between CITA, HV-Ateljé and Bergen Academy of Art and Design

Transformative Textiles is an interdisciplinary project between architecture, design and textile crafts examining new spatial concepts for textiles in architecture. Through the making of the two curtains, Shadow Play and Mountain Curtain the project asks how textile by its flexible and dynamic abilities can transform and reprogram existing architecture and how textile as a part of an architectural expression, stages the relationship between space, material and decoration. By employing a practice-based research approach the design and manufacturing of the curtains has led to new hybrid technologies, combining textile craft traditions and material understanding with digital design processes.

Mountain Curtain is a playful examination of the curtain as a screen towards the outside developed for the modern site of the glass façade. Today we live increasingly with large windows spanning from floor to ceiling. In these houses the curtain becomes an integrated part of the house – a material actor that separates us from our surroundings and protects us from the glare of the sun. Mountain Curtain asks how the curtain as a spatial actor can be integrated into existing architecture and how it through playful interaction can add a poetic imagination to a space.

The curtain is made of hand died silk, hung with industrial suction cups directly on the window. When the curtain is hanging, it draws a new horizon in the space inviting its inhabitants to playful reveries to the afar. When drawing the curtain, you hang them like light smocks on the window or the wall.

Shadow Play ask how a textile logic can be introduced in a wood material, how a systems of interconnectivity can engage the material behaviour of bending while creating an integrated structure and how to form a parametrically encoded material descriptions.

The Shadow Play curtain exists as a filtering screen hung in the entry space to the Architecture House. The curtain is made of this veneer slats that hung perpendicular to the window making it practically invisible to the eye. Instead what is noticed is the change in light and the dynamic shadow play across the entrance space. The copper ties reflect the light back creating a glimmering and watery quality.

The curtain is a three dimensional textile structure organised as a series of interconnected loops engaging the material behaviour of bending the wood. Each loop stitch two wood fibres together and passes them forward in the structural weave that gather the material and interconnect in three dimensions.

Transformative Textiles was exhibited at The  Architecture House , Copenhagen, marts 2012


Ramsgard Thomsen, M.
“Textile Logics in a Digital Architecture”
eCAADe, 2012

Transformative Textiles

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