My design education over the last 6 ½ years has settled into a few areas of interest. One of these areas is interactive architecture and the use of textiles in and as architecture. While part of me is simply fascinated by these issues, it all stems from the human experience with the surrounding environment. My education began on a smaller scale in interior design, now in architecture school it has spanned scaled from microscopic to master planning, and if I were to study more it would probably be in the textile realm.
Our daily lives involve the use and habitation in all kinds of designed objects. Some of these objects, such as the fabrics of our clothes, move to envelope us in a dynamic way, while on a larger scale our buildings and cities statically create an environment for us to inhabit and move through. Many people through history have dealt with similar curiosity, yet moveable, adaptable environments still seem to be lacking for the most part in our lives.
Archigram’s Walking City is one example of a very large scaled moveable, adaptable project, but perhaps only theoretical due to its size. Is there a perfect scale asking for this movement? Something larger than the microscopic weaves of a fabric, but smaller than the urban environment? Is this movement something that happens as a programmatic system? Or perhaps it is a material, or a composition of materials and parts?
One thing that continues to gage my interest is the nature of inherent function in textiles. I think my classmate Jenna Johansson brings up a good point in her tweet, “a crocheted scarf is made using one continuous line of yarn, leaving no waste. How can we learn from this in building design?” The nature of a textile uses only what it needs to create the amount of strength, weight, and insulation properties it needs. Textiles used as architecture may be more of a formal design move, but perhaps learning from textiles to create more optimal environments is what we need to do.