Blogs of ArcintexETN

Beyond Sustainability

Kasper Guldager Jensen, architect, Senior Partner 3XN architects, Director GXN Innovation, and guest teacher at Chalmers architecture was the first guest lecturer in the program BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY at Chalmers. He talked about Regenerative Architecture,  Circular Future,  Lifecycle Design , Material Passport, Design for Disassembly, … .

“How can buildings do something good?”

“A building is a material bank.”

“Waste doesn´t exist in nature.”

“How to turn taking houses down into a positive business?”

“How to create value from waste?”


As a part of my ongoing research on the value of the body as a means of architectural design, I organised a workshop in collaboration with designer & choreographer Sietske Klooster at the Eindhoven University of Technology. The workshop was the first attempt to discover possible frameworks for a new type of textile architectural design. During the first part of the workshop, we performed a series of individual movements by using the textiles in different ways, to understand and discover what was interesting in terms of spatial perception, both from the insideness and the outsideness. Each of the materials we used, allowed for different connections between the body and the inside in relation to the outside. The spandex lycra fabric revealed how the elasticity of the textile modifies the amount of light that gets through the fabric, giving you the option to personalise the space. I attached some elastic bands to the fabric so that we could wear it and move inside to create a kind of close to the body architectural space. As a more far-field interaction way of experimenting with the materials, we decided to use bamboo sticks as an extension of our arms, to move us inside the scaffolding netting fabric. The action of opening-closing up creates a kind of origami effect, like an envelope shape that shifts from one direction to another. It also gave us an orientational direction feeling once we started to move inside it. The black lines across the fabric together with the bamboo sticks, created that directionality quality on each layer of the fabric that we folded and unfolded. Lastly, we experimented with a lightweight polyester fabric that is especially good for being used as an air filling container. Taking advantage of the air stream while moving ourselves with the fabric attached to our body, we created a volume in motion. It gives you a feeling of being in a fluid space, constantly in movement.For the second part of the workshop, we invited students and researchers from the TU/e to take part in it. After introducing them to the purpose of the workshop, each of them explored individually all the textile materials. Following that, we moved into a group experimentation to perform a series of movements. The result is a series of actions that show the qualities of the relationship between the body, the material, and space, based on how the body interacts with material properties to create architectural expressions.

Participants: Hannah Bosland, Rafaela Blanch, Rys Duindam | Organisers: Sietske Klooster, Oscar Tomico and Marina Castán



FASE 2016 Geometry Summit Paper

Professor Loe Feijs presents the paper we wrote with Ass Prof. Oscar Tomico at the Fabrication and Sculpting Event (FASE) of the 2016 Geometry Summit in Berlin.


(Photos by Mark Thielen)

The project will be presented in this years Dutch Design Week.

Read the paper here:

3F Talks: Functional Films and Fibres

Bit of a late post but better late then never. In April I went to the 3F talks: Functional Films and Fibres. Speakers included James Tarrier from Adidas R&D, Negar Kalantar from TransLAB /US, Karen Deleersnyder from CENTEXBEL, Philipp Huber  Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) Aachen University and many others

The topics ranged from, the future speed factories in development at Adidas, to 3D printing on top of textiles, to 3D non-wovens and every form of 3D printing and additive manufacturing available. The institute of textile technology in Aachen also presented their 3D knitting, braiding and weaving capabilities and I was even able to have a short tour of their facilities, which were in one word: AMAZING. ITA has very advanced textile testing production and characterization equipment. To mention a few: 3D braiding machines, multi-axial reinforced layer weft knit fabric production, tubular fabrics for stents and spacers, software development and modelling of textile structures a mini carbon fibre plant and many others.

IMG_0463Another interesting development for the ArcInTex ETN are the Adidas speed factories which aim to bring customization of shoes closer to the customer. The first such facility where all the newest production methods, including 3D printing, TPU pellet foam production, body scanning and research into color/aesthetic decoration through material properties, is set to open this year in Germany.

Leonid Ionov from the University of Georgia also presented interesting new research with potential applications in smart textiles. Using polycarpolactone and gelatine films layered on top of each other they were able to produce highly programmable temperature triggered polymer origami structures that self-fold. They are currently developing a bi-layered yarn with similar properties.

In TU Dresden, work is under way on a new Net Shape Nonwoven (NSN) method which has the potential to process short fibres in a range of 0.5 mm to 4 mm into three-dimensional structures of arbitrary geometry. methods to align discontinuous fibres in additive mixtures to increase the strength of “printed” materials. An innovative approach TUD are investigating is to coat the fibres with metallic ions and use a magnetic field during production to orientate the fibres.

New for me was also the concept of continuous liquid interface production  (Clip) with diffusion of oxygen 3D printing technique introduced at the conference by Fraunhofer-Institute fur Lasertechnik ILT. Here a light with specific wavelength is used to activate a photo initiator which jump-starts a polymerization reaction. The reaction proceeds in an oxygen free environment and is stopped at the addition of air. This technique is much faster than conventional 3D printing and it leaves not traces of layers.

Karen Deleersnyder from CENTEXBEL presented their research on 3D printing on textiles.  With applications in garment individualised smart and functional textiles, they are busy expanding the 3D printing materials for better adhesion, better washability, less shrinkage and printing on a larger variety of textile substrates.


A visit in Greenstones

In the plane on my way to Hamburg I met Stephan Wik, who is running an Ecovillage on Fallön, an island on the westcoast of Sweden, about an hour from Gothenburg. He invited me for visiting Greenstones and experiencing a way of conscious living with as little impact on nature as possible. The Ecovillage itself consists of 4 Yurts to live in, a big Yurt for Yoga, Qi Gung and other activities or group meetings, a garden for growing vegetables, a sauna, pool, hot tub and a natural water cleaning system.

The Yurts are produced in the US. As natural materials degrade and mold too fast in Swedens climate, the Yurts cover and insulation is made from synthetic materials, recycled PET and Aluminium. Even in winter there is not much energy needed for keeping the them warm and comfortable. They can stand up to -20°celsius. 

I was totally fascinated by the Yurts Atmosphere … There are no corners, so energy can flow infinite. It is so calm and peaceful even though or just because one is connected to the natural sounds from outside such as wind and rain, singing birds… .

Unfortunately the Interior doesn´t mirror this close connection to nature. The Yurts are fully functional apartments but equipped with usual furnitures. Eco but angular shapes in a circular space … .

After my lecture at Design Ahead I gave a short Workshop on “Edible Spaces”. We worked on architectural sketches with noodles, bacterial cellulose and sweets to explore potentials of edible Architecture and adaptive and responsive structures through material properties and processes of resolving, degrading and being eaten.

3Stories_SvenjaKeune_EdibleArchitecture_DesignAhead_Workshop_1606_DancingMushroom_SvenjaKeune_EdibleArchitecture_DesignAhead_Workshop_1606 IMG_7487EdibleSpaces_DesignAhead_Spiderwaffle

Design Ahead is a new program of lectures and Workshops organized by the Design Department at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. I was invited for a lecture and a short Workshop to inform about future developments in Design.

I very much enjoyed the robotic music with Moritz Simon Geist, learning about neuronal networks with Nikolai Bockholt and was very inspired by Jan Schwochows Infographics.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-14 um 16.07.23

From the 12th to the 17th of June is held in Warsaw, Poland the Graphene Week. This conference is organised by the Graphene Flagship, a European project. It is the most influential conference on graphene and 2D materials in Europe. It brings together a high number of high skills researchers from the field, from all over the World. And shows the advance that has been done in the research groups engaged in the Flagship. I am delighted to join this conference and get inspiration for my work that involve graphene-based material for textile end-uses.

Interested in textile interactions and movement, my research has taken a turn into exploring energy harvesting with textiles. Our everyday interactions and manipulations of textiles such as pulling, stretching, turning inside out etc. produce specific kinds of mechanical strains that could be used for harvesting small amounts of electrical energy over time. I am investigating what kind of textile installations in the interior could be introduced for energy harvesting and am curious about the textile practices that could evolve around this. As I continue to develop my conceptual frame within this topic further, I have started doing some low-tech energy harvesting experiments with off-the-shelf piezoelectric components and material explorations with home-grown piezoelectric crystals.

Ceramic piezoelectric elements can be bought in regular electronic shops. The video below shows the working of a basic energy-harvesting circuit. Tapping the piezo electric element generates electrical potential which is used to light the LEDs.

Growing piezo-electric crystals (Rochelle salt)

Following the recipes found online (for e.g. here, and here), I grew a couple of batches of piezoelectric crystals. I found that introducing a textile substrate during the crystal formation process, enables the crystals to be formed around the textile. Below are some images from the initial trials. I plan to continue these experimentations further to investigate the opportunities of growing piezoelectric crystals on textiles. While the crystals themselves are quite brittle, growing them on conductive fabrics could be a way to connect and support them.

The material explorations help to further develop my research question around energy harvesting and textiles. What kind of everyday practices do they relate to? How can energy harvesting and textiles encourage movement and engagement with interior spaces?