ArcInTexETN is in the final year of the project. Seven of the doctoral student will defend their theses this year, the others will carry on for a bit longer. We asked three of the doctoral students about their projects and how far they have come.
Svenja Keune, carrying out her research project at the textile company Ludvig Svensson AB in Sweden, is about to publish her licentiate thesis with the title “On textile Farming – Seeds as a material for textile design”. The seminar will take place on 26 April 2018.
The aim of her project is to question and redefine the aesthetics of interior landscaping with plants by using textiles, and to develop an understanding of dynamic and active expressions using seeds as a “smart“ material in the textile design processes.
“Nowadays, new concepts of living, attempt to break the separation of human and nature through urban development, proposing new models of hybrid housing and urban gardening. These new spaces open up alternative ways of living, growing, organizing, and designing with plants. Therefore new solutions are needed to shape these new environments in order to express the hybrid nature they are part of.“
The objective is to create visions for Ludvig Svensson AB for a future that may lead to textile innovations through speculative design research in an industrial context, with the potential to change the lifecycle of interior textiles and how we organize, live and interact with plants. It is done by providing methods of how to design hybrid textiles with seeds, and by providing new perspectives to indoor gardening as well as urban and vertical gardening.
How has your project developed?
“I have developed the research programme “On Textile Farming” to unite interior textiles and growing crops, and use interior textiles to connect inside and outside spaces. This programme unites the interior textiles department and the climate screens department at Ludvig Svensson AB. Not only does it propose joint forces, new materials and new developments, but it also challenges the production and the life-cycle of these hybrid textiles. These textiles make use of the transformative capacities of seeds. Seeds are introduced as a potential “smart” material in textile design, which in a way connects to my work with electronics. What interests me most in working with textiles is how we can interact or communicate with them, and to understand textiles as a medium that is not only able to connect various non-textile materials but also different fields.
She has used several textile techniques such as weaving, felting, crocheting, knitting etc. in her research. They are methods to explore seeds in a textile context. She aims to develop her own methods of how to design textiles using seeds. Her research project unites academia and industry.
Multiple uses for auxetic design
The two latest doctoral students to join ArcInTexETN are Ana Ines Rodrigues and Maike Schultz, they are both from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland.
Ana’s project is on auxetic structures, structures that can expand. If you stretch them in one direction the structure will also expand in the other direction.
“Currently I am testing variations of my own auxetic designs. I am testing scale and lengths to come up with rules for designing auxetic patterns. “
There are several examples of how auxetic structures can be used. They can have medical purposes, such as casts and medical bandage, they can be used in architecture for aesthetic as well as functional structures for shaping or to offer shadow, ballistics or filters, and in fashion design for protections pads, helmet bases or high-performance support on bras for women.
The effect of colours
Maike Schultz carries out a project about the relation between colour and shape.
“I want to find new ways to apply colour in textiles and treat it not only as an embellishment. I would like to handle it more like a tool that can, for example, interact with the technique of weaving when creating a surface. It can also contribute to the shape, it is more important than just being a “nice” colour.”
“I hope to contribute to a more deliberate use of colour in fashion and textile design, and interiors. We are surrounded by colour and it affects our emotion and wellbeing. I hope to find a new way of looking at colour, a new perspective and understanding”, she says.
Ana and Maike are doing their projects at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland.
Text: Solveig Klug