Press Release

2016 Smart Fabrics Summit Videos

May 26, 2017

Watch videos from the 2016 Smart Fabrics Summit on the website of the International Trade Administration Office of Textiles and Apparel. Part 1- Opening Remarks; Globe Demonstration; Challenges in Manufacturing Smart Fabrics Panel Part 2- First Line Technology Demonstration; Federal Research and Development in Smart Fabrics Panel; Part 3- DuPont Demonstration; Intellectual Property Rights for …

Industry News

Bucky Fuller’s Biosphere celebrates 50 years

May 1, 2017

Constructed as the epitome of the future and the central featured pavilion at Montreal’s Expo 67, R. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome is now 50 years old. Known as the Biosphere, the structure was the hit of the 1967 World’s Fair. Enclosed with trapezoidal acrylic inserts in the metal open-lattice structure and backed by a system …

Industry News

Danes plant a knitted round tower in a Portugal square

May 1, 2017

Practicing architects and students at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (RDAF) Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation created an experimental structure to highlight a World Cultural Heritage Site in Guimaraes, Portugal. Hybrid Tower is made of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) rods in combination with a custom CNC-knit textile. The concept structure is …

Industry News

What a web they weave—Uni Stutt’s robots string carbon & glass fibers overhead

May 1, 2017

Researchers and students are finding inspiration in the webs that moths spin. The collaborators are from the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE). The researchers and student have applied their efforts toward stretching the possibilities in digital construction with the aid of robotics and …

Industry News

U.K. journal pays tribute to Zaha Hadid

May 1, 2017

British architecture magazine, The Architect’s Journal, has produced a 27-minute video to commemorate the work of Zaha Hadid, the iconoclastic Iraqi-born architect who died in early 2016. The video captures the breadth and width of Hadid’s work, from her first drawings and paintings produced while she was a student at England’s premiere training ground, the …

Industry News

Catching water in a colorful way

May 1, 2017

Fabric funnels create an award-winning shade-water pavilion in New Orleans Students at the Tulane School of Architecture (TSA), New Orleans, La., have created the distinctive Hollygrove Shade-Water Pavilion that fulfills both aesthetic and practical requirements. The project, created through the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design (SCCD), provides a neighborhood gathering place while …

Features

Fabric houses explored as future sustainable options

May 1, 2017

Fabric homes could well have a place in future urban settings. To explore this possibility, one such dwelling, the Breathe House, has been created as a prototype for a future living environment called “MINI Living–Breathe.” Created by Brooklyn, N.Y., architects SO-IL, the prototype was created as a sustainable response to ever-shrinking homes and limited resources …

Features

Airbeam festive tent

May 1, 2017

As the old joke goes: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice! Or you can get there by creating an air-supported tent designed for Carnegie Hall’s roof, as Pvilion and its collaborative partners recently did to much acclaim. This inflatable event space incorporates a technology originally developed for military applications, that of high-pressure fabric …

Case Studies

New Zealand day care gets a new shade canopy

May 1, 2017

The tradition of childcare facilities in New Zealand goes back a fair number of years, in fact to the 1880s. In Auckland, there are a number of childcare operations that, although not from the 19th century, do claim a history dated to the early 1950s. Case in point is the Torbay Kindergarten, a branch facility …

Industry News

IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference: Testing Program 2017

April 3, 2017

At the 2017 Advanced Textiles Conference (ATC), four educational tracks—military, medical, smart fabrics and testing—will give attendees the latest news on the processes, products and profit potential in working with high-tech fabrics and fabrication techniques. The Advanced Textiles Conference, part of IFAI Expo 2017, will be held in New Orleans Sept. 26-29. This year’s ATC …

Case Studies

New Zealand day care gets a new shade canopy

May 1, 2017

The tradition of childcare facilities in New Zealand goes back a fair number of years, in fact to the 1880s. In Auckland, there are a number of childcare operations that, although not from the 19th century, do claim a history dated to the early 1950s. Case in point is the Torbay Kindergarten, a branch facility …

Case Studies

A well-shaded hotel

April 1, 2017

Hotels offer comfort, convenience and panache for entertainment events. In order to make the best use of an outdoor gathering space on its grounds, the Wickham Park Hotel in Wickham, Australia, worked with Shade To Order Pty Ltd. of Gateshead, Australia, to create a sheltering tensile fabric structure. The architectural fabric installation needed to cover …

Case Studies

Accessible shade for all

March 1, 2017

In the desert of Arizona, shade is always in high demand. Following the popularity of its signature SUNAMI® shade structure, Tensile Shade Products LLC of Tucson, Ariz., wanted to expand its prefabricated shade structure product line to include another product that would provide more shade with a similar style, and would be a dynamic enhancement …

Case Studies

Retractable shade canopy

March 1, 2017

Voted the ninth best place to live in Britain, Guildford, England, holds onto its storied past while embracing the future with new construction, such as the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel downtown. Guildford, located just 27 miles southwest from London, is the historic county seat of Surrey where the University of Surrey and the 20th century …

Case Studies

Fabric Structure Built for Extreme Conditions on Greenland Ice Sheet

February 1, 2017

Rubb USA, utilizing Serge Ferrari flexible composite materials, recently completed the installation of a modular structure at the Summit Station, Greenland, adapting the structure’s design to the unique needs of the extreme cold weather location. The Summit Station, located on the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet, is home to the Greenland Environmental Observatory (GEOSummit), …

Case Studies

Residential canopy

February 1, 2017

Pergola def.: 1. A garden structure with an open wooden-framed roof often latticed, supported by regularly spaced posts or columns. The structure, often covered by vines or roses, shades a walk or passageway. A new private residence in Phuket, Thailand, that overlooks a bay area of an exclusive waterfront district, features a large timber pergola …

Case Studies

Tensioned awning

February 1, 2017

Beachfront golf anyone? Overlooking a pristine beach that stretches along the northeast coast of New Zealand, Tara iti Golf Club has been positioned as the premiere private golf club in the country. Located on a former pine tree plantation, this exclusive club oversees a landscape that has been cleared and restored to a native dune …

Case Studies

Postmodern school adorns a floating canopy

December 19, 2016

The Santa Fe district of Mexico City is one of that metropolis’ major business districts, a hot real estate sector where many new corporate towers are constructed at a hectic pace. However, a calmer pocket on the western edge of the neighborhood seems positively tranquil as a protected campus quarter (“Zona Escolar”) where several school …

Case Studies

Art and architecture, comfortably

December 1, 2016

The Brickell City Centre, a new $1.05 billion, 5.4-million-square-foot, mixed-use development in downtown Miami, Fla., has it all. There are luxury residences, a hotel, office space and a five-story pedestrian mall with shops, restaurants and cafés. Connecting this vast space into one architectural statement is a 100,000-square-foot canopy called the Climate Ribbon™. Made of faceted …

Case Studies

Tensile Canopy improves shade, protects amenities

December 1, 2016

Halifax Holiday Park is a campground set in a natural bushland and surrounded by two calm beaches in Nelson Bay, New South Wales, Australia, a popular vacation region for many Australians as well as foreigners due to its natural beauty. Halifax Holiday runs a number of vacation sites, and the Nelson Bay venue is situated …

Features

Fabric houses explored as future sustainable options

May 1, 2017

Fabric homes could well have a place in future urban settings. To explore this possibility, one such dwelling, the Breathe House, has been created as a prototype for a future living environment called “MINI Living–Breathe.” Created by Brooklyn, N.Y., architects SO-IL, the prototype was created as a sustainable response to ever-shrinking homes and limited resources …

Features

Airbeam festive tent

May 1, 2017

As the old joke goes: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice! Or you can get there by creating an air-supported tent designed for Carnegie Hall’s roof, as Pvilion and its collaborative partners recently did to much acclaim. This inflatable event space incorporates a technology originally developed for military applications, that of high-pressure fabric …

Features

An ancient structure can now host modern events

April 1, 2017

The structure once known as the Cistercian Abbey in Dargun, Germany, has a storied past. Located in the far north of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the structure was built in the 13th Century as a Gothic monastery complex. Constructed of stone and brick, the building suffered major damage during World War II, leaving it …

Features

Opening the door to architects

March 1, 2017

Experts discuss the best ways to encourage designers to use fabric in their projects. Confession: I am a licensed architect (please don’t hold that against me!) and I like fabric. I am also a teacher of young architects and designers and take every opportunity to introduce students to the wonders of fabric in architecture and …

Features

On the road to Rome

February 1, 2017

Italian architects and German engineers create a dynamic fabric structure for the Palace of Congress conference center “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will themselves not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.”—Daniel H. Burnham, American architect No one could accuse fascist leader …

Features

Shade in the ‘Beverly Hills’ of Mexico

December 21, 2016

A sculptural fabric roof complements an expansion of a high-end mall Cuernavaca is the capital of Mexico’s Morelos state, located in the lush Tepozteco Mountains just south and bordering Mexico City. With a warm, stable climate that ranges year-round from 20–30 degrees C (68–86 degrees F), it has legitimate claim to “City of the Eternal …

Features

Inflatables grab public attention

December 19, 2016

Companies and event organizers use inflatables to grab public attention and promote their brands. Although he now sells spaces in luxury subterranean survival shelters, Robert Vicino once focused his entrepreneurial spirit on loftier altitudes. He put a 90-foot King Kong on the Empire State Building and designed Otto the Autopilot for the farcical movie Airplane. …

Features

Integrating fabric inside and out

December 1, 2016

Collecting rainwater, bird-proofing facades, even deflecting airborne volcanic fragments—buildings today are integrated with fabric in nontraditional ways. Architectural fabric can be integrated into buildings in more than the common uses such as roofs, shading devices and exterior cladding. Architects are now finding ways for fabric to improve building performance with special applications and unique materials. …

Case Studies

Residential shade sail

October 27, 2016

What is the perfect complement to a high-end residential backyard remodel? A custom-designed shade sail, of course. Red Rock Contractors of Mesa, Ariz., was working on just such a remodel when its client decided to include a fabric shade structure in their plans for a new backyard. SHADE Industries of Phoenix, Ariz., was brought in …

Features

Hardware is in the details

October 27, 2016

When it comes to specifying hardware for shade structures, fabricators and clients can rely on the wisdom of “sweating the details.” “Ideally, the fabricator and architect should be working together from the schematic phase,” says Erik Jarvie, PE, sales engineer with Tension Structures, a division of Eide Industries Inc., Cerritos, Calif. “The knowledge of a …

Industry News

Bucky Fuller’s Biosphere celebrates 50 years

May 1, 2017

Constructed as the epitome of the future and the central featured pavilion at Montreal’s Expo 67, R. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome is now 50 years old. Known as the Biosphere, the structure was the hit of the 1967 World’s Fair. Enclosed with trapezoidal acrylic inserts in the metal open-lattice structure and backed by a system …

Industry News

Danes plant a knitted round tower in a Portugal square

May 1, 2017

Practicing architects and students at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (RDAF) Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation created an experimental structure to highlight a World Cultural Heritage Site in Guimaraes, Portugal. Hybrid Tower is made of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) rods in combination with a custom CNC-knit textile. The concept structure is …

Industry News

What a web they weave—Uni Stutt’s robots string carbon & glass fibers overhead

May 1, 2017

Researchers and students are finding inspiration in the webs that moths spin. The collaborators are from the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE). The researchers and student have applied their efforts toward stretching the possibilities in digital construction with the aid of robotics and …

Industry News

U.K. journal pays tribute to Zaha Hadid

May 1, 2017

British architecture magazine, The Architect’s Journal, has produced a 27-minute video to commemorate the work of Zaha Hadid, the iconoclastic Iraqi-born architect who died in early 2016. The video captures the breadth and width of Hadid’s work, from her first drawings and paintings produced while she was a student at England’s premiere training ground, the …

Industry News

Catching water in a colorful way

May 1, 2017

Fabric funnels create an award-winning shade-water pavilion in New Orleans Students at the Tulane School of Architecture (TSA), New Orleans, La., have created the distinctive Hollygrove Shade-Water Pavilion that fulfills both aesthetic and practical requirements. The project, created through the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design (SCCD), provides a neighborhood gathering place while …

Industry News

IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference: Testing Program 2017

April 3, 2017

At the 2017 Advanced Textiles Conference (ATC), four educational tracks—military, medical, smart fabrics and testing—will give attendees the latest news on the processes, products and profit potential in working with high-tech fabrics and fabrication techniques. The Advanced Textiles Conference, part of IFAI Expo 2017, will be held in New Orleans Sept. 26-29. This year’s ATC …

Industry News

Reinforced hydrogels prove stronger than steel

April 1, 2017

Researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan have developed a new material that is 25 times tougher than glass fiber fabric, 100 times tougher than hydrogels, and five times stronger than carbon steel, based on the amount of energy needed to destroy them. “The fiber-reinforced hydrogels, with a 40 percent water level, are environmentally friendly,” says …

Industry News

New addition at Iceland airport cuts the glare

April 1, 2017

Iceland’s international Keflavik Airport has added a new 4,700-square meter terminal, and designers are using a unique light-filtering façade that relies on fabric. Andersen & Sigurdsson Architects, Frederiksberg, Denmark, and Teikin Architects, Reykjavik, Iceland, specified Sefar aluminum-coated and copper-printed mesh fabrics to help screen out solar glare, reduce heat gain and mitigate HVAC loads. The …

Industry News

Flexing their fabric muscles

April 1, 2017

Researchers at Linköping University and the University of Borås in Sweden have created what they’re calling “wearable artificial muscles” by coating fabric with electro active polymers that stretch and flex when an electric current is applied. The researchers layered the fibers in a way that increases the overall strength of the flexibility such that it …

Industry News

Gaudi-inspired design includes interactive responses

April 1, 2017

Design studio SOFTlab, New York, N.Y., invited the collaboration of IBM’s supercomputer Watson to help design a unique installation for the Mobile World Congress recently held in Barcelona, Spain. The installation was suspended from the ceiling and involved attaching more than 3,000 aluminum “petals” that were covered with dichroic film to a network of aluminum …