Heat responsive tension structures

January 1, 2013

Graduate students Felecia Davis and Delia Dumitrescu recently presented their research on interactive, knitted tension structures that respond to heat or electrical current. Using a tubular knitting machine, with electronic circuits running throughout the fabrics tested, Davis (a PhD candidate at MIT) and Dumitrescu (PhD candidate at The Swedish School of Textiles, BorÃ¥s), tested and …

Interior textiles: Part 1

Laying out the context and history of tensioned fabric interiors. By Nicholas Goldsmith Unlike exterior fabric structures, such as tensile architecture and textile facades, interior fabric environments are able to use a greater diversity of materials because they aren’t required to withstand the structural criteria of wind and snow loading on their surfaces. As a …

Reinventing architecture with fabric

November 1, 2012

Dutch artist and designer Petra Blaisse believes in “the reanimation of desolate buildings,” and her latest “intervention” at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Italy, uses daylight, shadow and space-transforming curtains to bring a vacant exhibit space new life. Blaisse founded Inside Outside, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a design studio that specializes in textiles, light …

Swiss art sees the light

Visitors to the Art House Uri, Altdorf, Switzerland, can now experience their art under a new modular illuminated fabric ceiling system by Sefar Architecture. As part of a recent expansion project to the museum, the Art House Uri gallery is a permanent home for the works of local artist Heinrich Danioth. The Uri ceiling, designed …

Spontaneous Interventions wows Italian cognoscenti

U.S. design contingency wowed at 13th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia. By Mason Riddle What’s not to like about Venice? Not much if you are the Institute for Urban Design (IFUD) and your project, Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good, just won the 2012 Special Mention Award at the 13th …

School’s roof lets in natural light

Nottingham University Samworth Academy (NUSA), a new secondary school, is part of the UK government’s initiative to roll out academies across the country. Designed by Atkins Global architects, the design features a cable-supported, single skin ETFE roof over an unheated internal street with classrooms facing the street. The roof, fabricated by Base Structures Ltd., besides …

Fabric roof lets the light into school courtyard

September 1, 2012

It “takes a village to raise a child,” and the school design selected by Coopers Edge Primary in Gloucester, England, included a Village Square for children to play and the greater community to assemble. The plan called for a covered courtyard that would “inspire and enable people, while energizing the community and enhancing [their] quality …

Optimizing wind and water: cooling tricks in Beirut

The Charles Hostler Student Center at the American University of Beirut. By Frank Edgerton Martin In arid climate cities, the way people use architecture and urban space changes with the time of day. Fabrics for shading, screening and evaporative cooling can be part of sustainable strategies to make these microclimates more comfortable. Throughout the Middle …

Designing with folded fabric pyramids

July 19, 2012

Students at Parsons The New School for Design in New York spent a semester investigating the properties of textiles as “soft structures.” They wanted to work with Xorel, a paper-backed woven textile created by Carnegie Fabrics, Rockville Center, N.Y., to develop an exhibit for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in May 2012. “The project …

Waterfalls inside: fabric creates water walls

July 1, 2012

Metal mesh is a cool solution for Tulane University’s award-winning student center. By Frank Edgerton Martin In today’s most energy efficient and successful public buildings, metal meshes and fabrics are more than a decorative detail. They are active contributors to integrated building systems for air circulation, dehumidification, solar gain, screening and lighting. Tulane University’s new …