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 statement was very intriguing,” says Heather Bush, executive vice president of Carnegie Fabrics. “I could only imagine the experimentation that would take place … with Xorel as a building block.” Because Xorel is both soft fabric and foldable paper, the students opted to use both qualities in an overhead installation of simply folded fabric pyramids.
The design and fabrication of a single, full-scale, interior soft-structure environment began with a look at contemporary textiles, material properties and abstract experiments. In addition to its other qualities, Xorel may be digitally printed, which the students did for the ICFF construction. Xorel is also a Cradle-to-Cradle silver-certified textile, has received Gold Indoor Air Certification for safe and healthy indoor environments and is part of Carnegie’s Responsible Return Program for re-use or recycling.