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Relational Textiles: Surface Expressions in Space Design

The emergence of the Smart Textiles field opens possibilities for designers
to combine traditional surface fabrication techniques with advanced
technology in the design process. The purpose of this work is to develop
knowledge on interactive knitted textiles as materials for architecture and
to do so through practice-based design research. The thesis formulates
a research program in order to frame the design explorations, in which
scale and material expression are major placeholders. Consequently,
Relational Textiles for Space Design is defined as a research program
with focus on surface aesthetics and the program is illustrated by design
experiments exploring the expressiveness of light, heat and movement as
design materials. As a result of the research presented in this thesis, a new
methodological framework for interactive textile design is proposed. The
framework defines field of reference and frame of reference as basic notions
in surface design. These notions form a basic frame used to revise and
present the methods behind the design examples Knitted Light, Touching
Loops, Designing with Heat, Tactile Glow, Repetition and Textile Forms in
Movement. Relating the space of Relational Textiles for Space Design to
existing surface methodology in architecture gives rise to new issues that
need to be addressed. For which levels of the design process will these
textiles be integrated? The last chapter reflects on the role of Relational
Textiles for Space Design as possible methods or expressions in the existing
space of surface prototyping.
Boras, 2013

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University of Boras