A methodology of patterning 2D textiles for pinching, stiffening, and slicing, and creating a 3D form
This project is a re-evalutation of the way we create architectural form. It looks to add more possibilities to our inventory of ways to construct a building, or materials to add to facade design, or experiential typologies. Using my passion and knowledge of sewing and fabric, I concentrated on making a presentation that could convince others of my vision for using fabric as building material.
I used a traditional type of fabric manipulation for this project: smocking patterns. These patterns are connected to a grid, which makes them extremely translatable and comparable, which helped my in my analysis and adding slowly to the patterns in a trackable way. I first pinched and stitched foam along the patterned grid, then added slicing for light. Lastly, I added variation to the patterns through manipulating the grid, adding a second layer of pinches, and combining patterns.
I created a 2D drawing set that easily translates the stitching patterns onto a flat surface, which can be marked up onto fabric and pinched. This diagrammatical "construction drawing set" is based off traditional smocking pattern flat patterns, with the addition of where to slice the fabric. This drawing set is important becasue it gives regularity to seemingly complicated patterns, and translates it to construction methods. Using these drawings, anyone could create the patterns if they were given a tutorial on the pinching, stitching, and reading the flat patterns.
The result was three large scultural models, exhibited alongside my numberous study models. I showed how they could be incorporated at different architectural scales, and the capability to draw them as flat graphics which create a 3D form.
Below is a documentation of my progress throughout the semester.
PHASE 4: Double Operations
I started creating diagrams to show basic visualizations of the potential scale of the models. Through creating these collages, I was inspired to create a model that included two different patterns: one working at a small scale, the other helping to define the building scale.
The models I created using this technique have more variation in pattern, and allow me to choose the pieces' curvature tendancies. The tension between the interfering patterns keeps them unpredicable and causes one to look twice at the pieces.
PHASE 3: Stiffening
First, I used spray paint to mimic spraying full scale with concrete (or something more toxic). I also dipped the material in Rockite, a fine cement. In both cases, the material did not soak up as much as I was expecting, leaving it not stiff enough, and too brittle for the flexible material underneath. I switched to quilting pieces of plastic inside two layers of fabric, which mimics adding plastic or cast concrete shapes at full scale. This was more successful, and allows for bending of the overall form.
PHASE 2: small scale models and analysis
more models, including a series of cuts that would allow light to pass through. structural analysis of the models helps determine which patterns use more material, create stiffer forms, and which patterns might need another step to create structural equillibrium.
PHASE 1: small scale models
I stitched thin foam to create these models, using the below smocking patterns. Each pattern created a unique structure, some models are more rigid than others, and some create a non-flat shape.
DESCRIPTION: plans for research and design
I am interested in textile architecture, because of my experience sewing, in fashion, and general understanding of many different types of fabrics. I have more experience with fabric than any other material, and I believe I can use this knowledge to my advantage in designing a unique project applicable to the architecture industry.
My experience has inspired me to research into the cross between fabric and architecture, including researching tensile systems, concrete formwork, and sculpture, in order to do tests and experiments about a new kind of textile architectural wall solution. This system is ideally efficient, textured, parametric, and self-supporting, to the point where it is a “wall” that an architecture firm could order from a catalog.
I want to make textile materials more accessible, common, and efficienct by justifying the potential experiential qualities of a soft enclosure and the efficiency of such a system. I hope to use this project to advocate for investment and innovation in textile and flexible materials. Parametric design and digital tooling can assist in a responsive and easily changeable design, and the efficiency of assembly.
This project has morphed into creating a methodology of patterning 2D textiles for pinching, stiffening, and slicing, and creating a 3D form that can be used as part of a wall system. Through testing different materials, fabric manipulation techniques, and stiffeners with the aid of digital tooling, I can refine a patterning method. Sample variations will create a short “catalog.” What different light qualities, textures, and acoustics can I create with the same materials and similar assembly methods? Which architectural applications are the different variations most suited for?