Urban Materiality - towards New Collaborations in Textile and Architectural Design
Research Project, 2016 – 2019

Focus in the research project is on exploring and developing the field of textile architecture. In the project, we will be examining whether textile structures and architectural structures could be melted into something new, with benefits from both fields, and to show new applications for the field of textile design on larger scales in urban environments, which could enlarge and enrich both fields. This would be the starting point for a new interdisciplinary research environment based on both textile and architectural design including sound design. Textile design is often associated with being two-dimensional and architecture being three-dimensional structures. Building materials are close to both body and mind and indicate the more intimate scale of the built environment; a perspective that is traditionally emphasized within the field of textile design. “Textile architecture” today is normally what is expected from textile or architectural design depending on which field that has been the point of departure, and projects where both competences are combined, stretched and tested need to be realized. In the two parts of the project, there will be focus on the variables method, technique, context, perception and stage-setting. The three participants’ fields of competence are textile design and architecture including sound design. The project includes hermeneutic interpretations and the experiential and perceptive approaches are examined from a phenomenological perspective. The theoretical part of the project is to examine and interpret the field of textile architecture. A starting point is to interview researchers and practitioners from the fields of architecture and textile design to examine what textile architecture is to them. In this context, the network ArcInTex, including textile designers and architects, will be used, as well as visiting international and national design and architectural offices. This is the prerequisites for the project to be developed into a new research environment which could be widened from different perspectives. This more theoretical part of the project will also be the platform for the experimental part of the project where methods and techniques will be tested. The empirical part of the project focuses on artistic experiments in two-dimensional and three-dimensional structures in urban outdoor environments; samples, mock-ups, modules, contextual architectural models and drawings will be designed and made in different scales and materials. Examining the design process is central to explore methods and approaches from the participants’ fields of competence. The framework proposed in this project contributes to the development of design methodology derived from an artistic, collaborative process that delineates structures formed by textile design, architecture and sound design. The ambition for the new material structures is to become a ground for discussion and reflection on methods and aesthetic experiences when combining the three design fields during the generative process. By taking a critical perspective by positioning the project in relationship to existing paradigms, the research project will be examined, reflected on and discussed in a series of workshops and exhibitions in an open process, and the project will be summarized in a publication and/or several articles. The first six months of the project will mainly include field studies and interviews and the development and planning of the experiments and laboratory work. In the latter part of the first year and during the second year, the design work and experiments will start and parallel there are collaborative workshops and exhibitions in an open process. These explorative studies continue during the third year to enter a final phase which includes communicating the research project.


Paula Femenias (contact)

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design

Kristina Fridh

Unknown organization

Margareta Zetterblom

Unknown organization


University of Borås

Borås, Sweden

University of Gothenburg

Gothenburg, Sweden


Swedish Research Council (VR)

Project ID: 2015-02014
Funding Chalmers participation during 2016–2018

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Driving Forces

Materials Science

Areas of Advance


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