Sound absorbing textile surfaces in the urban landscape - collaborative research in textile and architectural design
Paper i proceeding, 2019
The design of woven and knitted structures can be compared with the formation of buildings’ facades and constructions. However, textile designers do not generally participate when the exterior structure and facades of a building take shape, but rather when textiles and materials for the indoor environment are chosen, often with the intention of enhancing the acoustic qualities of spaces. In this research project, two architects and a textile designer collaborate, the latter focusing particularly on sound design. Incorporating textile designers in the early stages of building projects can lead to benefits of exploring and improving sound landscapes in outdoor environments.
In order to search for and develop new approaches, methods and techniques in the field described as textile architecture, textile facade modules were designed and produced, and the design process was examined and evaluated from the points of departure of the two design fields. Questions such as ‘who is actually prototyping?’ arose, as well as the search for finding common references and concepts, both historical and contemporary, to strengthen the collaborative work.
A practice-based experimental approach was important for the project and the merger of the two design fields, not least to put different textile techniques and materials to the test to examine how they can affect the sound landscape and experiences of space. The key activities in the laboratory work were technique, method, perception, stage-setting and context, which connected both to textile design and architecture. The different textile materials were chosen to comply with the requirements of external climate impact and rough outdoor environments. In groups of demarcated design experiments, the textile techniques of weaving and hand tufting were explored, and the modules were tested acoustically.