Suggesting the unstable: a textile architecture

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    This article discusses the idea of a motile architecture. By taking as its starting point the new developments in the technical textiles field, the article discusses textiles as a material interface to an architecture of action. Using smart materials to embed the potential for sensing and actuation into the surfaces of the built environment itself, this article seeks to discover how a motile architecture can be conceived, designed, and realized. The article reflects on two projects by the authors: Breathing Room and Slow Furl, and develops a conceptual framework by which the key terms of material interaction can be discussed. Imagined as probes, the projects are test pieces that query the conceptual and technological basis of textile architectures. Referencing the fields of cybernetics, the aim is to develop an understanding of technology not as a posterior implantation but as a fully integrated part of the built environment. The article presents technologies by which textile design can become a model for integrating sensing and actuation into the fabric of architecture. It asks what happens when architecture seeks to engage the moving and the active? How can its motility and behavior be configured and how do we as inhabitants find our position with this behavioral place?
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)276-289
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Artistic research

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