Fifteen students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) participated in a six-week workshop to find new functions for textiles.
29 November, 2016
Led by industrial designer, Wendy Chua, and jewellery designer, Yuki Mitsuyasu, 15 students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Diploma in Design (Object & Jewellery), embarked on a journey of textile discovery. Running in collaboration with European textile company Kvadrat, the six-week workshop, Soft Materiality, covered the principles, functions, making processes and techniques of textiles. This was followed by a course on pattern-making and sewing, which was guided by the fashion department of NAFA.
Through a hands-on approach, the students studied the multiple properties of textiles – from acoustics to hydrophobic effects – to discover new functions behind the soft material. Each student applied their knowledge to conceive an installation using either offcuts or discontinued fabric from Kvadrat.
The installations were exhibited on the 27 October 2016 at the Kvadrat Singapore showroom. Six of the best pieces were crowned by the panel of judges including Melissa Liu Poulsen of Kvadrat Singapore, and Pann Lim of K+ Curatorial Space, among others.
Exhibited as a light-diffuser, Giovani Angela’s Crinkled was awarded the ‘Best Material Exploration’. A previously flat, upholstery textile was crafted into a textured, undulating textile – adding a three-dimensional element to woven fabric. The yarn was tugged on consistently and patiently to create an even texture that has a gradient effect.
A hanging mobile sculpture by Song Yuna was named the ‘Most Sensorial’. Autumn I, II, composed of a lightweight, linen textile – typically used for curtains – recall Yuna’s memories of falling leaves in her hometown, Seoul, during autumn. Copper wires were weaved into the linen fabric to add a malleability to the textile structure to create cascading forms that emulate falling leaves.
Another curtain textile was used to craft soft display sculptures for the desk. Elisabet Irma T’s Cacti was named the ‘Most Well-crafted’. Using a pattern-making technique, fabric was made into three-dimensional display pieces that echo the form of cacti. Fraying edges recall the tiny spikes of the plant.
“Material exploration differs from the usual design process, which begins from the drawing board. Often, it starts from prototyping,” says Chua. “This project essentially is about thinking through making,” she concludes.
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