Centre for IT & Architecture, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts,
School of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Copenhagen, Denmark
This paper introduces a series of design-led investigations exploring the
conceptualisation and materialisation of adaptive textiles for the home.
As modernism engaged architecture in a redefinition of its boundaries by promoting values of transparency and efficiency, the home became an environment primarily conditioned by technology, more and more disconnected from the exterior. Today, as we realize the consequences of our ability to engineer the world, this paper is asking: can the design of self-actuated textiles contribute to a domestic culture in which technology cultivates a relationship of interconnectivity with nature. By presenting parallel explorations into the material prototyping of lightresponsive textiles and design probes into the materialisation of immersive textile environments based on electro-active polymers, the paper will discuss, beyond the purely functional, the cultural and poetic potential of smart technologies, including thin film photovoltaics, light-induced liquid-crystals and dielectric elastomers.
Suggesting applications in which adaptive textiles become the medium through which the home reconnects with the multiple rhythmicities of nature, the paper will highlight specific crafting processes in which self-organization and energyminimization principles play a central role in the shaping of adaptive textiles underpinned with values of interconnectivity while emphasising the significance of interdisciplinary collaborations across science and design.