Tag Archives: textiles

MIT Developed a Fabric That Can Fold Into Origami-Like Shapes When Inflated 

MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group has created a system to fold materials into various origami shapes when inflated, turning specifically designed paper, plastic, and fabric into representations of swans, helixes, or other 3D figures with minimal human interaction. The project, aeroMorph, utilizes special software to program the geometry needed for each three-dimensional shape and exports the information as digital fabrication files. After this, specific markings are heat-sealed onto the provided material on a large robotic platform, allowing it to bend at specific joints when filled with a steady stream of air.

The creators believe aeroMorph could be applied to future wearables, toys, robotics, and automated packaging. You can see the results from several of the project’s self-folding experiments in the video below. (via Laughing Squid)

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An Ethereal Rainbow of Thread Fills a Gallery at the Toledo Museum of Art 

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All images provided by the Toledo Museum of Art, photographs by Andrew Weber

Mexican-born mixed media and installation artist Gabriel Dawe (previously here, here, and here) produces rainbow installations that appear as refracted light beams, ethereal works composed of thousands of multicolor threads. His most recent installation, Plexus no. 35, graces the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery, its brightly colored composition contrasting the surrounding rich shades found in the paintings of old masters.

The site-specific work was designed especially for the museum and will be on display through January 22, 2017. You can see previous installations a part of Dawe’s Plexus series on his website and Instagram.

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New Glitched-Out Rugs Designed from Traditional Textiles by Faig Ahmed 

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All images courtesy of Faig Ahmed Studio

Initially interested in the complexities of modern and ancient language, artist Faig Ahmed (previously) translated his fascination to the intricacies of carpet patterns, especially those from Turkey, Persia, India, and Caucasus. Distorting their original composition, Ahmed produces designs that break out of the traditional shape of luxury carpets, producing works that seem to split, drip, and separate on the wall.

His latest textile piece were created on a traditional loom, contemporary glitches and manipulations formed through age-old weaving techniques. Many of these recent works are also linked to Ahmed’s interests in genetic research and quantum physics, the mutated rugs serving as his attempt to display the impossibility of finding symmetry in nature and a chaotic world.

This past year Ahmed’s rugs were featured in shows at the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Bellevue Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, and Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania. His most recent exhibition, Source Code, opens November 17 at Sapar Contemporary in New York City and runs through January 5, 2017.

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Artist Aki Inomata Provides Bagworms with Snippets of High Fashion to Create Matching Cocoons 

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Commenting on female consumer culture in Japan, artist Aki Inomata decided to dress female bagworms in extravagant attire, handing clippings of women’s dresses to the insects in order to transform them into protective cases. In nature, male bagworms shed these cases when they become moths. Females however, remain in these cases their entire lives, waiting patiently for the attention of a male. Reminded of the similarities to her own gender performance in Japan, Inomata exhibited her work with female bagworms at a department store that sells women’s clothing, her own commentary on what lengths women must still go to in order to be aesthetically accepted by society.

This is not the only time Inomata has worked with bugs or animals to alter their interpretation of the world. From 2009-2016 she crafted shells for hermit crabs based on differently global cities, and in 2009 she took French lessons with a parakeet. Inomata is represented by Maho Kubota Gallery in Tokyo and you can see more of her work on her website.

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A Mass of Tangled Red Yarn Unravels from a Loom to Overtake a Brazilian Chapel 

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Tatiana Blass, “Penelope” (2011), carpet loom, wool yarn, chenille at the Chapel of Morumbi. Photos by Everton Ballardin

In 2011, Brazilian artist Tatiana Blass pierced the walls of a Sao Paulo chapel with large masses of red yarn, letting the bright material trail into the surrounding grasses, landscape, and trees. The installation, titled Penelope, was named after Odysseus’s wife in Homer’s Odyssey, a character who kept herself away from suitors while he was at war by weaving a burial shroud by day, and secretly taking pieces of it apart at night.

Inside the chapel the work continued with a 45-foot-long carpet leading to a loom into which it was stuck. Immaculate on one side of the loom and in pieces on the other, strings of the dismantled rug traveled outside of the chapel through preexisting holes that made their way into the yard. The piece, just like the epic poem, leaves us to wonder whether the work is in a state of construction or unraveling, if the carpet is being built, or slowly torn apart. (via Design Milk)

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Penelope, before and after 6 months

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New Wearable Textile Sculptures by Artist Mariko Kusumoto 

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Courtesy of Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA

Artist Mariko Kusumoto (previously) continues to amaze us with her ability to turn textiles into delicate orbs that can be worn as necklaces, brooches, and rings. While the artworks are often inspired by patterns or shapes found in nature, the pieces are left intentionally ambiguous as a way to engage the imagination. She shares in her artist statement:

My work reflects various, observable phenomena that stimulate my mind and senses; they can be natural or man-made. I ‘reorganize’ them into a new presentation that can be described as surreal, amusing, graceful, or unexpected. A playful, happy atmosphere pervades my work. I always like to leave some space for the viewer’s imagination; I hope the viewer experiences discovery, surprise, and wonder through my work.

Most of the pieces scene here are constructed with delicate polyester fabrics, a material that is both flexible in its application and extremely durable, allowing for her lightweight designs. You can see more of Kusumoto’s fiber explorations and metalwork at Mobilia Gallery and on her website.

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Courtesy of Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA

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Courtesy of Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA

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Courtesy of Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA

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