Rhode Island School of Design’s Furniture Design + Textiles Departments present The Narrative of Making in Milan and New York City

The departments of Furniture Design and Textiles at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) are pleased to present The Narrative of Making at the XXI Triennale International Exhibition Milan 2016 (XX1T) and at the 2016 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York City.

The featured work is based on in-depth, multidisciplinary materials research, with Furniture Design students partnering with peers in Textiles to rethink the use of soft materials in furniture design. Rather than using conventional techniques to cover furniture with foam and textiles, in this work students emphasize the inherent qualities of the materials through methods based on weaving, knitting, knotting and crocheting.

Throughout the fall 2015 semester, students developed a series of models that led to a full-scale mock-up; these in-depth explorations provided a solid foundation for the construction of the final, well-executed prototypes for the shows.

XXI Triennale International Exhibition Milan: “21st Century. Design After Design”
Cathedral of the Fabbrica del Vapore | Via Giulio Procaccini, 4, 20154 Milan, Italy
April 2–June 26, 2016, hours to be announced

International Contemporary Furniture Fair
The Javits Center | 655 West 34th Street, NYC
May 14–17, 2016
open to the trade on Saturday + Sunday, 10AM–5PM and Monday, 10AM–6PM
open to the trade + the public on Tuesday, 10AM–4PM

“The furniture in The Narrative of Making tells a visual story about how it was made. In each piece, various components come together in a transparent, self-explanatory manner,” said RISD Department of Furniture Design Associate Professor Lothar Windels, who led the fall studio. “By focusing on authentic construction principles and accentuating the haptic qualities of the material, students present objects that allow for a deeper emotional attachment, contrasting the world of concealed consumer goods. We are grateful for the opportunity to display this interdisciplinary RISD project to an international audience via two world-class venues this year, and to notably be the only American school selected for the ‘Under 35’ event at the renowned Milan Triennale.”

The following four pieces from The Narrative of Making will be featured at both the XX1T Milan and ICFF in New York:

Paper Crochet Chair
design: Andrew Bannar | BFA 2016 and Noelle Webster | BFA 2016
materials/technique: crocheted paper yarn on stainless steel frame
85cm/34” high x 60cm/24” wide x 65cm/26” deep

Constructed from paper yarn, the Paper Crochet Chair is tailored to fit seamlessly onto its minimalistic stainless steel frame. The seat is suspended from the frame and the arms and backrest are self-reinforcing. This unique construction principle provides a self-supporting seating shell that is malleable but supportive and allows the user to interact directly with the crocheted paper yarn.

Million Loops
design: Maria Camarena Bernard | MFA 2016 and Aakanksha Sirothia | MFA 2016
materials/technique: crocheted acrylic yarn, cotton muslin/batting, horsehair stuffing
65cm/26” high x 95cm/38” wide x 95cm/38” deep

The Million Loops sensual lounge chair is made without any framework beyond that created by the hand-crocheted textiles. Structural and fluid at the same time, the chair provides an inviting personal space.

Looped Pile Seat
design: Ana Mosseri | BFA 2017 and Elaina Runge | MFA 2017
materials/technique: cotton upholstered foam strip and vinyl sheet on wooden frame, steel base
100cm/40” high x 110cm/44” wide x 85cm/34” deep

The Looped Pile Seat is inspired by the way plush carpets are made – using a supplementary yarn pulled through a structural base fabric to form a surface of loops. In this piece, a continuous strip of upholstered foam, which changes in color from fuchsia to coral, is pulled through a vinyl sheet base. Enveloped by the irregular texture of the looped pile, the user enjoys a sensual and comforting sitting experience.

Stretch Lounge
design: Michelle Dunbar | BFA 2016 and Mayela Mujica | MFA 2016
materials/technique: industrially knitted wool/cotton/spandex fabric on stainless steel
100cm/40” high x 120cm/ 48” wide x 60cm/24” deep

The appearance of the Stretch Lounge transforms through use. When occupied, each section of the lounge stretches to reveal vibrant colors hidden in the folds of the knitted textile, which reverts back to its original form when not in use. The juxtaposition of the seats invites two people to sit in opposite directions, creating a playful interaction between them while visually transforming the colors of the piece for viewers.

Three additional pieces will be shown at the ICFF exhibition only:

Sinuous Chair

design: Noelle Antignano | BFA 2016
materials/technique: upholstered foam extrusions woven through steel frame
80cm/32” high x 120cm/48” wide x 70cm/28” deep

The steel frame of the Sinuous Chair acts as the warp for the upholstered extrusions that are woven throughout it but left loose at the end. The visual impact of the chair, which is derived through an orderly system, emulates the controlled chaos found in nature. This balance between planned structure and unexpected chaos creates a chair ready to embrace the user in comfort.

Caterpillar Lounge
design: Griffin Boswell | BFA 2016 and Ruth Henry | BFA 2017
materials/technique: woven cotton/synthetic fabric, memory foam, elastic paracord on steel frame
70cm/28” high x 53cm/21” wide x 68cm/27” deep

The Caterpillar Lounge is made of double cloth woven fabric with integrated memory foam and elastic cord, which are added through the weaving process. This three-dimensional custom fabric is stretched over a steel frame and attaches to it with a continuous lacing system visible through the hollow interior of the chair, thereby allowing the viewer to appreciate its unique construction.

design: Emre Bagdatoglu | MFA 2016
materials/technique: polyester carpet rolls tided together with nylon rope
75cm/30” high x 95cm/38” wide x 75cm/30” deep

Using inexpensive off-the-shelf materials, the Wall-To-Wall chair is made of folded carpet strips held together by a network of utility rope. Common materials combined with a refined construction method make for a comfortable and visually engaging armchair.

About Furniture Design at RISD
The Department of Furniture Design educates students in a broad range of design study areas delineated as FORM – furniture, objects, research and materials. Students develop conceptual and realization abilities by designing and building with real materials and at full scale. Through a sequenced curriculum, they investigate emerging challenges presented by new technologies, materials, and economic and ecologic conditions, along with changes in societal patterns.

About Textiles at RISD
The Department of Textiles embraces traditional textile techniques while considering state-of-the-art industrial and computational technologies. Students explore the broad potential of materials and processes to create innovative fabric for design and fine arts applications. Faculty works closely with undergraduate and graduate students to encourage the development of a personal vision with an understanding of the social and cultural context.