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

March 10, 2017

Providence, RI – The departments of Furniture Design and Textiles at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) are pleased to present Patterns of Making at Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan and at the 2017 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York City.

The work in this exhibition evolved from in-depth materials research at RISD, where students majoring in Furniture Design partnered with their peers in Textiles to rethink the use of soft materials in furniture design. Instead of using conventional approaches to cover furniture with textiles, students emphasize the inherent qualities of materials and the potential for structure and customization provided by weaving, knitting and other alternative techniques.

Throughout the fall 2016 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.

Salone Internazionale del Mobile
Milan Fairgrounds, Rho
April 4–9, 2017
open to the trade on Tuesday - Friday, 9:30AM–6:30PM
open to the trade + the public Saturday - Sunday, 9:30AM–6:30PM

International Contemporary Furniture Fair
The Javits Center | 655 West 34th Street, NYC
May 21–24, 2017
open to the trade on Sunday - Tuesday, 10AM–5PM
open to the trade + the public on Wednesday, 10AM–4PM

“The furniture in Patterns of Making tells a visual story, with the various components in each piece coming together in a transparent, self-explanatory manner,” notes Associate Professor of Furniture Design Lothar Windels, who co-taught the fall studio at RISD with Associate Professor of Textiles Brooks Hagan. “By focusing on authentic construction principles and accentuating the tactile qualities of the material, students present objects that allow for a deeper emotional attachment than is available in the world of today’s concealed consumer goods.”

“We have an exciting range of pieces to show this year,” noted Hagan. “Students have worked hard to realize and refine their ideas and the benefits of collaboration, along with the disciplinary perspectives of both departments, are displayed to great advantage.”

The following pieces from Patterns of Making will be featured in Milan and New York:

Lawn Chair
design: Sarah Crist | BFA 2017 and Lauren Klein | BFA 2018
materials/techniques: AstroTurf, mercerized cotton, laminated bent ash frame
90cm/36” high x 60cm/24” wide x 105cm/42” deep

The Lawn Chair combines hand-woven mercerized cotton with AstroTurf to create a textile covering a laminated bent ash frame. The use of AstroTurf allows the woven textile to provide supportive structure for the seating surface that spans the cantilevered frame. It references suburbia, bringing this mundane material into contemporary interiors and rolling an outdoor aesthetic indoors.

Warp Lounge
design: Walker Nosworthy | BFA 2018 and Siena Smith | BFA 2018
materials/techniques: fabric woven out of nylon, monofilament and lanyard, silicone, bent acrylic sheet
75cm/30” high x 58cm/23” wide x 68cm/27” deep

The Warp Lounge creates optical stimulation with layers of transparency. Two layers of hand-woven fabric—comprised of a nylon warp and a plastic lanyard and monofilament weft—hold molded silicone pads to a bent acrylic frame. Its iridescence comes from the lanyard yarn, which hangs below the frame in an extended, undulating selvage. Projecting the color of the fabric to the edges of the acrylic sheet creates a constantly shifting visual distortion.

Nested Knits
design: Julia Steketee | BFA 2018 and Anna Williams| BFA 2017
materials/techniques: knitted steam-bent rattan
150cm/60” high x 60cm/24” wide x 60cm/24” deep

Nested Knits integrates textile and furniture principles through an innovative use of rattan as ‘yarn’. After being steam-bent into curved stitches, rattan is knit by hand to create rigid, cylindrical forms. This novel approach celebrates the inherent properties of a knit: its tendency to curl and its ability to create volume and irregularity. Complementary purl stitches are introduced in reverse and incorporated into the overall pattern to form structure. This construct has the potential to evolve, span or divide interior spaces, while diffusing light through its organic form.

Chaise Convex
design: Elizabeth Dimitroff | BFA 2017 and Ayushi Gupta | BFA 2017
materials/techniques: inflated PVC balls, red nylon mesh, nickel-plated steel frame
60cm/24” high x 150cm/60” wide x 75/30” deep

An exploration of expanding volumes, the Chaise Convex references bondage or constricting forces on the human body. Eight transparent PVC balls covered in red nylon mesh are inflated through a nickel-plated steel mesh frame to create a provocative language of form.

design: Alice McDonald | BFA 2018 and Yunzhu Wang | MFA 2017
materials/techniques: Ultrasuede, vinyl, foam, wooden ribs, stainless steel grommets, Paracord
1cm/0.5” high x 75cm/30” wide x 65cm/26” deep

Poli is a series of hexagonal mats for children designed to be transformed through play. They can be connected together as one big polygon floor carpet or folded into 3D forms such as clamshell seats, building blocks, mini tents and so forth. Children explore numerous possibilities to build various forms through the simple toggle-to-grommet and hook-to-loop system. The use of neutral Ultrasuede fabric on one side and vibrant vinyl on the other helps animate the form and activate the environment around it.

Chattai Screen
design: Hyunmin Kate Park | BFA 2018 and Urvi Sharma | BFA 2017
materials/techniques: laminated oak veneer, partially dyed felted wool
180cm/72” high x 260cm/104” wide x 75/30” deep

The Chattai Screen is a room divider composed of individual wooden slats and woven felt pieces. The flexibility of the screen makes it easy to adapt to a variety of spaces, while the dyed flaps create dynamic movement and texture. The arrangement of the felt pieces allows for varying levels of opacity, enabling the user to create permeable and private spaces as desired.

Blue Bend Chair
design: Todd Anderson | MFA 2017 and Claire Harvey | BFA 2018
materials/techniques: laminated bent walnut, hand-woven wool, steel fasteners
90cm/36” high x 48cm/19” wide x 63cm/25” deep

The Blue Bend Chair is articulated by a single, continuous line in profile. Alternating channels and dissolving chevrons are woven on a loom to create the shifting blue surface. Laminated bent walnut ribs pass through these channels and intersect between seat and back, uniting the two distinct material languages of the chair. Fabric and wood become one in this dialogue between structure and surface, blending material and form into a single entity.

design: Edward Meade | BFA 2017 and Molly Rubidge | BFA 2017
materials/techniques: industrial nylon knit, polyurethane foam, steel frame
90cm/36” high x 83cm/33” wide x 55cm/22” deep

The Margot chair celebrates the capabilities of industrial knitting, combining color and form to create an object that is absurd, yet still reasonably functional. The steel frame offers a uniquely embracing form, provides a structure for the textile and supports the user well without touching the human body at any point.

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 sequential curriculum, they investigate emerging challenges presented by new materials and technologies, societal changes, and shifting economic and ecological conditions.

About Textiles at RISD
As one of the first departments established at RISD, 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. Expert faculty, a diverse student population, extensive facilities, strong ties to the field and a supportive environment contribute to a dynamic and evolving academic community.

About Rhode Island School of Design
One of the oldest colleges of its kind in the US, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) stands out as a leader in art and design education. Approximately 2,450 students from around the world are enrolled in full-time bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in a choice of 19 majors. Students value RISD’s accomplished faculty of artists and designers, the breadth of its specialized facilities and its hands-on approach to studio-based learning. Required courses in the liberal arts enrich the studio experience, equipping graduates to make meaningful contributions to their communities. Through their creative thinking and problem solving in a broad range of fields, RISD’s 26,000 alumni exemplify the vital role artists and designers play in fueling global innovation. Founded in 1877, RISD and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the northeast.

Download high-resolution images or contact Jaime Marland at jmarland@risd.edu or 401.427.6954 for more info.