Furniture Formed from Fabric
During fall semester Furniture Design and Textiles students in a research studio called Textile into Furniture paired off in cross-disciplinary teams to design unique pieces of furniture incorporating advanced fabrics and techniques.
“Students were charged with researching textiles that create structural integrity as well as visual interest for functional furniture,” explains Associate Professor of Furniture Design Lothar Windels BID 96, who co-taught the class with Associate Professor of Textiles Brooks Hagan MFA 02 TX.
An international cadre of design experts visited during the course of the semester to help students identify and develop their strongest ideas.
Alexander von Vegesack and Mathias Schwartz-Clauss – co-founders and co-directors of Domaine de Boisbuchet in Lessac, France – participated in a progress review in early November, where they admired the sculptural shape of a vivid green chair by Molly Rubidge 17 FD and Edward Meade 17 TX but expressed concerns about its back support.
The visitors also examined a woven, modular room divider designed by Urvi Sharma 17 FD and Kate Park 18 TX at the same interim critique and suggested that the duo work with more homogenous strips of felt.
Later in the semester RISD alum Mark Pollack 76 TX, who launched the innovative textiles studio POLLACK in 1988, joined Textiles Department Head Anais Missakian 84 TX and other guest critics to review final iterations.
Alice McDonald 18 TX and Yunzhu Wang MFA 17 FD showed a modular system based on stadium seating and intended for preschool classrooms. “I like how the pieces link together,” Missakian noted, “but knitting isn’t the right technique when you’re looking for stability.”
“Fabrics for kids need to be washable or at least wipe-able,” added Pollack. “You might want to consider removable fabric that can be thrown into the washing machine.”
photos by Jo Sittenfeld MFA 08 PH
Eight RISD students in Furniture Design and Textiles are exhibiting crocheted and knitted furniture as part of Italy’s renowned design triennial.
New Furniture Design faculty member Patty Johnson collaborates with master craftspeople around the world, exploring how objects are transformed by material and culture.
Multifaceted designer David Wiseman 03 FD combines his affinity for natural phenomena, exquisite craftsmanship and experimentation to create beautiful, timeless objects.