Universal space where everyone feels comfortable simply does not exist. Even though the majority of us needs comfort, functionality, and safety, our interiors look completely different depending on current trends, our lifestyles and tastes. Our expectations towards the role of interiors we live in change constantly.
Nowadays, the lack of time, constant rush and information overload constitute a common denominator of the urban life. We often find ourselves struggling with no time for contemplation and lack of place that could give us even a momentary shelter from the mad world. On our way back home, at the end of the day, the only thing we dream of is to cut off. But is it possible to cut off from the world? Our everyday lives are being soaked with technology, flat screens and touch pads. If it wasn’t enough, everything around suggests that in the foreseeable future even screens will be dematerialized by holograms. Step by step, our fingers are being deprived of the possibility to touch, something they’ve been getting used to for thousands of years. Communing with textures and fabrics of various hardness and thickness brings emotions that let people understand and value the world.
Once this tactile spectrum is reduced to a minimum, we dull our senses by limiting their access to a very important haptic information. Lidewij Edelkoort, who forecasts and describes trends, believes that, contrary to what we may think, technological advancement will have a completely opposite effect on the way fashion and interiors are created:
“The more digital and less tactile our life with technology becomes, the more design and fashion will be focused on the handmade and the sense of touch.”
says Lidewij. In order to underpin her belief in the growing role of textiles, in collaboration with Philip Fimmano she created an international competition Dorothy Waxman Textile Design Prize which aims to present and award innovations as well as creative approaches to working with textiles.
Not only the present pace of life, but also new opportunities to work at home require the living space to be even more functional. It’s significant to have the possibility to introduce quick changes and a clear division of space into the private and the working zone. Present-day Nomads, who seek mobility both outside and inside their homes, will search more and more courageously for solutions tailoring to their needs. In other words: we will pursue a greater personalization of solutions available on the market. Textiles are light and can be modified easily. Li Edelkoort stresses the fact that we are going to need more textiles because we’ll start using our space more freely – like Nomads living in tents filled with carpets, cushions, blankets, tapestries and curtains – and we’ll look for inspiration outside of our culture. Natural textiles are particularly valuable as they bring interiors closer to nature – the scarcity of which we feel more and more often.
An interest in textiles is to enter an entirely new phase where the diversity of haptic sensations will transform our interiors into more luxurious spaces. New textile production techniques will grant a decorative value to even the mass produced textiles. Fabrics will showcase the new face of luxury, the one that does not have to glitter to be impressive.
Dematerialized technology has already started weaving in textiles, enriching them with additional functions and new looks. In Project Jacquard, Google tries to create “textiles as interactive surfaces” by using conductive yarns, while German brand Future-Shape aims to apply the same rule to carpets. Technological development progresses dynamically: there are fibers that change colors depending on weather conditions or mood of a person who’s in either physical or eye contact with a textile. Reflective fabrics and fabrics which clean the polluted air are being developed as well. Such innovations in everyday life are still scarce, but undoubtedly it’s the matter of time until multipurpose textiles settle in our interiors, enter a new phase of development and… come alive.
As a designer I feel a constant need to observe events connected with the sphere of design. Thanks to it, I have a better understanding of people’s needs and I am able to more appropriately plan final versions of my projects. The knowledge of our everyday reality enables us to discover the so far unknown situations requiring innovative solutions, especially important in the world of business. Besides, information about trends may be of valuable significance for those who want to be more conscious of changes occurring all around us.