Parsons students presented an installation that explored textiles as soft structures at this year's ICFF, which ran through the weekend, closing yesterday. Sponsored by Carnegie Fabrics, the installation was constructed of Xorel, a performance textile invented by the company.
The work of a semester-long investigation into the constraints and possibilities of textiles, the overhead canopy was composed of simple, folded pyramids made of paper-backed Xorel fabric. The students both designed the folded form of the modular tiles and the pattern of the digitally printed fabric.
“The project statement was very intriguing,” said Heather Bush, Executive Vice President of Carnegie Fabrics, a family-business which is known for its innovations through pattern, material and technique. "I could only imagine the experimentation that would take place in Parsons’ research studio environment with Xorel as a building block."
This group was composed of students from graduate and undergraduate programs of the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons, the only integrated school of architecture, interior design, product design and lighting design in the United States, and was led by faculty members Granger and Robert Moorhead of Moorhead & Moorhead.
“We began this project with a look at the contemporary textile industry, from art to high-performance engineered fabric,” said Granger Moorhead. “Students also explored a range of contemporary soft-structure precedents, from modular to site-specific, with examples of both temporary and permanent installations.”
Front row, from left: Robert Moorhead, Elizabeth Parker, Granger Moorhead. Back row, from left: Tamara Sabler, Heather Bush, Niyoshi Sanghvi
"What was most surprising to me was the end result—an installation that works with Xorel in its most rigid form," says Bush. "We provided the team with all the options, but through experimentation and creativity, this group pushed to a new realm beyond soft. They then pushed even further and utilized the newest technique we are working with in Xorel, digital printing, to enhance details of the structural environment."