On Textile Farming: The Interior as an Ecosystem

2019-09-13T09:18:03Z (GMT) by Svenja Keune
Alongside with smart materials, biomaterials become increasingly available to the field of textile design. This biological paradigm brings an alternative perspective to the ways in which textiles can be designed, present themselves, and can be dealt with. As biomaterials such as plants and bacteria thrive in symbiosis with their environment, their ecosystem consequently becomes disposable to the expressions of textiles and interior spaces. Here, textiles could take on the role of a mediator for ecosystem services, e.g. guiding the growth of crops, regulating indoor climates and supporting the decomposition of waste. This research aims to explore what the design of a ‘textile interior ecosystem’ would be like and discusses what the role of textiles as accommodating biological processes in relation to this system could be. By experimental research, ‘On Textile Farming’ explores the design of ‘textile interior ecosystem’ investigating e.g. growing crops, composting and fermenting in interior spaces in order to speculate how these biological principles could be translated into the design of textiles and how this would change the way we form interior spaces, live with them and understand them - as a community of living systems. By embedding biological agents e.g. plants and bacteria into interior fabrics, a biological perspective is added to their life-cycle. Here, the role of the textile is opened up towards a substrate for biological agents, a template for growth and a mediator in between all actors involved in the ‘textile interior ecosystem’. As a result, this research presents speculative scenarios which exemplify the extended life-cycle, illustrate the increase in interior diversity and forms of habitation using textiles, from an aesthetic and functional point of view. In a time in which the way we handle relationships to biotic and abiotic components is discussed and criticised, ‘On Textile Farming’ could open up a range of concepts unfamiliar to designing textiles and spaces, such as ‘Seasonal Interiors’, ’Multispecies Interplay’ and ‘Textile Hortitecture’.