Uncover is a collection of textiles born from research exploring the possibilities and limitations of designing materials that are able to influence their relationship with their owners from their characteristics.
As a material-focussed designer, I feel like it is necessary to think about how I can bring new materials and products into the world in a sustainable and conscious way. Common approaches of sustainable material and product design are often about circularity, biodegradability, recyclability and reusability. Uncover, however, approaches sustainability from emotion.
The research focuses on the theme of emotional durability, an approach of reducing consumption and the waste of resources and improving the relationships between consumers and products. I studied the routes through which I, as a designer, can influence the relationships between my designs and their future owners. By focussing on the role of materials in the development of these relationships, I searched for approaches of designing materials that can stimulate their owners to connect growing personal and emotional meanings to them.
Essentially, the research aims to establish approaches for designing emotionally durable materials. This research was conducted alongside an exploration of hand-weaving techniques and elaborate experimentation with the colouring of yarns. The Uncover textiles are the product of conducting the (theoretical) research and the applied studies into material and technique alongside of each other.
Uncover is all about colour. Colour is turned into an unstable visual feature through a particularly developed dyeing process and through working with the optical blending of colour within weaving. By looking for ways of orchestrating these transformative behaviours, I am able to design the textiles’ current forms and also direct their future appearances, which will be unique for every owner.
In the Uncover collection, each textile is designed to visually transform over the time of being used, worn and – during this time – being exposed to daylight. The dyeing process of the yarns allows the textiles to repetitively open up to new hues of colour.
By covering and uncovering parts of the textiles – by folding, draping or pleating the material – the hues and patterns of exposed and non-exposed parts become the visual traces of interactions. Through these transformations, the textiles are meant to capture an owner’s personal meanings formed through the visualisation of previous experiences, while also promising new and yet to discover appearances. These incentives should help to stimulate long and intimate lifespans of the textiles and the objects they are implemented in.