Beyond Seeing

Goethe-Institut, Paris
Institut Français de la Mode, Paris
ESMOD, Berlin
Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Visuels  de La Cambre
Swedish School of Textiles, Borås
Deutscher Blinden- und Sehbehindertenverband (DBSV)
Fédération des aveugles de France 
VIEWS International

Exhibition venue: La Vilette, Paris, 2018

Within the framework of international research workshops, the Beyond Seeing project aimed at making fashion and design perceptible beyond the visual stimulus. In several experimental project phases we, consisting of blind and visually impaired participants and designers from various disciplines, developed innovative design approaches beyond the visual sense, either individually or together. 

The following capsule collection, named “Perception of Space“ is my contribution to this project.

Perception of Space

Inspired by various research discoveries, especially in the field of interior design, I felt the need to explore how relationship to space and my body as well as mind changes when I don‘t see it.
What do I remember when I touch something for the first time? What images arise in my head? 
How do the materials and surfaces feel?

In order to experience a broader range of spatial experiences, I have chosen three different spatial categories: a private space
 (a living room), a public space (a train station) and a closed natural space (a tent).  

The most important results of the self-experiment deal with the surfaces of the different objects, their thickness, as well as  my interaction in space. In other words, what connections I have made between the furniture in order to be able to move more freely. I began to create images with the contours and surfaces of the objects in my head. For example, when I touched the sofa, it immediately reminded me of my grandmother‘s flowery, velvety sofa.

Regarding  the pattern, I used a sketch of the room I made after experiencing it blindly based on my memories. As a measure I mainly used my steps and arm length, emphasising the relationship between the space and my body.
Additionally, I added curves on the floor for the connections and movements I made between the furniture. I enlarged the space sketch until I felt like the size matched the mass of information I was dealing with in the room. 

Layout of a living room consisting of white contours
Layout of a train station consisting of white contours
Layout of a tent consisting of white contours
Denim dress with white horizontally aligned fringesDenim oversized t-shirt with matching jeansSide view  of Denim oversized t-shirt with matching jeansDenim oversized t-shirt with matching jeans with focus on vertical fringe lines
Textile art object on female consisting of a patchwork on fabrics made of bark, knit, quilted velvet and printed cork - front viewTextile art object on female consisting of a patchwork on fabrics made of bark, knit, quilted velvet and printed cork - back view
Textile art object on man consisting of a patchwork of fabrics made of sprinted and quilted bark - front viewTextile art object on man consisting of a patchwork of fabrics made of sprinted and quilted bark -back view
Symmetrical textile art object on man consisting of tent fabric, bark, cords - front sideSymmetrical textile art object on man consisting of tent fabric, bark, cords - back side
Detail shot from left shoulder of textile silhouette of living room with emphasis on color and geometric variability of circle and rectangles and flowersBack view of fashion artwork with purple knit, quilted velvet and brown barkSide detail of light stripes on brown bark fabric

The selected fabrics mimic the feeling I had touching  the furniture, which is why they have different thicknesses, surfaces and stability. Since the furniture felt like warm wood, most of the fabrics are made of bark and the room is brownish. To emphasize the tactile sense, I used different screen printing techniques for the surfaces, knitted a fabric with loops for the carpet, and quilted the velvet flowers for the sofa. It is a patchwork of fabric and its colours.

Detail shot of upper silhouette front with white bark fabric that is both sprinted and stitched with dark stripesArrangement of differently processed Bark fabrics, including a white Bark fabric with dark gray abstract print and a brown Bark fabric with quilted stripes

For the fabric of the train station I chose uneven, thick and roughened surfaces, including piping, quilting seams and strip manipulations for the respective grooves and tracks. As I explored the space, I created the illusion in my mind that it was upstairs brighter than downstairs, which influenced the choice of colours. 

Detail shot of top silhouette front with white mosquito net over dark denim Detail shot interpretation of a tent in fashion for Beyond Seeing Dark green tent fabric with stiff bark pipings and white cords

In the third room, the tent, I was able to pay more attention to details, as I could more easily grasp the silhouette  in comparison to the other rooms. Due to the fact that the tent was flexible when touched, the main fabric is light. Where the tent was supported with poles, the fabric is stiffened. The noise of the zip when opening the tent was also important for me.