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.
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.
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.
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.
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.