This semester IED are doing a total of four different projects over two modules – we have our Change by Design module with Jonathan Baldwin, and our studio based projects with Jason Nelson and Linsey McIntosh.
We have an RSA brief that we are doing in groups with Jonathan, which we’ve only just had a chance to look at but seem pretty interesting. Our groups try and meet a few times a week to chat, socialise and, of course, work. Our team is composed of two interior design students (myself and Christina Boyle), two jewellery design students and two textiles students.
Our projects with Jason and Linsey take up a bit more time. We are doing a 5 week project, with the brief being taken from a Belgian competition. We basically have to create a piece of furniture/furnishings from off-cuts of carpet. This sounds easy, but it’s quite a restrictive material, so it’s been interesting trying to test it’s limits with financial limitations of being a student! We obviously don’t have access to crazy experimental labs, but we’ve been trying out some things in the studios.
I started going down a super complicated route that I’ve had to divert from. I was looking at creating a brand new material from the fibres used in the carpet industry, but obviously this would involve far too much investigation and experimentation for a 5 week project in 2nd year!
I then looked at the actual structure of carpet and I noticed that the backing layer is a natural fibre that is cross laminated with latex, which makes it incredibly strong and resilient. I then started look at the weight bearing properties of carpet and had a wee look at hammock-like structures.
I had a wee look at the PEOPLE who use hammocks and WHY they use them. I just thought hammocks were funky things you’d maybe lounge on in the Caribbean, but there’s a whole load of ergonomic issues I hadn’t even thought about – the weight of your body makes the fabric taut, the heavier and area is, the more support it gets! There has been a massive rise in hammocks for animals and babies as it is not only comfortable, but also creates support for them that an ordinary mattress/bed wouldn’t provide.
So I’ve been looking at folding and sewing carpet and creating a structure with it that is strong enough to support someone… or something. I’m not sure what yet, but I have three weeks to hurry up and pick something!
Next post regarding uni I’ll do will go into more detail about the project with Linsey; and the one after that, the project with Jonathan. Until then, here’s a photo of my cat lying on Private Eye, and a super ugly ashtray. He hates politics and ugly ceramics.