TERas #7: Textile Tectonics

Sedikit catatan tentang Textile Tectonics... terutama terkait karya-karya Lars Spuybroek.

Textile Tectonics is one usage of parametric approach in digital fabrication. Since the key of parametric design is variability, textile tectonic also has a cumulative variation in its curvature and surface (ie. variation in scale, angle, size, distance etcetera). In textile tectonics, this variability is based on interlaced curvature. (Spuybroek, 2006) Research in-depth about textile tectonics was initiated by Frei Otto and Gottfried Semper. The research then continued by Lars Spuybroek who innovates a reversal concept which is goes beyond Semper’s research.

Lars Spuybroek in the interview with Maria Ludovica Tramontin (Architectural Design, 2006) explains that textile tectonics is not about hard material mimicking softness and liquidity, but about how soft material become rigid and strong through process like weaving bundling, braiding, interlacing, knitting, and knotting.

The other point which is important in textile tectonics is morphogenesis process. In order to generate curvature-interlace surface, the material is calculated using a complex set of scalar manoeuvers. In this term Spuybroek explains that the calculation include consideration of microtectonic and macrotectonic of the edifice. With that calculation soft material such as soap film, paper, sand, and wool threads can be developed into rigid structure.

Spuybroek states that textile tectonics concern on continuity issue. The shape delivered is not a roof, wall, floor, but it is all of it altogether. It is possible because textile techniques played in the level of structure, not substructure. In his interview he imply that through textile tectonic he wants to be far away from sculpturism. He gives an example of what he categorizes as sculpturism: Gehry’s Bilbao Museum, because it hides the structure behind the panels. Spybroek calls Bilbao Museum as “hardened geometry”. 

Last point which he asserts in the interview is that textile tectonic is not an ornament. His thesis is that textile techniques use multiplicatory techniques. One generated-solution continue with other process and both gives information back and forth. There are communication on the whole part. In textile techniques the variation and generation of surface, structure, and volume has already achieved. He agrees with Samper’s concept that “textile drives everything”. 

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