„Körperhüllen: Textile Sphären im Raum“
Guest-Professorship at the New Design University in St. Pölten for the 3rd semester of the interior design class in winter 2013/14. The title of this long-term project, which resulted in a presentation of prototypes, was "Body Coverings: Textile Spheres in Space". The sphere of the individual in the surrounding room, in this example of the new rooms of the NDU in the former factory “Glanzstoffwerke”.
The intention of the semester project was to deal with a model of thinking that considers the space, which surrounds us physically, as a body covering, starting with the clothing layer and its continuation in the objects and spaces in the nearer ambiance. This approach has been applied to a Analogy of clothing to the object world around us, as pointed out to the surrounding architecture. The possibilities of these body coverings were discussed, their psychological and physiological protective function, as well as their significance as information carriers of content.
The perception of the "designed space" from "inside" was provoked, with direct reference to one's own sphere of experience and subjective point of view. The needs that an individual demands on a space were explored.
It was examined how the relationship is from inside to outside, from the private to the public sphere. How the subjective space between "me", "my body" and "my environment" is and what kind of "in-between" spaces open up.
Via a photographic research, the students explored the question of the starting point of architecture. Space-creating situations, such as clothing, were documented in photographs. This photographic work not only sensitized the students to the spatial dimension of clothing, to its significance as an architectural cover, and to the many spatial situations in the immediate surroundings.
In the next step, the surrounding units, the spheres, were discussed in their benefit and function for the individual. The so-called private spheres, work spheres, retreat spheres and communication spheres were drawn on a diagram as a list of personal "living units".
This was followed by an experimental impromptu investigation of textile spaces in the room, documented in photo series. Various qualities of textiles were presented, from transparent light fabrics, foamed stiff material to heavy, dense textiles. This investigation resulted in a catalogue of requirements: What can textile spheres do in space.
At the following meeting, Peter Kohlmaier shared his wealth of experience as an expert for textile furnishing and inspired the students with numerous sample books for textiles and their application examples.
On the basis of this preliminary work, we dealt with the design project, the formation of spheres, of spaces in the room, which are related to their user. The different demands on these spheres were worked out, whether they are for working, for retreating, for communicating or for contemplating. It was investigated to what extent textile spaces can fulfil these tasks, which are mobile, temporary or changeable. The aim was to develop 1:1 real size models. Thus it could be shown how these developed textile spaces communicate and what kind of atmosphere they can create.
The range of possibilities for these designed rooms was broad: portable rooms up to large walk-in installations were possible. The students' main interest was in the walk-in rooms. Some of the project works are concerned with creating retreat spaces. Places to "chill out", to "relax", or for targeted concentration and communication in small units. It was interesting to observe that the spaciousness of the NDU Halle in the Glanzstoffwerke created the need for "cocooning" among many students. The familiar space within the room, privacy was sought.