WEAVING AS METAPHOR
“The beauty of the weaving metaphor is that each move made by the weaver keeps the whole fabric in view, much like the ruling of a state. For Plato, the aim of state making is justice, which means, in effect, weaving together the various social virtues without allowing one more than the other to dominate.”
— Arthur Danto
The thesis probes textile in architecture through both its materiality and its logic of assembly. The experiment intends to initiate an intimate relationship between body and the built environment through textile.
The thesis first engages in the pliable and ephemeral materiality of textile. The softness of textile encourages bodily movements, and inviting inhabitants to configure their own surroundings. In contrast to the concrete geometric order imposed on us, textile really allows the built environment to be manipulated, creating fluid boundaries, and allowing varying degrees of contact. For centuries, the dominant ideal of architecture is the solid, resistant, and inflexible entity, having an enduring order upon the living scenarios around it. Textile as a building material creates spaces for the ephemeral, using its softness and temporality to incorporate the transient spatial needs.
Beyond the materiality of textile, the thesis investigates the construction logic of weaving as an organizing system that interlocks parts into a larger entity. Threads are connected together without joinery or adhesive, but a process of packing independent lines. Unlike knitting which involves continuous looping of yarn, weaving consists of a stack of individually piled elements. Each segment can be adjusted and removed, the fabric stills hold together. While performing independently, the integrity of weaving comes collectively, rooted in the tightly packed lines. The weaving logic requires the aggregation and density of small parts for the fabric to hold together.
The thesis hopes to take on the part to whole logic that is specific to weaving and perform it onto built space across scale. The concept of spatial weave that is beyond the softness of the material is the essential.
The current discussion of textile architecture is grounded in this Semperian model. Beyond the prehistoric and primitive hut model of textile architecture, the use of textile is not only a continuous one throughout history but also an increasing contemporary one, echoing the growing need for mobility in contemporary culture.