Design spotlight: wood-textile combination
During the recent visit to Parqueteam in Tel Aviv, we had a chance to explore some recent innovative work by some top-level Israeli design studios. The ideas and inspiration presented by Tesler Mendelovitch here give insights into how designers work with materials.
The studio is organised as a textile design and development team. This allows for experimentation with materials in order to transform them into new configurations. In particular, the studio has worked with combinations of wood and textile, combining the hard panel formation of wood with the pliability and folding of textiles.
The principle is visible in a range of work based on what the designers call ‘diamond wood’ geometric surface finishing. The wood-textile fusion, similar to materials such as Foldtex, has led to plinths, pedestals and small tables. Recently, this work branched out into wearable pieces. The advantage of the wood-textile combination here is that it answers to users’ requirements. As an example, clutch purses made from the material provide the necessary resilience and hear-wearing attributes, while also being flexible and soft to the touch.
The studio has settled on a few designs, incorporation various types of wood that suit the design type well. Although the process is not visible, the resulting forms are the result of many generations of design refinement and testing. Tesler Mendelovitch experiments with wood, cutting, folding and bending.
With any material, but especially with wood, it takes time to understand the material. The particular lesson here is that working on the scale of the material itself – small panels of lightweight wood – allows the designer to learn from the wood. To paraphrase the architect Louis Kahn, you must ask what the material wants to be. Then you simply look and listen to learn.