MaterialDistrict Utrecht - 8, 9 & 10 March 2023 - Book your stand now


Time-Based Textile

In this project, an ongoing work on material exploration, Dana Zelig explores programmable textiles and textile structures using plastic, allowing complex textile structure computations in computer time to be counted in minutes instead of hours. Textiles and polystyrene are brought together in a completely new manner.

After completing the “Traces” project, which involved processed folding of a polystyrene sheets, designer Dana Zelig continued to experiment with materials, this time with textile and polymers together. The fluidity of form seen in the Traces project was based on simple basis of energy absorption by plastic sheets. The difference between the reaction of the polymer and the black lines printed on the polymer sheet created the folds.

When fabric was added with the polymer, the softness in the folds increased. The experiment is variable due to the different kind of polymers and the different ways of applying them to the fabric, therefore results in a promising – custom mixed plastic sheets as per required strength and flexibility.

Since the concept of this project is similar to the previous one, the plastic reacts to the heat and together with the pressed fabric results in three dimensional fabric structures. The folds are created by using physical-programmed patterns. Simplifying the project, the change in form can be compared to a chemistry experiment, where different acids react differently and results in fumes and evaporating or bending metal.

Dana’s aim to represent the richness of variations and patterns portrayed her inspiration by architecture. She also explained her process which is done with the help of Processing as a digital drawing tool. She laser cuts generative grid systems into polystyrene and then adjusts both materials together via a high temperature press machine.

She is planning to call the process – “Pattern to complex textile structures within minutes.” The video capturing the process is intriguing and you can watch it here.

Els Zijlstra