Tuesday, 30 November 2010

ArchiTextile. The Textile Medium in Architecture, Past to Present

Zurich, May 19-20, 2011

The conference explores the textile medium, technology, material and metaphor in the history and theory of architecture from antiquity to the present. Contemporary experiments and phenomena in the architectural discourse open new perspectives onto the history and theory of architecture. Textile surfaces create architectural, social and topological spaces and are essential to the built space. Their qualities such as elasticity, foldability, plasticity, opacity and transparency are an important part of architectural language, but have not yet been studied systematically. The tension between the textile and the tectonic generates notions such as building as clothing and myths of the textile origins of architecture, and the ornamental grammar of textures connects building structures to the textus, the textual weaving. The textile medium connecting a variety of fields of human activity is equally open to historical, sociological, psychological, technological and aesthetic enquiries as it addresses issues of veiling and revealing and phenomena such as the fold, the fleece, the membrane, the curtain, the interface or the network. Historians and theorists of architecture are invited to reflect on the textility in architecture from a broad thematic and historical perspective as to contributing to a history of the textile medium.

We welcome papers that discuss subjects such as, for instance:

- Myths: textile myths of the origins of architecture (e.g. Moses' Tabernacle); anthropological origins (e.g. Gottfried Semper's Bekleidungsprinzip); nomadism in post-modern theory; modern and contemporary tent structures (e.g. Frei Otto, Herzog & de Meuron); history of the curtain wall

- Identities: sacred textile spaces (e.g. vela and cortinae in Christian, Jewish and Muslim architecture); textile display of power in the medieval and early modern period; gendered interiors (e.g. Adolf Loos, Henry van de Velde)

- Ephemerality: textile spaces in public display (e.g. medieval war tents, contemporary stadiums); theatricality of painted cloths; flexibility, changeability and performativity in contemporary architecture; mobile tents (e.g. medieval travel tents); foldable sails (e.g. antique stadium vela); tent interiors (e.g. Schinkel)

- Materials and Designs: from concrete to fiberglass; translucency of high-tech weavings; digital images and projections in space; texts printed and incised in architectural surfaces; textile geometry; CAD/digital textures; textile interiors; textile structures in urbanism

Please send your proposal for a 20 minutes paper (max. 300 words) together with a short CV and list of publications to mateusz.kapustka@access.uzh.ch. The deadline for the proposals is December 10, 2010. PhD candidates and young researchers are especially welcomed to submit their proposals.

Conference languages are German and English. The organizers will apply for funding as to cover travelling and lodging expenses. Selected papers will be published in a volume of conference proceedings.

Mateusz Kapustka (mateusz.kapustka@access.uzh.ch)
Laurent Stalder (laurent.stalder@gta.arch.ethz.ch)
Philip Ursprung (philip.ursprung@gta.arch.ethz.ch)
Tristan Weddigen (tristan.weddigen@khist.uzh.ch)

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
University of Zurich



  1. tu y vas? j'ai une amie à Zürich au cas où

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