Sheila Kennedy and Frano Violich, of Kennedy & Violich Architecture in Boston, are visiting the Netherlands on 21 January to attend an expert meeting entitled Building with Smart Textiles - Smart Textiles in Architecture and Interior Design at the TextielMuseum in Tilburg. Kennedy and Violich are known for their progressive use of materials such as textiles in their projects. This expert meeting is organised in partnership with Het Nieuwe Instituut. Their programme also includes an extensive visit to Het Nieuwe Instituut, together with five Spanish design professionals who are visiting the Netherlands the same week at the invitation of the embassy in Madrid. A tour of architectural highlights in Rotterdam rounds off the visit of Kennedy and Violich.
Sheila Kennedy and Frano Violich on smart textiles: "We’re interested in how we can rethink the materials of furniture, infrastructure and buildings in ways that are soft—conceptually supple and physically flexible and interconnected with wireless networks. Soft fabrication comes from the design logic of industrial materials cut from a pattern and folded into three dimensional form. Textiles will be augmented with technology at the thread level in the near future, but as architects, we want to demonstrate what this future could be today. So we invent ways to integrate and augment materials and textiles with sensing, energy and light, and we also have to invent ways to dis-integrate these things; to manufacture, to make upgrades and to re-cycle. It has to be simple and easy. Design creates an integral aesthetics and operation of two systems, textile and technology. Though the systems are designed to work together, each system can be understood on its own, and this play of autonomy and integration makes it easier to manufacture it in affordable ways, and to realize smart textiles in architecture with contractors, building commissioners and developers.”