Scales of production are widely different: fashion designers create garments for the human body, while architects create buildings large enough to inhabit many bodies. Regardless of scale the aim and origin for both practices is the human body. Their creative processes can be strikingly similar. Both begin with a flat two-dimensional medium, transforming it to create complex three-dimensional forms. Also, same prevailing aesthetic tendencies and technological innovations have influenced each. Both fields have drawn from each other inspiration as well as certain technical strategies.
Architecture borrows strategies and vocabulary from fashion and vice versa, terms as wrapping, weaving, folding, pleating surfaces are being used. Furthermore, relations can be found in methods of construction and manipulation of a two-dimensional element. The models that have been generated during this process are scale-less and follow a certain set of principles. However, change in scale and materiality does influence and change function and therefore its definition. Geometry has long been employed to generate form in architecture and these explorations of geometry have been used to create extraordinary spatial effects. Tectonic Strategies that have been used during this process were folding and pleating. In folding, one flat piece of material becomes a volumetric form through the introduction of creases. Pleating is a subset of folding, in which regularly paced folds occur at certain intervals. The created surface articulation generates a three-dimensional surface structure with various depths. The difference between form-finding techniques and form-defining techniques lies in the ability to systematize a certain process. Furthermore the models are rather instrumental and operational than representative. They widen and encourage the imagination within the process and allow unexpected qualities and potentials to emerge, which require systematization. At stake is the development of innovative structures and geometrical systems.
The quality of physical models in comparison to computer generated models lies in the notion of time. The process of design used to be seen as a process of creation or “genesis” executed through cumulating design phases. This iteractive process allows space for intuitive adaptation and time for the growth of the concept. This stands in extreme contrast to digital design where the cumulative repetition expresses itself through the lightening speed of data processing and where the meaning of time becomes obsolete. “Making” is a process of learning; while constructing physical models, the intimate, imaginary and sensuous making in the production process becomes an important means of gaining creative control.
The direct interaction with materiality, in our case working with felt, plays an important role. The technique is exposed to the weight and pliability of the felt. The chosen material transformed the folding technique into a unique result. The White stands for our interest in pure form, where no shade is being generated. The elements of manipulation were arranged into a composition / varying field. Depending on the technique and principle (systematic folding), stitching, seam lines, folds, projections, depressions, edges and openings are components of the manipulated design. The models are operational; patterns undergo a transformation, as pieces cut from squares and triangles, they loose their flatness by folding and become a volume of delicate, flowing nature. The joining becomes an important issue, because it influences the behavior of the field or composition, when it is stretched or compressed (elasticity). Furthermore, the material itself performs certain effects that are closely related to its matter. Ideas are translated into three-dimensional models and patterns which themselves texturize, inflate and support. A flat, supple piece of felt is resurfaced, reshaped, restructured and reconstructed into a module with an entirely different disposition. Different variations of the module create a field of gradation.
Types of notations and instructions can be found in a standard set of architectural drawings – plan, section and elevation, as well as drawings of details; graphic devices may indicate the placements of seams, darts and fastenings. We want to achieve the widening of imagination and the systematization of a technique as form-defining device. To read the model becomes important to secure its sensual and structural qualities.