Julie Waibel

A German designer based in London and Berlin who graduated at the Royal college of Arts London. She is the creator of the unfolded universe who is obsessed with pleated patterns and transforming structures. Julie focuses on geometric shapes catering for Interior, fashion and textile installation design.

I enjoy her work, it crosses the boundaries of disciplines. I see her work as being a piece of sculpture in it’s own right. Very cleverly folded to achieve a repetitive structured pattern. I enjoyed watching a video on YouTube of Julie in her studio surrounded by her many samples; each of them stored like they were precious – each one of them with a different quality even if it’s the same pattern. It might be that the folds were a bit bigger in one of them or the scale of the paper was smaller in another. I respect and admire Julie’s vision and perseveration. How many hours must she had spent practicing and playing with these folds and pleats until she got really familiar with them?. I also enjoyed seeing on YouTube her relationship with her supplier; this is just as crucial than coming up with a good design. At first I thought I was going to find ‘pleating and folding’ a very boring and tedious exercise. Seeing Julie’s work has awaken my senses and although I probably won’t have her patience I will give it a good try.

Mathias Bengtsson

Mathias is a Danish born London based designer.

He was quoted by saying that he was ˋtrying to create an artificial universe where we can grow things as nature would´. He creates furniture using the more traditional method of sketching by hand and modelling with clay. He uses lasers, high-tech fingers and computer programes to design pieces that are biomorphic and futuristic.

I find his work very industrial and masculine, very structural and to me as pieces of furniture they look cold and uncomfortable, it is safe to say that it’s not to my taste. It might be because a lot of his pieces are considered to be futuristic and these pieces of furniture are not my idea of the future. My favourite one is the “spun carbon” chase longe: I Enjoy the ‘net’ or ‘grid’ effect of the metal. I also enjoy how he has dented the shape to create a comfortable seating area.

Cal Guo-Qiang

A contemporary artist who uses gun powder to create art. Cal Guo-Qiang creates large scale delicate artworks on paper, I watched the process on YouTube and it involves a large amount of planing, space and people to achieve his works. I like that he chose gun powder because it was influenced by his personal experience as a child, turning something that he saw was used to kill into pieces of art that are delicate, beautiful and engaging. I find his inventive and resourceful spirit alluring and at times unorthodox. His process is so clever and far out!

Using gun powder to create paintings is a new method that I have never seen before. Health and safety has to be paramount in this process. I think with Cal Guo-qiang work´s with gun poder it is all about the process and the journey rather than the end product that I find fascinating.

Louise Nevelson

Looking at Louise Nevelson’s work I learn that she was a sculptor who used bits and pieces that she found around her. She used any materials that she wanted to use, found parts from furniture painted in a neutral colour to neutralise them, almost like ripping the colour and life from them and giving them a new one. Her sculptures were considered ‘very different’ for the 1950s and 60s.

I enjoy the sense of rhythm of forms. For what I can see in the pictures she worked in arquitectural scale, her installation were often huge. Unlike me, Louise Nevelson was not interested in colour and it gave the materials in her sculptures a different feel/look. I strangely enjoy the neutral aspect of her work. She often painted her work in black almost adding a sense of mystery. She ordered objects for visual effect and constructed, building interesting installations. If I am honest I am not sure if I enjoy her work, I enjoy aspects of it like neutralising objects to create a new surface, I like that concept very much!

Grace Tan

Grace Tan is an artist from Singapore who likes finding beauty in the mundane and in the uncertainty. She bases her methods in her experience in fashion. She incorporates design, art and mathematical thinking while exploring the meaning and relationship of the materials and shape.

i enjoy seeing how her experimentation in structure and pleats has evolved into a 3D structure that can actually be worn as well as exhibit as a beautiful sculpture in it’s own right.

One of my favourite installations is the one were she used polypropylene loop pins to resemble a very organic shape which resembles a cloud.

Some of her pleated work reminds me of a piece that I did for ideas and processes. It will be interesting to investigate these further, in different materials and maybe like Loise Nevelson ripping away the colour to give the piece new life-allowing the pleats to be the main focus without being distracted by colour. Bellow images of my pleated work from ideas & processes.

Anne Kyyrö Quinn

A contemporary artist based in London who tailors pieces for a wide range of interior settings. I enjoy her acoustic walls made from materials like felt and rubber, cleverly manipulated to absorb sound. She takes inspiration from organic shapes with a tactile feel. Her textiles resemble art works rather than conventional fabrics. I like the scale of her work, huge repetitive patterns were she has used different manipulation methods like pleats, laser cut and often sewn together by hand to achieve a beautiful result.

I adore this idea of a wrist splint. The material used appears to be wrinkled to create elasticity and movement. Not only do I enjoy the texture and aesthetics of this piece but the practicality of it. So often wrist splints are so ugly made of scratchy synthetic fabric that not only they became uncomfortable but also ugly. I would imagine this wrist splint to be very comfortable due to the flexibility of the material while it would still offer much needed support. This is a great example of surface distortion!

Researching Nick Cave was a complete surprise to me. I didn’t know his work. I started by watching his soundsuits project on YouTube. I enjoyed how he collaborated with musicians and the local community to construct such a vibrant exciting production. I could see and feel everyone involved in the project, excited and buzzing with energy.

I enjoyed hearing how Nick Cave was walking through a park and decided to pick up twigs to build a costume which he didn’t realise he could wear. When trying on the suit he realised that the twigs produced a beautiful sound, that’s when he came out with the concept of bringing two disciplines together: sound and textiles – bringing the suits alive. He watched and studied the reaction of the viewer to his work and realised that it was making people step out of their daily existence and living the moment. That is exactly the reaction that watching his YouTube video had on me, it allowed me to step into another world; and organic one full of random shapes of fluffy colours. The shapes with suits were moving to music and this movement was creating the various types of fibres to move. Creating beautiful and interesting shuffling, rubbing, and clashing sounds. At first I wasn’t sure what I was watching but I new I was fascinated by it. I love how Nick Cave has merged and married the disciplines of textiles, sound and dance. I also enjoy the transformation in the shapes as they move to the music becoming art in motion!

Alexander MCQUEEN

We all know about Alexander MCQueen, since seeing his exhibition in the V&A he is my favourite fashion designer. He was an expert in surface distortion and manipulating fabrics. I remember being totally fascinated by the various materials and media he used.

  • Horse hair
  • plastic
  • feathers
  • rubber
  • leather
  • twigs,
  • butterfly’s
  • metal
  • bones
  • all the different fabrics you can imagine! Swarovski and so many more that I can’t remember from the top of my head.
  • These materials were often manipulated and put through many different processes like dying and distressing. Fabrics would be ruffled, burnt, juxtaposition, layered, folded, you name it he would of done it. So there is no one more than him that I can find inspiration for this part of the course ‘mixed media’ I will always be able to analyse one of his Items of clothing and still come up with new inspiration and ideas.
  • YING GAO

    This is also a new find for me. I have probably heard of Ying Gao before but had never looked at her work closely. I was very interested in learning about her use of technology. Her use of origami techniques that move with air are just beautiful! I also enjoyed seeing the interactive fabrics; like the clothes that move with light when the viewer takes a picture. Very inspiring indeed! Now that I have been inspired by all these artist may my sample experimentations and studies begin!

    references; Ame Kyyrö Quinn, Alexander McQueen, Footsgallery.com ,Grace Tan, Ilusion.scene360, Julie-Waibel, Lexaproject, Ted, Neri Oxman