What does the Muellner Green Roof System have to do with a puffy white bed pillow? Or a bright yellow pendant lamp with a red cardio sports bra? Regardless of function and aesthetics, all have been fabricated from uniquely conceived, technological textiles that allow each, variously, to conserve water, oxygenate the body, illuminate a room, monitor a heart rate, be a sustainable container, protect the body from injury and cold, or mend a failing organ.
There are more than 50 examples of the provocative capabilities of an advanced generation of textiles featured in the exhibition, Techno Textiles: Inner Space to Outer Space, on view at The Goldstein Museum of Design at the University of Minnesota through July 27.
Modest in size but big on content, the exhibition, organized by Bruce N. Wright, AIA, editor of Fabric Architecture, and Karen LaBat, U of M professor of Apparel and director of the Human Dimensioning Lab, is packed with information exploring the inner space and outer space properties and functions of these workaholic textiles relative to three categories: the Body, the Built Environment and the Earth.
That such textiles are the stuff of athletic gear and vehicle airbags is commonly understood. But their role in space travel, in medical procedures and surgical repair, as well as their sustainable properties and cost benefits over brick and mortar construction, is only now becoming more widely recognized by the broader public.
Fabric Architecture magazine, www.fabricarchitecture.info, is published bi-monthly by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). IFAI’s Industrial Fabrics Foundation, www.indfabfnd.com, also supported the exhibition.
For more information visit goldstein.cdes.umn.edu/exhibitions.