Welcom to The Department of Textile Design
Textile design means material design. What does a material do?
Currently, the textile field experiences a renewed evaluation and new expressions, a phenomenon known in the professional literature as "textile culture".
Be it an actual material, a way of conceptualizing or a metaphor – cloth and its components and structure, constitutes an inseparable part of our everyday life. Cloth envelops the existential “hard” core of birth, life and death; daringly unfolds through architecture and engineering; stages, (un)covers and beautifies the human body in every possible way and time.
In other words, in our time, as in the past, textile remains a basic product and commodity and thus - a never-ending quest for creativity and invention, ambition and capital.
Being a basic commodity, the cloth is a highly significant universal cultural attribute, participating in the stitching and unfolding of diverse identities. As such, it is saturated with politics, questions of gender, ethnicity, economy, class and nationhood. All throughout history, cloth was used as a sensitive gauge of social textures, the solidification of new economic and political powers and the dissolution thereof.
There is no bed without a sheet (cotton, silk or anti-bacterial polyester); there is no stage without a curtain (Fortuny velvet or an engineered steel weave); there is no baby without a nappy (unbleached linen or Huggies), there is no soldier without uniform (the colorful weaves of the Masai tribe or Dakron used by the IDF), there is no bride without a veil (the opaque white kerchief at a Jewish ultra-Orthodox wedding or torn black lace of a London punk). The list is endless.
Cloth is evident in all parts of our lives; so much so, that it is almost unnoticeable. It is the absence, the lack of textile that causes unease and raises the question: why is the cloth not there?
The cloth calls for a fascinating design challenge, demanding intellectual depth, technological daring, technical skill, aesthetical sensibility, cultural openness and compassion.
Every small detail, intersection of yarns, a single loop, and even a drop of dye absorbed into the soft surface, provide traces of labor, thought and feeling. Cloth does not speak, it invites to touch. Touching enables even a momentary recognition of the material existence of someone else. The touching is touched. This is what material does.