ABOUT THE TREND OF SYNAESTHETIC DESIGN FOR THE SENSES.
“Vision reveals what the touch already knows. We could think of the sense of touch as the unconscious of vision. Our eyes stroke distant surfaces, contours and edges, and the unconscious tactile sensation determines the agreeableness or unpleasantness of the experience.” (J. Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin)
The holistic theory of the world assumes that people experience all phenomena with the help of the five senses. Meanwhile, in Western culture, we have stopped seeing the body as a whole. Since the Enlightenment, we have been “living in our heads”.
We were supposed to be rational first and foremost, and sight was the tool that supposedly offered us complete information. Ocularcentrism also allowed us to keep distance from irrational feelings.
The challenges of modern times, with all the traumatic experiences on the macro- and microscale of human existence, mean that we all increasingly need to live in harmony and contact with our senses, not only looking, but also feeling and touching. The pace of life and the number of stimuli are so high nowadays that we are all tired and stressed. Design wants to support our efforts to achieve wellbeing. Increasingly sought after in today's world, wellbeing is defined as a state of comfort, health and happiness. It also involves thinking about materials that are healthy and stimulate the senses. Both designers and users are looking for tactile experiences. This trend will become even more important in the future.
Contemporary design, enriched by all the experiences resulting from the popularisation of industrial, mass production, returns to widely understood manual traditions. Touch returns in the form of new technologies, such as haptic devices and touch screens. In the era of emotions and experiences, the image alone is no longer enough. Year after year, the value of craftsmanship, experimentation with materials, knowledge of materials and their possibilities is becoming increasingly important.
Synaesthetic design, which focuses on stimulating and engaging more than one sense, requires objects, planes and textures to be not only pleasing to the eye, but also stimulating in tactile, aromatic and auditory contact.
Understandably, these trends are particularly noticeable in textile design, and their role in contemporary architecture and interior design is being increasingly pronounced. There is clearly a growing interest in sensual and tactile experiences. Designers are beginning to think more manually, creating designs that extend and enrich haptic experiences. They teach users how to use their senses to read textures, softness, density, weight and temperature of the materials with which their bodies come into contact in various spaces. Aesthetic considerations in the design process are just as important as the multi-sensory experience offered by fabrics.
Tactile fabrics are to draw our attention to the variety and strength of tactile effects that stimulate our senses.
The surface texture that is characteristic of textiles results from the physical properties of the yarn or the way it has been treated.
Fabrics can be smooth, like polished steel, or smooth like wet animal hair. When touched, they bring relief to the body yearning for coolness. They can be rough, wavy, knotty, uneven, wrinkled, pleated, etc. Their texture is often defined by comparison to another material that has a specific and generally recognisable surface pattern (for example, velvet, leather, or linen). It is customary to call a texture coarse if it is far from smooth.
Furry, fluffy fabrics, which are pleasant to the touch and have a yarn that bends when touched by fingers, have an enveloping effect on the senses and are reminiscent of the original human-animal relationship. Such surfaces trigger a stroking and cuddling reflex in the user, thus having a therapeutic effect.
Heat-formed, permanent folds, pleats, creases, etc. on the surfaces of synthetic fabrics are not only visually but also tactilely intriguing. We like to touch such fabrics, trace lines, discover the intricacies of geometry.
Stimulating senses in contact with the objects around us delights us on different levels. Contemporary design draws inspiration from the surrounding nature, providing stimuli in the form of shapes, planes, and surfaces that affect our senses with a whole array of possibilities.
Fabrics from the DEKOMA collection used in the session:
Upholstery boucle fabric with a dense weave and a soft haptic loop pile. It is ideal for the tapestry of furniture with non-typical, complexed shapes e.g. organic, rounded off for this reason, it will work on modern sofas, armchairs, pouffes. In the range of 16 shades, you will find a variety of intense, saturated colours such as red, navy blue, anthracite, black, yellow as well as delicate variants of beige, coffee with milk, pink heather and dove grey.
Dafina is a creased decorative fabric with a metallic thread. The combination of metallic yarn and the linen base makes the product perfect for industrial-style interiors. Available in a range of three natural colours. Available in the non-standard width of 275 cm. Recommended for window decorations: Roman blinds and curtains. It is OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified, which guarantees the safety of textile products. Gentle dry cleaning only.
A collection of two delicate decorative fabrics with irregular dynamic perforated patterns. Ebony and Esprit are an alternative to traditional plain net curtains. Their rough, modern character is the perfect response to nature-inspired trends. The fabrics are available in seven neutral, natural colours, and have the economical size of 325 cm.
A collection of two polyester, georgette decorative fabrics: the irregularly pleated Philo and the plain Phoebe. The fabrics are available in four natural light colours. The perfect choice for net curtains in both modern and classic interiors. Wash with water or dry-clean. Note that Philo is wide (285 cm) and creased, so it must be applied in the right direction, While Phoebe can be freely rotated.
Bosede is a thick, irregularly woven mesh, available in four natural colours. Its casual look makes it a great choice for original modern interiors. Despite its composition (100% polyester), the product looks very natural. Can be used for curtains, net curtains and screens. Available in the economical size of 280 cm. Washing at 30°C or gentle dry-cleaning recommended.
Upholstery fabric with a rabbit fur structure. It is a bold proposal, which applied to furniture will be a strong point of any interior design project. Mellow is available in 3 colours - cream, grey and pink. It is recommended for rooms in boho- or glamour-style or can be used for accessories in the children's room. The fabric has a high weight and despite its seemingly delicate structure, it has abrasion resistance of 20,000 Martindale cycles. Suitable for dry cleaning.
Sheep, lamb, golden fleece. People have been breeding sheep for thousands of years and using their skins to make clothes and shoes. The sheep's fleece is durable, dense and thick, providing perfect protection against cold. It is an almost archetypal symbol of warmth and protection: coachman's coat, pilot's jacket, sheepskins lying on stone floors and hard, oak benches in ancient castles. The Agnello collection of upholstery fabrics evokes all these associations that have accumulated in our consciousness since the domestication of sheep. Inspired by Nature, its colours and fabric textures are reminiscent of the sheep fleece – a material that our ancestors touched for hundreds of generations, associating it with warmth, cosiness and security.
Photo-session for Dekoma.
Photographs, content, and text: MBBM Studio.