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This project required first year BA textile design structure students to draw inspiration from Melbourne’s CBD in order to create a series of visual / tactile interpretations and more conceptual ‘things’ to stimulate the sensory city experience.  Work by Lauren Stringini and Emma Shepherd can be seen below.

Centre of Attention

“I wish to be the centre of attention in the laneway of Centre Place” – Lauren Stringini

Concept illustrations and photograph of Centre Place by Lauren Stringini
Concept illustrations and photograph of Centre Place by Lauren Stringini.

Like many of Melbourne’s city laneways, Centre Place is a popular tourist attraction.  Decorated with ever changing street art and filled with the rich, comforting smell of fresh coffee, Centre Place is the place to be.

This jacket is a representation of the structural skills and design knowledge acquired over the semester in Textile Design Studio Structure.  “Design is understood as a means of responding to human need” (Erlhoff & Marshall, 2008) – this jacket appeals to my search for self-actualization through the creation of a unique personal aesthetic.  

A plush tactile collar consisting of various sized hand made  pom poms and three layers of knitted, fringed and tasselled textiles – all hand stitched onto a second hand jacket.
A plush tactile collar consisting of various sized hand made pom poms and three layers of knitted, fringed and tasselled textiles – all hand stitched onto a second hand jacket.

Self-actualization is positioned fifth on Maslow’s hierarchy of need and refers to a person’s need to achieve self-fulfilment and personal growth, and often translates into an aesthetic form. This aesthetic defies the modernist view of ornamentation as vulgar and unnecessary (Erlhoff & Marshall, 2008).  The deliberate gradation of colour aims to disrupt the train of thought of onlookers, whilst tassels, fringing, tubular knitting and pom poms evoke a need to touch – ensuring a second glance from passers by.

Lauren Stringini in Melbourne's Centre Place.
Lauren Stringini wearing her fabulous jacket in Melbourne’s Centre Place.
Erlhoff M. & Marshall T. (eds.). (2008) Design Dictionary.: Perspectives on Design Terminology., Basel, Birkhäuser.

Uplifted

By Emma Shepherd

Top left Liane Rossler, bottom left Ernesto Netto.  Photograph of Cathedral Arcade and concept sketch by Emma Shepherd.
Top left Liane Rossler, bottom left Ernesto Netto.  Photograph of Cathedral Arcade and concept sketch by Emma Shepherd.

Inspired by Ernesto Netto and Liane Rossler, the work employs a combination of traditional and non-traditional materials and techniques.

Materials and processes - from top left; loom weaving, laser cut mirrored disks, assembling, colour palette development, making moulded tissue paper vessels.
Materials and processes – from top left; loom weaving, laser cut mirrored disks, assembling, colour palette development, making moulded tissue paper vessels.

Suspended by hand woven tubes, these translucent vessels encourage pause and reflection. Melbourne’s Cathedral Arcade under the Nicholas building is a place of detailed ornamentation. But how many of us take the time to look, appreciate and admire this iconic piece of local architecture? Positioned slightly above waist height, the hand made vessels encourage people to peer in and view the beauty of the led light ceiling reflected in the mirrored disks.

Photoshop simulation in situ at Cathedral Arcade by Emma Shepherd.
Photoshop simulation in situ at Cathedral Arcade by Emma Shepherd.

Both project are on display at RMIT Brunswick (at the entrance of building 513) until the 20th of December 2016.

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