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Talking Textiles Tilburg

Design.nl travelled to Tilburg, home of the Textielmuseum and Textiellab and the venue for Lidewij Edelkoort’s Talking Textiles exhibition and seminar. 

By Cassandra Pizzey / 28-11-2013

Talking Textiles is an exhibition which showcases some of the best uses of innovative textiles alongside textile design from all over the world. Shown first during the Salone del Mobile Milan in 2011, the exhibition – which features a great deal of Dutch influencers – finds home in the Textielmuseum Tilburg this winter. Its curator, Lidewij Edelkoort gave members of the public and textile professionals a seminar about her predictions for the coming years. 

The exhibition is divided into several different themes ranging from nomadic, to narrative and abstract. Designs are grouped together to illustrate these categories. We see for instance a rug by the Campana Brothers for Nodus next to Kiki van Eijk’s garden-inspired curtains and Scholten & Baijings handcrafted, embroidered vegetables. These narrative pieces tell stories through their prints, embroidery or form. 

After travelling from Milan to Stockholm the exhibition has been adapted for the Dutch market and now includes designs from Design Academy Eindhoven graduates as well as new pieces such as the narrative/nomadic armchair named Migration (Love Boat) by Lebanon-based Bokja. The famous Bertjan Pot raffia masks are on show, together with stools by Lenneke Langenhuijsen and a rug by Daniel Costa. 

A Lidewij Edelkoort trend seminar is always bound to attract a large audience but the open character of this series and overwhelming interest had forced the Textielmuseum to organise an extra round. After taking her place behind the speaker’s stand Edelkoort was keen to know who was here in a professional role and who was here out of love for textiles. A 50/50 split it seemed with students from the Artemis academy, hobby knitters and a certain design journalist among others. 

What would usually be presented during a day-long series of seminars and workshops, Edelkoort had distilled into a short (one-hour) presentation. Clearly and precisely she went through the upcoming trends for Winter 2014-’15 including her famous colour cards as examples.

As this was a textiles-based seminar, many of the examples were taken from the exhibition with a special focus on natural materials, ethnic influences, tactility and nomadic living. It’s a trend we’ve heard a lot about in recent years and always seemed to refer to layers upon layers of fabric, carpets and moveable furniture. Edelkoort explains that we are moving on from our love of open-plan living into more cosy quarters. Those lucky enough to have large spaces are sectioning them off with screens and room dividers. 

The bedroom will become the most important space in the house with all activities taking place around the bed. “It will even become a place to spend time with friends and family,” she says. Part of this nomadic lifestyle is that we don’t want to be bound to the conventions of our own house. Instead, we will migrate through our own spaces, sometimes sleeping in the loving room for it’s morning view, or in the guest bedroom for it’s pretty balcony. 

Edelkoort discusses the various trends taking place in their matching structures such as the hut, the chalet, the bungalow and the greenhouse. This trend has been going strong since the 1980s as people are surrounding themselves with greenery: “some people even take their plants on holiday”. Green could already be seen as a popular colour for interior design but we can expect an increase of green-hued products coming our way.

A set of bolder statements can also be seen as described in an Atelier and Caravan lifestyle. The first is focussed on bohemians, artistic types (hipsters?) and features bold colours, patterned textiles and playful products. An important theme is the consumer as curator of his or her own space. We collect and group, displaying a mix of shop-bought objects, flea market trinkets and inherited items. Yes many people will follow a certain trend, but each will have their own interpretation of said trend thus making us individual. Aren’t we all trying to aesthetically-improve our lives through our homes?

The Caravan theme looks at a (there it is again) nomadic lifestyle in which we collect textiles from all different cultures and create a patchwork quilt. Almost childish patterns and flower motifs remind us of gypsies and the ancient Silk Road.

Sanctuary would be my preferred theme as it one best practised away from home. Images of the most exclusive design hotels in Greek cliffs beside the sea, deep underground hideouts and forrest tree houses come to mind. This theme is all about spirituality, letting go of our cluttered lifestyle and only doing with the bare minimum. In a luxe manner mind you. 

Towards the end of the seminar Edelkoort commented on a audience question about design education and stated that children should be taught about craft at a very young age if possible. Design students should be taught old crafts and machine work so that they may later create hybrid products which appear hand crafted yet are machine made. 

And for those yearning to know: Yellow is the new pink. 

For upcoming seminars and lectures by Lidewij Edelkoort check out trendtablet.com. Talking Textiles will run until 26 January 2014.

Images: © Design.nl 

http://www.textielmuseum.nl/

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