2011-05-18 08:00

Designed sound language for textile design

It started with smart textiles and textiles that reacted to sounds. After a while though, Margareta Zetterblom left the practical craftsmanship for the theoretical realm as she realised that muffling textiles were considered complicated by many textile designers, despite a great demand for those products. In her dissertation “Textile Sound Design” she has created a “language” to integrate sound in the design process.

Textile sound absorbents are getting hotter on the market. In the past, public places were dominated by sterility, glass and concrete, but interior decorating trends are getting to be more about the warmly embracing, leaving more room for textiles – frequently as sound absorbents. Margareta Zetterblom is reluctant to call textiles sound absorbents. She talks instead of textile sound affecting materials.

‘All textiles affect sound in some way, and additionally, interior decorating trends have spawned a demand for aesthetically appealing textiles for public places.’

Open doors for textile design

By talking to different textile designers she has discovered that they find sound and acoustics technically challenging. She wants to find a way of simplifying and integrating sound into the design process, thereby opening new doors for exciting solutions.

‘When sounds are described the issue is usually where they come from. It might be noise from the kitchen of a restaurant or chatter in a recreation room. I have attempted to describe the sound expression of textiles through aseries of concepts, designed to describe how the textile changes rather than where the sound comes from.’









Example from the thesis. How to explain sound in a new way. 

Margareta Zetterblom has also looked at how different textiles affect different sounds and created matrixes and charts to be used by textile designers as a complement to oral descriptions.

‘For a textile designer it is valuable to know those things. It is becoming more and more common that sound affecting textiles become a part of the interior design, and then it is important that factors relating to sound are taken into account as part of the design process. The method and language that I have created is intended to help designers ask the right questions and decrease the distance to, and fear of working with sound affecting textiles.’

Margareta Zetterblom defends her thesis “Textile Sound Design2” on the 24th of May.

Time: 1 pm
Place: The Gallery (Galleriet), 2nd floor, The Swedish School of Textiles

For more information: Margareta Zetterblom, phone: + 46 33-435 4858, cellphone: +46 702-625400

Written by: Therese Rosenblad
Photo: Erik Wasselius