Flexible coverings: (Re)dressing bodies and facades. Analogies between the epidermis of our body and the epidermis of our buildings facades
Authors: Marlene Couceiro, Cristina Carvalho
Abstract: Combining the need to (re)dress bodies and façades with the will to adorn, let's consider the wide possibilities that textiles and new materials offer, to point out more sustainable solutions, that can counteract thermal discomfort. Both clothing and buildings protect and shelter the body while providing a means to express the identity of the wearer.In this study, we explore our relationship between interior and exterior. Clothing and housing are presented as an extension of our skin. They allow us to improve the thermal comfort of the users and the dwellings. Fabric structures are used to cover bodies and to clad the structure of buildings, used in both with the same function of protection and thermoregulation. There are numerous constructive advantages in the use of textiles from the translucency of the material, light construction and quick assembly, significant energy savings, flexibility, and adaptability to the site. When there is damage to building infrastructure, caused for example by terrorism or earthquakes, there is often a need for prefabricated, transportable solutions. Textiles used in tent systems are still a referenced solution for emergency shelters due to their lightness, ease of transport and assembly by volunteers without technical training. This research locates textiles used in architecture from their initial use to the present day. We will present examples used by traditional cultures, but also contemporary and innovative constructions. Our study motivates a set of connections, between the User, Textiles, Architecture and Materials. We start with the most comprehensive and transversal connections, like the frequent association of skin to clothing and then clothes to our dwellings. In a second moment some more specific and specialized references, in which we will point out some textiles and coverings, which have incorporated characteristics of flexibility, adaptability and interaction.In this study we present some versatile, adaptable, and ecological structures, which reflect the environmental and social changes of our society. We conclude that the use of textiles in architecture, allows to improve the thermal comfort of the users, to express their identity and to respond to humanitarian needs.
Keywords: Textiles, Innovation, Temperature, Dynamic Structures, Architecture, Identity, Communication, Sustainability, User, Interaction, Adaptability.
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