BERLIN — Move over, Bauhaus. Or, in the instance of the new exhibit “Textile Design Today: From Experiment to Series,” make room for a guest appearance by Burg Giebichenstein, the University of Art and Design in Halle.
Founded in 1915 — four years before the Bauhaus was born — Burg has always made it a policy to merge the interests and outlook of the fine arts and crafts in its course of studies.
The exhibit, which opened Wednesday at Berlin’s Bauhaus-Archiv, and the accompanying German/English catalogue published by Burg professor Bettina Göttke-Krogmann, both illustrate the exciting interplay between tradition and innovation that is shaping fabric design and development today. 70 percent of the work on display is from Burg students and alumni, the remainder from established designers such as Hella Jongerius, Moritz Waldemeyer and Janne Kyttanen or companies like Kvadrat or Freitag.
With the book and show, Göttke-Krogmann said she also wanted to reflect what one does with the occupation of textile designer “in the real world.”
“Naturally it’s about clothes, but also interiors, automobiles, aviation and even fine arts,” she commented — all fields that intersect at the Bauhaus-Archiv show.
Some student work highlights include Josefine Düring’s application of textile techniques such as embroidery, screen printing, dyeing, perforation and embossing to wood veneer; Annegret Lembcke’s 2009 project to revive Aleppo’s ikat printing tradition, an enterprise with local artisans later destroyed in the Syrian civil war; Uta Tischendorf’s printing experiments based on the camouflage and warning colorations of fish, overlapping various thicknesses, textures as well as opalescent and metallic pigments on bonded fabrics and synthetic organza; a T-shirt knitted from casein, a milk-based yarn using milk not suitable for consumption (from pregnant cows, for example) now spun with natural substances like zinc and beeswax instead of oil-based chemicals; Katharina Jebsen’s work with pine needles to create various fabriclike surfaces, and which further aims to develop a textile fiber from the plant; Lara Wernert’s use of needle-punch felting to create fabrics of discarded woolen selvage edges, which in turn led to the 13Rugs collection by Rohi, and Suzanne Stern’s research project in cooperation with the German agency for sustainable development FNR, prints specialist KBC and green fashion label Hessnatur to develop industrial printing techniques using plant-based dye-stuffs.
“Textile Design Today” runs through Sept. 9 at the Bauhaus-Archiv in Berlin.