Entangled exhibition, title image. Image by Mithila Mohan. Photo by Maija Vaara.
Image: Mithila Mohan. Photo: Maija Vaara


Reimagining Textile Functionalities, Aesthetics and Sustainability

In the presented collection of artefacts, textiles are seen as active elements in their environments – being able to react to environmental stimuli by changing their shape, colour, or other qualities. Drawing parallelism to biological materials, some of these changes are two-directional and thus can lead to reversible changes, whereas some are linear and irreversible, such as ageing. As examples of two-directional changes, textile designs based on UV reactive properties: colour changing, light emitting, and self-cleaning, as well as textile constructions based on newly developed yarns capable of reversible shape changes upon exposure to heat are exhibited. On the other hand, the colour changes of natural dyes dictated by the ambient environment and the heat-response of new PLA yarns bring about elements of irreversible change. When two-directional and linear changes coexist, the appearance (and thus aesthetics) of the artefacts is constantly altering. The timescales contained in these textile transformations vary significantly creating an interesting interplay of diverse and sometimes intersecting qualities. These concepts are approached from different viewpoints – from developing new advanced materials for making yarns, exploring different textile crafting methods for producing diverse textile structures, and to engaging with aesthetic sustainability. 

This exhibition bases on interdisciplinary research work involving contributions from physics, crafting, materials engineering, and textile design. Partners are Aalto University, University of Turku, University of Borås, VIA University College, and Iceland University of the Arts. Employing methodologies from these various disciplines and conducting research at different levels of hierarchy of textile construction can help us to reimagine, materialise and finally realise new textile concepts and their changing aesthetics.

Entangled exhibition, Aalto University, June 2023. Photo by Dominik Fleischmann
Photo by Dominik Fleischmann

The exhibition was initially displayed at Aalto University's School of Chemical Engineering in June 2023 with additional exhibitions at Textile Intersections in London in September 2023 and at Iceland University of the Arts in November 2023.

Exhibition Dates: 07.06-22.06.23

Mon-Thu: 07:45–20:00 / Fri: 07:45-18:00 / (07:45-15.30 during summer opening hours)

Location: Main lobby, School of Chemical Engineering, Aalto University

Address: Kemistintie 1, Espoo (Finland)


Exhibitors and Research Groups: 

Multifunctional Materials Design, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, School of Chemical Engineering, Aalto University

Solar Energy Materials and Systems, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Turku

Product Design and Materials Technology, Research and Development Centre for Creative Industries and Professions, VIA University College

Textiles and Fashion Design, Department of Design, The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås

Department of Design and Architecture, Iceland University of the Arts

Entangled exhibition, Aalto University, June 2023. Photo by Dominik Fleischmann
Photo: Dominik Fleischmann

Exhibition Projects

Entangled exhibition, Aalto University, June 2023. Photo by Dominik Fleischmann
Textiles as active elements around us
Stained cotton. Photo by Mikael Nyberg
Beyond Stains: self-cleaning cotton
Synthetic hackmanite powder (left) and a fabric (right). Photo by Sami Vuori & Alicja Lawrynowicz
Photochromic Textiles: Hackmanites
Temporal aspects of responsive textiles. Photo by Delia Dumitrescu
Responsive textiles: catalysts for change
Changing aesthetics with natural dyes, Dyeing with Food Waste project. Photo by Maija Vaara
Changing aesthetics with natural dyes
Speculative textiles for sustainability. Photo by
Speculative textiles for sustainability
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Iceland University of the Arts

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