Flex | Phyllis Hahn

Flex: Exploring flexibility through solid and soft materials in woven structures, is a textile design collection by recent graduate Phyllis Hahn from the Swedish School of Textiles. A work which challenges the traditional function and behaviour of woven textiles by exploring flexibility, scale and materials.

Her work started out with an interest in the border between textiles and furniture. With a focus on the carpet, questions such as ’what is a carpet and when does its function change?’ pushed the work forward.

Eventually, this evolved into a exploration of flexibility within woven structures and by integrating solid materials such as wood and cardboard into the weaving process and combining those with pliable materials such as wool, polyester and cotton, she explores flexibility in the weave through materials and their opposite qualities.

The materials each have their inherent qualities and the weaving technique presents a physical realm in which they have to cooperate. In this way the solid material becomes flexible and also gives flexibility to the woven structure due to its weight, shape and placement.By integrating solid materials as a weaving material Hahn aims to propose an alternative context for woven structures, not necessarily becoming fabrics but rather objects that can be interacted with.

The result is a collection of three woven structures showing different types of flexibility attained through the combination of solid and soft materials. The pieces are meant to be interacted with and can be shaped in various ways by folding, stacking or connecting parts of the structure. The scale, which relates to the human body, and the bold and playful colours spark curiosity and playfulness.

Not only do the pieces have the ability to transform into many different shapes, they also make ambient sounds when handled as the wooden stick and boards bump into each other and the surface they are placed on.

A feature which adds another dimension to the pieces and tickles the senses.

The work is speculative and technical, but Hahn sees the potential to continue experimenting with solid materials in the weave and exploring its interactivity further.

One of the pieces from Flex will be on display at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven 20th – 28th of October 2018 in the exhibition Textile Matter alongside fellow Bachelor and Master graduates from the Swedish School of Textiles.

Phyllis Hahn was born in Germany but grew up in Sweden where she now lives. She found her interest in weaving during a one year pre-studie in textiles and fashion and soon after that she enrolled at the Swedish School of Textiles. There Hahn got a deeper understanding of the design practice and textile techniques.

After an internship at a company specialising on carpets, she decided to focus on weaving in her last year of studying and her degree work.

Phyllis Hahn finds inspiration in the materials and techniques she comes across. The interaction between body and textiles is also a source of inspiration and she says ”Textiles are very tactile and present in our everyday lives, I find myself always wanting to touch the textiles I come across. Therefore it is important to me that others are allowed to touch and interact with the textiles I make as well. Seeing people interacting with my work is the best part of it.”.

Now based in Malmö, Sweden, Hahn wants to continue deepening her knowledge in weaving and aims to get work experience. She has also recently started to learn spinning wool and is interested in the whole process from fibre to fabric.

Contact:web: phyllishahn.com
instagram: @phhahn
Text by Phyllis Hahn, photographs by Jan Berg

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