The Lastingness of the Ephemeral.
The Presence of Textiles in Contemporary Architecture

Beatrice-Gabriela Jöger


technological smart textiles
Lastingness does not represent a necessity of architecture itself. This need is intrinsically linked to human desire and presence, and its obtaining, to the materials from which the architecture is made of. Among the materials used in architecture, perhaps the most ephemeral are the textiles. And yet, paradoxically, textile architecture is a form of construction that has become lasting through the longevity of the typology itself. An architecture of necessity that has become today an architecture of lightness, of the occasional, of transformability.
The (re)discovery by contemporaneity of the qualities and benefits of architecture with/of textiles is due not only to the technological possibilities of the present but also to two paradigm shifts. One is brought about by generations Z and Alpha, willing to have and looking for new experiences and, therefore, with a high appetite for mobility, which makes the very occupation/ function of the spaces, whether private or public, to become ephemeral. The other is a new perspective on textiles in modern and contemporary architecture, from the tapestry seen as a muralnomad (the mural of the nomad) (Le Corbusier, 1960), to the Architextiles, a term launched by Marc Garcia (2006). It is a distance not only in time, but also concerning the signified imprinted into the textiles used in architecture.
This paper seeks to explore the facets of the ephemerality embodied by textiles in the contemporary context of their lasting qualities.
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Jöger, Beatrice-Gabriela. “The Lastingness of the Ephemeral. The Presence of Textiles in Contemporary Architecture.” studies in History and Theory of Architecture, no. 10 (2022): 55-70.