ArgumentNo. 13/2021

Textile Space – Versatile Space

  • / prof. arch. PhD habil., “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, RO


Beyond the imperative of necessity in the last year, which changed the perception and use of many spaces and functions, the built space already "demanded", through its users, a flexibility, a multifunctionality, a different approach. It is true that this trend is expressed especially by the millenials and Z generations, who often adopt a minimalist lifestyle, flexible to change and open to nomadism in order to gain experience and expertise in one field or another. On the other hand, the multifunctionality of spaces is not a new approach. It has existed for thousands of years and is documented by the history of architecture, which is why I will not develop this direction.

In the last year, the most required space to become multifunctional was the private space, the house, our home. The imposition of work from home or home schooling created the need for it to host several functions simultaneously or sequentially, necessary to be reflected in a certain flexibility/versatility in spatial and/or interior design.

This adaptability can be achieved with the help of textiles. Although an ephemeral material by its very nature and seen for several thousand years as an "accessory" of construction, contemporary technical possibilities allow a return to the origins of its use and the realization of true structures (interior and exterior) that have many advantages over traditional building materials: low weight, flexibility, easy assembly/disassembly, plus a number of important physical and even psychological characteristics.

Starting from the study of some examples of applications of contemporary textile materials, I will argue their ”predisposition” to solve architectural problems in private spaces necessary to be versatile.

Textiles are a (re)source that has started to be used more intensively in the last 15 years, but is far from reaching its full potential in the field of architecture.

Keywords: textiles, home, flexible space, versatility

Published in Argument 13/

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Beatrice-Gabriela Jöger
Tradition and Modernity in Using Textile Materials in Architecture (2010)