Load Bearing Felt.




I find all of this to be wildly attractive, it’s so Geigeresque.

A group of MAarch students from the Bartlett School of Architecture have devised a method of turning felt into load-bearing structures that they hope to build into an fabric pavilion.
The Flextiles project focused on developing a design system using a composite of felt fibres and expandable foam for reinforcement.

Students Noura Mheid, Hameda Janahi, Minzi Jin, Zoukai Huo found inspiration in the traditional craft of felt-making as well as the differential growth patterns found in nature – which is what gives their finished structures their distinctive, seaweed-like curls.

After exploring the load-bearing potential of these structures by crafting them into chairs they could sit on, they finished the project by presenting a fabric wall unit. The unit forms one side of what they hope they can one day extend into a full pavilion.

Their process stands in contrast to most current fabric architecture, which usually features soft fabric attached to a support structure. The Flextiles structures can be soft in some places and hard in others, transitioning smoothly from one to the other.

“Unlike traditional uses of fabric in construction, this technology introduces a new perspective on how to integrate structure into a soft material such as fabric and go beyond the typical disintegration between the draping of fabric onto a completely segregated support,” Mheid told Dezeen.

You can read and see more at Dezeen.


  1. rq says

    Makes me think of brain scans and insects.
    Bartlett is a pretty interesting school, as they have a pretty large experimental component and a very stringent acceptance procedure -- quality parameters are pretty high. Then again, I’m biased, as a close family member of mine attended several years ago, with great success. :)

  2. says

    I’ve played with coton batting soaked in resin. It’s a cool technique and it looks like what they are doing here. It’d take color easily in the resin but fades fast in UV.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    Wild shapes.

    There much more engineered structure in the Flextiles composites, but it reminds me of Duroplast which was used in car bodies in the GDR.

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