Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Girli Concrete ?!

Girli Concrete.
Cover of Textiles, The Quarterly magazine of The Textile Institute, Feb 2009 No 1

Every now and then you come across something incredible, some amazing textile design/innovation/work, that is happening in Ireland, and it has escaped your attention, until now.

Two women, Trish Belford (textile designer) and Ruth Morrow (architect) have created a storm in the interiors industry by developed a technique of combining concrete and textiles, Girli Concrete. Yes, that's right Girli Concrete.

Based at the University of Ulster, Tactility Factory, is now in full swing in research, development and testing of a variety of tactile concrete products.

Trish Belford has run a successful print company Belford Prints in London, a unique textile company supplying to high-end fashion market. (eg Vivienne Westwood, Jasper Conran). Ruth Morrow works as an architect and academic. Her profile is framed by an entrepreneurial and collaborative approach and she has been Professor of Architecture firstly at the University of Ulster and more recently at Queens University Belfast.

Girli Concrete is a backlash to the harsh, coldness of concrete buildings. If you read the publicity page on their website, you will see it has already had an amazing impact in the world of architecture and interiors.

"Morrow states: ‘Girli Concrete comes out of an inclusive feminist agenda' which is not just about the product itself, but also the process of developing it. It involves drawing on local textile traditions of lace-making, linen manufacture and Aran knitwear, alongside other more modern textile technologies such as flocking, and fusing these essentially ‘soft' materials and qualities with the structure and depth of concrete. Belford describes it as an ‘alchemy of processes', stressing that it goes beyond decoration and aesthetics to interface with the integrity of the material itself and its performance, specifically in the area of acoustics. It is she says about establishing a ‘balance of masculinity and femininity', where the process is cast in terms of a ‘recipe', and the notion of ‘performance' itself is extended to embrace human response as well as technical efficiency."

Taken from a case study by Clare Melhuish on www.gendersite.org

Tactility Factory
1 Cregagh Park
Northern Ireland

T: +44 (0)787 982 8305 or +44 (0)779 306 1233


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