technical textiles, smart materials

Shifting Stone

Malu Lücking, Jack Randol, Rebecca Schedler
Project: SteinWeich
Supervision: Prof Christiane Sauer, Agata Kycia

Cooperation Partner:
DBF Deutsch Basalt Faser GmbH
Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut (STFI) e.V.
Alterfil Nähfaden GmbH

In the architectural context basalt is utilized mainly as a solid surface material. The volcanic rock melts at around 1.400 °C, enabling production of continuous basalt fibers, so called filaments. Basalt filaments are further processed into rovings, yarns or fabrics and used for technical applications like reinforcements for composite materials. Basalt fibers offer many potential applications due to their good mechanical, thermal and UV resistance, but they are still relatively unknown to a wider public.

In the design project SteinWeich students developed experimental textile basalt structures. The title of this project refers to the different aggregation states of the material: initially liquid lava, then solidified and thousands years later melted again and processed into soft fibers used for production of industrial fabrics.

For Shifting Stone industrial basalt fabrics were manipulated in order to achieve a particular open structured pattern, mobility and transparency. Layers of fabric are combined into three-dimensional textile structures that can open and close the surface by shifting the layers vertically. In an architectural context the textile can be used for shading large glass facades and adapt to meet changing requirements for visibility and sun protection.