A semester-long industry project between Philadelphia University’s textile design program and Liora Manné culminated with an awards presentation at Liora Manne’s New York City showroom in the Decorator & Design Building on May 24 during Spring Market Week.
“We created this project with Philadelphia University that would challenge students to innovate with the Lamontage process—to do something we have not done before,” explained Liora Manné, designer and owner of Liora Manné/Lamontage. “We put 24 graduate and undergraduate textile design, industrial design, textile materials technology and textile engineering students into groups of three. They visited and learned what we do with Lamontage and became inspired. They then took it and created their own unique, new interpretations.”
Manné and her design team met with students at PhilaU throughout the semester, encouraging and tutoring them as they experimented with a variety of mixed media applications and technologies, such as fiber optics, LED lighting and thermoplastic fibers, to create a new generation of textiles using the Lamontage process. Manné created the patented Lamontage process more than 25 years ago, combining the ancient art of felting with modern technology and fibers.
Students chose from a range of applications, including interactive functionalities, decorative materials with textures or dimension, materials that are recycled or have acoustical properties and newly developed manufacturing processes. The teams also identified a market need, proposed product pricing, and proved the ability and method of manufacturing.
First place and $500 went to Valerie Gibbins M’17, Oluwabusola Duroshola M’17 and Alyssa Yanni ’17 for their entry, “Blush Plush.” Their team created a lightweight and supple apparel fabric using the Lamontage process of layering polyester fibers and needle felting. Through experimentation with different fibers, they blended polyester with alpaca for a soft tactile surface.
Combining a curtain fabric and light source in one material, second-place winners Jess Thies ’17, Megan Onuskanych ’17 and Yi Liu M’17 sought to create a new market: optical curtains. They earned $400 for their unique product, “Light Up as You Wish.”
Becky Flax M’17, Emily Olsen M’18 and Vanessa Accime M’17 received third place and $300 for their innovative surface featuring woven wire studded with LED lights.
“The students’ passion is inspiring, and their ingenuity makes me excited for this generation of designers,” said Manné, who judged PhilaU’s textile design competition hosted by Sunbrella in 2016.
Noted artists, designers and architects served as jurors in the Liora Manné project: Annie Block, deputy editor of Interior Design Magazine; James Capozzi, interior designer and founder of Jazzbo; Greg Herringshaw, curator of the wall coverings department at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Wayne Koestenbaum, artist, writer, poet and cultural critic; Charles Peck, president of Trans-Ocean Imports; Patrick Sears, architect and director of the Rubin Museum; Anne Spalter, artist and author; Ken Wampler, founder and director of Alpha Workshops; and architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.
“By bringing in judges from within the industry and the world of art and design, we further widen the circle of connections our students can make,” said Marcia Weiss, PhilaU’s director of textile design and Harold Neuman Textile Design Chair. “We couldn’t be more pleased with this competition, and we’re so proud of the talent we’re producing.”
Article and photos/courtesy RugNews.com.