Textile art ideas for a biophilic design

in Biophilic Design

Textile wall art is high on the list of the potential new interior trends 2019. Pinterest (opened in a new window/tab) has also included it in the top trends for the new year, with searches for textile art increasing by a remarkable +1718% (opened in a new window/tab)

Generally speaking, art is an amazing tool to add character to a space and make it personal. Textile artworks also add a layer of texture and – when sufficiently big – can even contribute to the thermal insulation of a room.
Also, choosing textile art is often a cost-effective alternative, as tapestries are many times less expensive than an equally big canvas.

In the scope of biophilic design, art is an invaluable tool to bring nature indoors, with examples ranging from a big landscape canvas to framed leaves etc. And – as simple as it may seem – a nature-inspired artwork can do wonders in making an interior space more lively, restorative, invigorating…ultimately more pleasant to live in!
 

If you’re new to the concept of biophilic design, you can take a look at my mini-series on this topic for a general introduction and more details on all the patterns: nature in the space, natural analogues and nature of the space.

 
Tying together the rise of textile art as an interior trend 2019 and the use of art in biophilic design, I’ve searched for examples of textile art that could add to the "biophilic score" of a space. I’ve found some artists that take nature as an inspiration for their textile art, and honestly their work just left me speechless!
So let's take a look!
Be sure to stay up to the end of the post (especially if you love the sea...)
 
 
Keeping an eye on sustainability, Lisa Kokin (opened in a new window/tab) uses recycled materials like buttons, photos and books to create her textile art. One of my favourite is this gorgeous branch of textile leaves.
Looking close we can see each leaf encloses a fragment of a book (Silent Spring by Rachel Carson), that I’ve learned has been one of the first popular books about the polluting effects of pesticides.

Textile art in the shape of a branch made of yarn leaves and close-up of a leaf showing the book fragment encased.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Lisa Kokin (opened in a new window/tab) (Photo by Lia Roozendaal Photography)

From far, this branch could easily be confused with a real one and would contribute to a biophilic design by bringing life to any plain wall or forgotten corner.

 
Louise Saxton (opened in a new window/tab)’s work is also an example of sustainable design. She uses – or better said reuses – pieces of needlework, pins and tulle and assembles them in the shape of gorgeous trees or animals!

Textile art tree made up of reused pieces of needlework, pins and tulle.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Louise Saxton (opened in a new window/tab)
Textile art parrot made up of reused pieces of needlework, pins and tulle.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Louise Saxton (opened in a new window/tab)

Talking about a sustainable approach to art, I've found a useful infographic that summarizes different ways to create art that is mindful of the environment.

Sustainable art infographic.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Invaluable (opened in a new window/tab)

 
Embroidery is another technique in textile art. Meredith Woolnough (opened in a new window/tab) embroiders 2D shapes of shells, corals, leaves and flowers. These pieces create intricate negative space patterns that would add dimension to a wall in a contrasting colour.

Overview of different embroidered works riproducing biophilic patterns - colorful pieces.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Meredith Woolnough (opened in a new window/tab)

The complex patterns fit in the context of biophilic design both by introducing an analogy with natural shapes and by recalling the complex patterns that we find in nature.

Close-up of some of the embroidered works showing the patterns.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Meredith Woolnough (opened in a new window/tab)
Overview of different embroidered works riproducing biophilic patterns - black and white pieces.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Meredith Woolnough (opened in a new window/tab)

 
What about stones? These rugs are made of felt and wool stones that look incredibly realistic!

Felt stone rug.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Feltnyarn via Etsy (opened in a new window/tab)

In addition to allowing for the comfiest walk-on-the-stones ever, these rugs can also be hung as a textile wall art. I’m thinking at a narrow wall covered entirely with these soft stones. It would make for the cosiest retreat! And – besides it being a fundamental of biophilic design – who doesn’t like a cozy spot to relax at home?

Close-up of a felt stone rug.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Bakrina via Etsy (opened in a new window/tab)

 
Last but surely not least, the sea-related surprise.
If you (like me) are a sea-lover, you’ll love the works of Vanessa Barragão (opened in a new window/tab). Her tapestries are inspired by coral reefs and reproduce them with an incredible level of detail!

Textile art reproducing coral reefs - perfect for a biophilic design.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Vanessa Barragão (opened in a new window/tab)

Alternating crochet sea-creatures, fringes and hand-tufted areas, the end product is full of different textures and really tempts any viewer to go and touch it!

Detail of the coral reef textile art.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Vanessa Barragão (opened in a new window/tab)
Detail of the coral reef textile art.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Vanessa Barragão (opened in a new window/tab)

Adding warmth, texture and a reference to nature, these tapestries are another great textile art option for a biophilic design. I would put one next to a seating area. Getting lost in its details could easily become an alternative to watching TV!

Detail of the coral reef textile art.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Vanessa Barragão (opened in a new window/tab)

So, what do you think of this new trend? Are you a textile-art person? Would you go for these biophilic options?

If you'd like to make your home a more healing and comfortable place, feel free to contact me or check out my design services.

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