Woolcandy by Carolien Niebling. Photos: ECAL/Axel Crettenand
A week-long workshop, titled In Wool We Trust, was attended by students in the Master Product Design program, and asked students to express various aesthetical and technical qualities of Merino wool through the arts.
Guest speakers at the workshop included internationally renowned designer Ronan Bouroullec and ECAL professors Camille Blin and Stéphane Halmaï-Voisard. Students were asked to create installations using Merino wool, showcasing the fibre in unconventional ways.
The aim of the workshop was to convey the message that wool is a fibre to trust for fashion, textiles, art and design; that its possibilities are limitless and that it delivers high performance apparel from luxury fashion right through to sports and activewear.
“Wool is a material that is part of our everyday lives,” explains The Woolmark Company Sports and Outdoor manager – Europe, Johann Mittermayr.
“Our goal during this project was to give shape to the references we all have towards Merino wool. By experimenting and playing around with the different states of wool, the students designed some unexpected installations, each one telling a story, using movement of expression.”
With its headquarters based in Lausanne, innovator and pioneer Mover has a brand philosophy In Wool We Trust – the same motto which was used to title the workshop. Convinced about wool's intrinsic qualities and thermo-regulating properties, Mover was a pioneer in introducing wool inside ski garments since 2007, combining Merino wool with technical membranes.
“In our AW14/15 collection, there is no single model which is not featuring wool, as a lining or as insulation,” explains Mover CEO Nicolas Rochat. “Along these years, Mover has become a wool specialist and a major advocate for wool within the sportswear industry.
“Initiating and supporting this workshop is a way to show our link and attachment to wool in another manner, to reach out to a different audience and to place our approach at a prospective level.
“By experimenting and playing around with the different states of wool, the students designed some unexpected installations. The projects, resulting after one week, were so appealing and spectacular that it was decided to present a selection of six installations to the public. We are very grateful to ECAL's Director, Alexis Georgacopoulos, who was able to convince Design Miami to host the exhibition within such a prestigious environment.”
The results of the workshop at ECAL were then displayed to an international audience at the world-leading design fair, Design Miami/Basel in Switzerland, June 16 to 22, 2014.