16.–21.01.2023 #immcologne

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Innovative data presentation

The colour-packed Temperature Textiles communicate information on climate change

Colours and patterns have a particular effect on a space. They convey different moods and often reflect our personalities. On the one hand, the Temperature Textiles project experiments with colours. On the other, it uses graphic patterns to demonstrate how textiles can communicate data, transforming blankets, towels and socks into reflections of global warming.

Raw Color’s Double-Knit Blankets

Raw Color’s Double-Knit Blankets show how data on climate change can be expressed in graphic patterns. (Photo: Raw Color)

Raw Color: Experimenting with hues

Two Dutch design experts, Christoph Brach and Daniera ter Haar, founded the multidisciplinary design studio Raw Color in Eindhoven in 2008. They specialise in graphic design, photography and product design. Colour is at the heart of their creative process. They demonstrate how combining colours can have an impact on us and the outside world, hence the name Raw Color.

One of their latest projects also concerns climate change. The designer duo went beyond simply creating pretty knitted blankets, scarves and socks. Their products do much more: They communicate useful information through their graphical presentation of data and the colour combinations chosen.

The Sea Level Socks designed by Raw Color

Innovative textiles: The Sea Level Socks, designed by Raw Color, communicate the sea level rise. (Photo: Raw Color)

Temperature Textiles: reimagining knitwear

The project’s name is Temperature Textiles . The designers presented it at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow and the Dutch Design Week 2021 to generate maximum attention for climate change. The knitwear items they have created are stunningly eye-catching pieces, create a cosy atmosphere and communicate knowledge. They present information on temperature changes, the sea level rise and the increase in emissions such as carbon dioxide.

In this way, the colourful design objects communicate with the people who use them and look at them. Warm shades are employed for the temperature data, cold hues for the sea level, and a mix of both is combined for emissions. The design studio wanted to work with reliable data, so they collaborated with the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI). Christoph Brach and Daniera ter Haar also called upon the expertise of the TextielLab. Once a textile factory, the lab now serves as a museum and a workshop for textile projects.

The cold colours in this Flat-Knit Temperature Blanket by Raw Color

The cold colours in this Flat-Knit Temperature Blanket by Raw Color represent ocean temperature data. (Photo: Raw Color)

A new social media trend: temperature blankets

On social media, you can find designers and fans of sustainable interior design products and handcrafted textiles, such as handmade rugs , interacting with each other. Many ideas go viral at lightning speed. Another exciting trend is emerging at the moment – one very similar to the Temperature Textiles project.

The makers of temperature blankets like the Tempestry Kits post images of hand-knitted blankets online. What makes them so special is that they often take several months to make, and the patterns depict the temperature readings documented over a whole year. Each row and its colour record the temperature on a single day, giving social media users a way to communicate their local climate data and share it with the world.

Patterns in Raw Color’s Temperature Textiles

The patterns in Raw Color’s Temperature Textiles document the rise in the earth’s temperature throughout the year. (Photo: Raw Color)

Innovative textiles with a message

A room decorated in warm hues, such as those in the Nettle Traveller Wander fabric by Camira , creates a very different feel to the atmosphere in a room furnished in cold colours. And the more patterns we can see in an interior, the more visual movement there is. Colours and patterns not only reflect our own mood – they influence the overall ambience in a room.

Raw Color experiments intensely with colours and has taken this one step further with the Temperature Textiles project. The designers use data on global warming and their knowledge of colour to create innovative textiles that communicate important messages. Their work provides a huge source of inspiration for the design of rugs, blankets, cushions and upholstery fabrics.

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