Augmented Curtain by Christophe Guberan and Camille Blin

Design can play a key role in lessening man’s environmental impact – and in the search for ways to reduce energy consumption, the humble curtain has its part to play. Maintaining acceptable temperatures in buildings through heating and cooling accounts for a significant proportion of global energy consumption. Insulation in building walls commonly uses very small pockets of air trapped in materials such as glass wool, cellulose and polystyrene foam. Employing the same principle, the use of insulating curtains in living spaces is an economical and energy-saving way to create a comfortable indoor environment, reducing heat loss caused by drafts, thermal bridges and windows. The Augmented Curtain takes this a stage further.

The project exploits the possibilities of 3D weaving techniques by using Kvadrat’s Reflect yarn, made from recycled PET, to create lightweight curtains composed of small tubes that trap air, forming an insulating barrier between window and room. The 3D-woven fabric architecture comprises three different yarn axes arranged in the three orthogonal directions. The third yarn serves to bolster the fabric's through-thickness direction. This technique creates empty pockets within the fabric, enabling the curtain to trap air passively. The Augmented Curtain is thus a new typology that can reduce heat loss in winter and moderate temperature gain in summer.

Guberan and Blin saw working on the textile itself as a creative opportunity: the 3D woven structure allowed them to explore various colour combinations, creating contrasts between warm and cold tones on different sides and within the fabric’s layers. Finishing the edges was a challenge due to the fabric's composition of four layers, which prevented traditional closure methods. However, the use of recycled PET yarn meant that the edges could be heat sealed, giving the final piece a contemporary appearance.

Christophe Guberan and Camille Blin

Camille Blin and Christophe Guberan both studied at ECAL in Lausanne and are both based in the city – working as designers and teaching at ECAL.

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