Elisa Strozyk (Germany)


Artist’s statement

The world around us is becoming increasingly immaterial. We are now used to writing e-mails instead of letters, to paying online, to downloading music and touching virtual buttons on touch screens. We live in a society of images, a visual culture full of colors, advertisements, television, and the Internet. There is not much left to feel. Giving importance to surfaces that invite touch can reconnect us with the material world and enhance the emotional value of an object.

Wooden Textiles convey a new tactile experience. We are used to experiencing wood as a hard material; we know the feeling of walking across wooden floors, of touching a wooden tabletop or feeling the bark of a tree. But we usually don't experience a wooden surface that can be manipulated by touch.

From the perspective of a textile designer, I am researching ways to provide wood with textile properties by testing methods to make wood flexible and soft or by interweaving textile elements. The outcome is a material that is half-wood, half-textile, somewhere between hard and soft, challenging what can be expected from a material or category. It looks and smells familiar but feels strange, as it is able to move and form in unexpected ways.

The processes of designing a flexible wooden surface involve its deconstruction into pieces, which are then attached to a textile base. Depending on the weight and stiffness, each surface behaves differently. The wood is laser cut, and all tiles are placed by hand to compose a textile-like surface.

Wooden Textiles is an approach to responsible thinking concerning the life cycles of products. In the future we will have to deal with more waste and fewer resources. Therefore it is crucial to be aware of the life cycles of objects now. For me that means using material that can grow old beautifully. Another way to conserve resources is to work with reused or recycled objects and material waste.

It is also crucial to aim for a closer relationship between subject and object. This can be achieved through more flexibility and changeability, the possibility of growth or discovering surprising elements. 



Artist’s bio

Elisa Strozyk was born in 1982 in Berlin. She studied textile and surface design at the KHB in Berlin and completed the MA course Future Textiles in 2009 at Central Saint Martins in London.

Her work is pushing the boundaries between 2-D and 3-D, hard and soft materials, switching meanings and categories. At the moment Strozyk is building bridges between textile and furniture design, using wood to produce original textiles and objects. Beside this she is collaborating with different artists, designers, and companies.

For her experimental designs she has received the German Design Award, the Bavarian State Price, the SaloneSatellite Award, and the Marc Charras Award, and she was named the Textile Designer of the Year in 2011 by ELLE DECOR.