The Textilesphere: The threshold of everyday contacts




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Routledge (Taylor & Francis)



Peer reviewed



A sense of displacement pervades contemporary life, with the global crisis of forced migrations, increasingly modular and distributed families, and remote social interactions replacing familiar ways of being in a space with others. This sentiment, together with the widening application of highly advanced textiles in many areas of the built environment, calls for an appraisal of textiles in relation to notions of home and belonging. Drawing on a range of academic and practitioner literature, brought together under 'relational approaches', this essay puts forward the 'textile-sphere' as a new ontological category and a critical device for textiles thinking within this context of societal and technological changes. The textile-sphere is an affective spatiality generated by physical wear as indexical traces of everyday life, emphasizing sustained physical contact as an essential of home. It suggests a new way of thinking about textiles which transcends 2D–3D, human-nonhuman or material–immaterial dichotomies, focusing, instead, on the flexible relations between surfaces. The textile-sphere is a useful tool for exploring the complexity of the contemporary spatiality in relation to various physical and virtual surfaces, and the role textiles can play in interrogating this complexity, letting us contemplate what it means to be 'in touch', to be home.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.



Lee, Y. (2019) The Textilesphere: The Threshold of Everyday Contacts. Textile: Cloth and Culture, online first.


Research Institute

Institute of Art and Design