We Are Never Naked | ‘Unfrozen’ 2016 Swiss Design Network Symposium

This international multi-disciplinary research project at the intersection of Textiles and Architecture was based around a workshop in a design research symposium. We came together to explore the boundaries between space, the environment and insulation materials relating to buildings, textiles and bodies. Set in the beautiful but cold environment of the Swiss Alps, with snow capped peaks in the background, the workshop explored the subject of insulation properties through an environmental installation, material exploration, situation and action, while engaging the range of the human senses; to formulate, experience and respond to sub-zero temperatures. Participants were asked to address the role of insulation for the body and the built environment, prompted to respond with a piece of ‘performance architecture’, for example, a piece of clothing or a site-specific architectural enclosure – to be worn by one or many. The performances included spoken word, text narration, discussion, acting, and staging.


This project was funded by a Santander Partnership Award 2015-2016 Small Grant for Research Collaboration, at the University of Hertfordshire.

Workshop: ‘We Have Never Been Naked: Insulation as a performing surface’
Conference: Unfrozen – First Swiss Design Network Research Winter Summit symposium
Dates: 28-31 January 2016
Location: Grandhotel Giessbach, Brienz, Switzerland
Dr. Matina Kousidi, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Eva Sopeoglou, Theorising Visual Art and Design Research Center, University of Hertfordshire, UK
Joanna Pierce, Textile Futures Research Center, Central St Martins, UK
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