Let There Be Light...

Excellent, it's three weeks into 2009 and I've already lost track of the days. I had vastly underestimated how busy my weekend was going to be, and I now find myself counting down the hours until THE speech (4am Sydney time!) whilst I catch up on everything I didn't even glance at over the weekend.

Upon returning back to reality however, two little words jumped out at me from my inbox. Two words that usually remind me of dirty, torn old shade sails added onto tired old buildings as a mere afterthought...but thanks to a tiny but promising thumbnail image, had me intrigued.

The words? Tensile structures.

Now to be fair, there's an entire body of work dedicated to those two little words, and much of the work is quite beautiful, but when the only example you see in your everyday life is a series of torn, tattered vinyl sails, generously covered in bird poop...it's easy to forget how amazing these structures can be.

But New York-based Fabric Images has provided a welcome reminder. With a portfolio of corporate imaging, exhibition fitouts, installations and lighting, it's exciting to see how versatile fabric can be.

From soft and fluffy lights that just beg to be poked, to sleek modern lines that are both lightweight and solid...and that's just their lighting!

But what had me intrigued was the notion of lightweight, luminous walls, with endless choice for transparency, opacity, pattern and texture. The images below are geared towards a more sustainable exhibition industry, and frankly it's a welcome change given the amount of trade exhibitions full of companies that preach "sustainability" with one-off displays full of new and non-recyclable components (or "recyclable" components that will never actually be recycled!)

But forget the exhibition industry, what about the rest of us? Imagine open-plan work spaces being humanised with some cosy little corners with lush yellow chairs! No wait, forget work, what about in our homes?! Perhaps as a way to make a study nook more cosy and private, or a dining room more lavish. Or even outdoors, with luminous walls to create your own little back yard labyrinth...

And perhaps I'm being influenced by the incredibly hot weather of the Sydney summer...but wouldn't these mesh shells be amazing on the beach, be it for an informal party or a casual beach wedding?!

Keep this last image in mind, the train of thought continues tomorrow (with a slight detour first!)