Without a doubt this is one of the most elegant methods to create a moving textile that I have encountered thus far. Dynamic Relief by Industrial Design students Fauzi Al-Kaylani, Sander Bogers, Nicholas Nelson and Willem Willemsen uses air to create organic animations in textiles.
The method they used to create Dynamic Relief is not unsimilar to the principle of an inflatable mattress. The textile is made out of several individual layers that are fused together with a heat press. The layers alternate between rubber glue foil to make the fabric air tight and elastic fabric to make the pockets expand. A final fabric layer is added on the outside to make the fabric more pleasant to touch.
By using a laser cutter to cut out shapes into the central layer of double sided heat press foil they created little air pockets in the fabric that expand when air is blown into it. Where the foil is cut into a path the layers do not stick together and air is free to run through the fabric creating a sequential effect that looks more organic than electronic.
If you've seen Diana Eng's Fairytale Fashion Show or the works by Cocky Eek you will know that this is not the first time that inflatables are being used to create a dynamic textile, however this is certainly the most controlled and crisp effect that I have seen. It promises to be a technique that will be copied many times and puts inflatable fashion back on the map, providing a welcome alternative to motors and SMA's as a technique to create dynamic surfaces.
Dynamic Relief was made during the Intelligent Textiles module at the Wearable Senses research theme at Industrial Design at the Technical University of Eindhoven. The project was coached by Stephan Wensveen and Michel Peeters.