HOSOO Research & Development Project vol.2

“Ambient Weaving” exhibition

17 April–6 September 2021
Hosted by
HOSOO Co., Ltd & ZOZO Technologies Inc.
Research & Development by
HOSOO Co., Ltd., Yasuaki Kakehi Laboratory of the University of Tokyo, and ZOZO Technologies Inc.

Since 2020, HOSOO Co., Ltd. has been conducting research and development in collaboration with the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies Yasuaki Kakehi Laboratory and ZOZO Technologies Inc. towards new textiles that combine beauty with functionality when traditional crafts meets cutting-edge technologies.

Ambient Weaving refers to textiles that express the ambient environment’s characteristics and where the actual ambient environment is woven into the textiles. Nishijin textiles have always been innovative with incorporating cutting-edge technologies. Through this collaborative research project undertaken by HOSOO Co., Ltd., Yasuaki Kakehi Laboratory of the University of Tokyo, and ZOZO Technologies, advanced materials and devices were developed and incorporated into HOSOO textiles. In its pursuit of beauty for over 1200 years with its distinctive structures and design, the research project experimented with various levels of functionality and representations of the ambient environment’s characteristics using HOSOO textile as the medium. This exhibition will showcase several research prototypes, which include color changes in the textile affected by external temperatures to textiles that harden under ultraviolet light.

The history of textiles is as impressive as the history of humankind. Looking back, textiles can be simply viewed as creations from dialogues with humankind or the environment. Not only for yarns used in textiles, plant dyeing also uses natural materials such as plant and animal fibers. In Japan, motifs of beautiful Japanese nature have been extensively used in textiles.

In this day and age, unspoiled nature is no longer common and instead, living in artificial environments is the norm. With significant human impact on the planet’s geology and ecosystems and the concept of “nature” itself continuing to be a point of discussion and review, what kind of new entity will ambient environments and textiles become? With this perspective as the foundation, in this exhibition presents the modern state of human beings, the environment, and textiles with experimentations to expand new representations and experiences of function and design compatibility in textiles through the extension of traditional crafts by redefining cutting-edge technologies.