AI5_14_2018_1_55_51_PM_Arun_TItle_option.jpg
Observational study

Nappa leather and cashmere embroidery.

Material interaction

Wool and polyester embroidery on plastic.

Material interaction

Rayon embroidery on wool.

Colour references

Mixed fabrics on card.

Colour swatches

Spray paints on plastic.

Drawing

Pen on tracing paper.

Observational study

Cotton and rayon embroidery on wool.

AI5_14_2018_1_55_51_PM_Arun_TItle_option.jpg
Lab 28 May 2018

Arun Sispal’s experiments challenge how we define and characterise materials and textiles

The term “textile designer” doesn’t seem to accurately describe Arun Sispal or encompass everything he does. Arun was able to cultivate an interest for alternative materials and textiles while studying at the Royal College of Art in London. His works tend to contradict traditional notions of what materials are supposed to look and feel like while highlighting the new material’s visual and functional potential.

Arun Sispal can be thought of as a designer and visual storyteller who uses materials and textiles as his medium. His work includes a variety of experiments involving different interpretations and interactions concerning colour, finish, feel, weight and texture. The result? Unconventional materials and textiles that are visually attractive and can be utilized in various design disciplines. While the commercial implications of new designer materials appear to be limitless, Arun seems to be driven by more poetic and sensory sensibilities.

Observational study

Nappa leather and cashmere embroidery.

Arun discovered a sense of inquisitiveness where materials and textiles are concerned when, during an art course, he was asked to bring in a selection of obscure household materials such as masking tape, cotton buds or thread. He was then given a week to combine and manipulate them in order to create new structures and aesthetics. This assignment started a deep fascination with materials and its impact on design.

Material interaction

Wool and polyester embroidery on plastic.

Material Inspired Narratives

He sees himself as a “Material Investigator”, approaching his work with a hands on methodology and curiosity. Arun also believes you can tell stories using materials and textiles. He explains, “The telling of a story or concept, be that something to do with the senses, the texture of a print at an exhibition or the drama of the sky, and being able to tell a narrative is really what drives my practice.” The materials and story inform each other. Rather than being fixated on an idea, concept or story and working from there, Arun allows for the organic development of a project which can include many alterations and rethinking.

Material interaction

Rayon embroidery on wool.

“Combining materials that usually are not seen combined, and removing the context of something and reshaping it into something new is a great catalyst for new and inspiring moments.”

One such project was a series of customisable trays, where customers could choose from a list of finishes as they purchased them online. Arun oversaw both the conception and production of the trays, defining the colours and materials while also constructing the trays using molds. He believes one gains a deeper understanding of the work when involved in multiple aspects of its realisation.

Colour references

Mixed fabrics on card.

Colour swatches

Spray paints on plastic.

Unique Materials in Alternative Fields

Arun stressed that the term “textiles” seems narrow whereas using the term “materials” instantly broadens a person’s perspective while also indicating a sudden increase in potential and possibilities. Traditional industries such as fashion, furniture or interior design, branding, packaging, and product design have all displayed various degrees of interest in the use of alternative or new materials. While these industries may be driven by socioeconomic and environmental factors, Arun believes a lot of it simply comes down to a desire to do something fresh, modern and exciting. That designers tend to be inquisitive when new ideas and concepts are presented and try to alter perceptions as a way of making things more interesting. He further expounds “combining materials that usually are not seen combined, and removing the context of something and reshaping it into something new is a great catalyst for new and inspiring moments.”

Drawing

Pen on tracing paper.

It is simple to deduce that Arun strives for his work to be, in his own words, “sensorially engaging, whilst being inclusive and understandable.” This often leads to him finding inspiration beyond the confines of visual design. Currently, Arun is working on a project that revolves around scent and the power it has to cause visceral reactions. Collaborating with an independant London-based perfumery called 4160Tuesdays, he will be creating material responses to a bespoke scent . The abstract project seems to hold a sort of synesthetic quality (what would this scent look like) that promises to capture attention and draw you in. Arun is also working on a colour and trim project that he simply states we have to keep an eye out for.

Observational study

Cotton and rayon embroidery on wool.

To view more of Arun’s work and keep up with any future projects, you can visit his website or his instagram page.