Kelly Harris Smith’s WantedDesign Installation Recasts Felt as Space-Maker
As co-founder of FilzFelt, Kelly Harris Smith is well schooled in the eco-friendly properties of the material. Now an independent designer and creative director, the textile trendsetter managed to wring even more possibility out of the cloth when she was invited to create a site-specific installation during WantedDesign 2017 in New York.
Using only post-production remnants, Smith and her team formed Dreamcatchers, a nod to the Native American keepsake, but in the form of a sustainable space-making solution. Wool felt offcuts were glued together into long strips and sliced at the top, so each could weave through itself and attach to curvilinear steel armatures, which were ultimately suspended from the 13-foot-high ceiling at Brooklyn’s Industry City. Beyond visual stimulation, visitors immersed in the enclosures also experienced another felt byproduct: peace and quiet. “Historically, felt was used to construct yurts and tents,” Smith says. “This extends the architectural application of the material.” So it seems. A retailer has already commissioned a version of Dreamcatchers for use in a window display.