Melanie Olde

Australian National University
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
My work is inspired by biomimetics – viewing plants as living cloth, researching cellular structures for form, function and array, interpreting these into complex woven fabric. My influences derive from mathematical geometries, patterns and algorithms found in nature. This piece is influenced by auxetic geometries, shapes that expand in one axis when stretched in another. My current research projects involve movement in three-dimensional woven cloth using soft robotics and auxetics, and the effect these have on the viewer. I am fascinated by the applications and versatility of three-dimensional woven structures, how they can create hyperbolic, sculptural, or unusual surfaces, integrating technology, strength and aesthetics.
Auxetic Morph
35 x 45 x 6 cm
Hand-dyed nylon monofilament thread, perspex frame
This piece has been handwoven using multilayering techniques to create auxetic modules, which are left open at the ends. Auxetic structures are those that expand in a direction perpendicular to the direction of pulled force. This piece demonstrates auxetic behavior in the depth of the cloth, as it was woven 7.5cm wide and 0.5cm thick, yet due to the geometry of the multiple layers, its thickness can expand to 6cm thick when stretched from the top and bottom edges. Hand-dyed nylon monofilament emphasizes iridescence and translucency, encouraging visual geometric abstraction. It was woven on a 24 shaft computer controlled loom.