Wool-Based Composites

for interior acoustics

samuel wanless

masters of creative technologies, aut

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ABSTRACT

The production of new materials inherently creates waste. The textiles industry in particular faces off-cuts, by-products, and sub-premium materials from start to finish of the manufacturing process. This experimental textile collection explores how by-product and waste fibres may be reassimilated back into desirable and functional new materials. The collection proposes a series of material composites intended for use in interior architecture for the purposes of enhancing spatial acoustics. New Zealand strong wool has been selected as the primary by-product material. The research builds off existing findings around the mechanical properties of wool when applied in an acoustic context. 

 
 

Strong wool has historically been a champion fibre of the New Zealand craft and textiles industries. In recent decades, appreciation and demand for the fibre has dropped among the wider industry reflected in the lowering market price of the raw material. Modern synthetic counterparts have become a more viable option as a base material for many mass-produced products formerly manufactured from strong wool. This research aims to assist the rising public opinion of strong wool and other by-product fibres and contribute to a heightened perception of prematurely discarded or discounted natural materials. 

wHO AM I?

Samuel Wanless is an experimental materials practitioner and sound artist. His works are themed around sound in space, and the role audio plays in shaping human inhabited environments. Tactile surfaces and their relationship to audio are a key interest. A background as an appliance repair technician provides a ‘repair over replace’ attitude, forming the basis of his approach to creative practice. Material recirculation and sustainability are core values of all making and outcomes of his research. Samuel is currently undertaking a Master of Creative Technologies at Auckland University of Technology. 

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