This project creates a space which bridges the gap between the inside and the outside, or the human-made interior world with the natural world. I wanted a space that not only bridged that gap, but also spoke specifically to children. I believe that because I had a lot of opportunities for outdoor play as a child, I developed a connection to the natural world which lives inside me, and made me who I am today. I thought of children in large cities, such as New York City, and wanted to create a bridge from the natural world by bringing it inside and making it theirs. By creating a tactile and interactive space that included not only textiles referencing nature but actual living moss. This leads to children directly learning about the natural world, thus sparking an interest to go outside, explore, and learn more about that world.
In the children’s book I created, a character named Sigrid escapes the city to explore a forest. She is told the forest is a beautiful, enchanting world she can always visit. She learns that the forest also lives within her, through newfound bonds with the natural world, and that it is a source of strength that she can keep within herself and draw on when she returns to city life. The length of fabric which includes the character, incorporates the book’s magical world and slowly turns it into the physical natural world, letting children relate to both the story and the natural world; creating a deeper connection to the space.
In the end, I have created a collection of interactive and narrative textiles, used either in a home or an educational space, to teach children about the natural world using elements of intrigue which can inspire them to nurture, imagine, and explore.
“Learning to see mosses mingles with my first memory of a snowflake. Just as the limits of ordinary perception lies another level in the hierarchy of beauty, of leaves as tiny and perfectly ordered as a snowflake, of unseen lives complex and beautiful. All it takes is attention and knowing how to look. I’ve found mosses to be a vehicle for intimacy with the landscape, like a secret knowledge of the forest...” Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer