Spacing Spacers


From recycled bottles to smart spacer textile. From human body to architectural envelopes.

“Spacing Spacers” project aims at exploring the potentialities of the manufacturing and material systems knowledge of the textile sector for interactive architectural purposes thanks to a computational approach.

The project is the first prototype of an on-going research project developed between the architectural and design department of Politecnico di Milano aiming at scaling up the potentialities of e-textile for fashion design at architectural scale, specifically to cope with the increasing demand of high sound comfort in the future built environment.

The project demonstrates that both fields’ technological achievements provide a cultural common platform for the involved operators to design a full digitally work-flow able to control the overall design process.

The outcome of this process, exhibited in the frame of Mat.Res. installation, designed by the invited Material Balance research group (Politecnico di Milano) in the Italian Pavilion at 17th International Architecture Exhibition – Biennale Architettura 2021, is a 6 meter-height column that exploits the three dimensional structure of the spacer fabric by embedding technological features to set up a circuit on the outer layer.

The use of conductive yarns allows to hook up the sound sensor to an array of LED lights which will beat according to the sound conditions of the space.

“Spacing Spacers” has been developed in the framework of Andrea Giglio’s PhD research project at Politecnico di Milano (architecture and design department) in partnership with important companies of the textile sector.



Research and Design
Andrea Giglio [arch, PhD candidate]

Scientific coordinator
Ingrid Paoletti [Associate professor – Material Balance Research Group Coordinator]

Knit Designer Consultancy
Giovanni Maria Conti [Associate professor]
Martina Motta [Postdoc Researcher]

Technical Partners
Textile production: Shima Seiki Italia spa

Yarns’ provider: Aquafil Spa, Iafil – Industria Ambrosiana Filati Spa, Sinterama Spa

Sewing process: Laboratorio di Moda e Maglieria (Politecnico di Milano)

Technical Detailing: SaperLab (Politecnico di Milano)

Test Mounting: Lab Allestimenti (Politecnico di Milano)