Watch Emily explain her design here
• Designer: Emily Fischer
• Your Link: HapticLab.com and info @ hapticlab dot com
• Location: Brooklyn, NY
• Title: Soft-Maps
• Materials: Dupioni silk and organic cotton
• Price Point: See Below
Description: Soft-Maps are quilted maps of cities and neighborhoods that represent someone's unique place in the world. These quilts are meant to be used: wrap your children in them, have a picnic, pull them close during the next Nor'easter. Not only beautiful, these blankets can be used as a mnemonic tool. As your child grows up with a Soft Map, they learn to read their neighborhood and its landmarks in a tactile, easily remembered way.
After months of development, Soft-Maps are now offered as affordable, digitally-fabricated "a la carte" maps. These machine-made maps are made of high quality, user-friendly cotton and can withstand everyday use. Though currently available for only Brooklyn neighborhoods, Manhattan neighborhoods will follow shortly. And by 2010, Haptic Lab will have the production capacity to begin taking wholesale orders of Soft-Maps for anywhere in the world.
Crib Quilt (36" x 45") = $190
Twin (45" x 60") = $300
Queen (80" x 90") = $585
Soft-Maps are still offered as one-of-a-kind handmade quilts which are designed on commission. These quilts are heirloom-quality art pieces and are meant to last for generations.
$600 (crib quilt) to $3200 (queen-sized quilt)
Pic 1: My studio is in a warehouse positioned exactly UNDER the F train in Brooklyn: the view is the structure that holds up the tracks. Every 5 minutes the entire building shakes with the passing trains overhead.
Pic 2: This is my Amish quilting frame I use to make handsewn Soft-Maps; currently on the frame is a map of South Philly. The three fabric layers of the quilt are tensioned to poles at the back and are rolled up together at the bottom as I stitch.
Pic 3: I spend a lot of time designing on the computer, especially now that I'm digitizing the production of Soft-Maps. I'm also constantly grooming over GIS data, USGS resources, and the NYPL map archives for new mapping information. Sometimes I email people.
• Favorite Designer: I'm obsessed with Petra Blaisse, a Dutch textile designer who works at an architectural (and sometimes urban) scale. Her office 'Inside Outside' uses unbelievable combinations of colors, textures, and transparencies to produce curtains and carpets that animate spaces by making them tactile. Her projects are like clothing a room gets to wear.
• Favorite Design: I once got to see what was described to me as a traditional Amish mourning quilt (I drew you a picture of it). It almost moved me to tears. The Amish are extremely reserved and never openly express feelings (my own cultural legacy is Mennonite); that quilt was saturated with all all the private emotions of loss and suffering felt by widow who made it... Good design can be beautiful, functional- but rarely is it sublime. Quilts are hard to place on the spectrum of 'art vs. design'... they're functional, yet they sometimes take years to produce. I think people's aversion to the immense cost of owning a handmade quilt reflects our consumer penchant for buying disposable design.