Illuminating the Next Generation of Designers

In the journey toward closing the loop on design, we cannot forge this path alone. While every small change can make a difference, we can make waves when educating and collaborating with other designers, manufacturers and customers. 

One way Aquafil, the parent company of the ECONYL® brand, is investing in the future of design is by partnering with the MFA Textiles program at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Our partnership enables these creative, ambitious young designers to learn more about innovative design practices and how to design with the end in mind by creating products with ECONYL® nylon.


The Future is Bright: Textile Illumination Project

This year, the MFA Textiles 2024 graduating class conceptualized and created stunning, innovative lighting installations using ECONYL® nylon and a variety of textile craft techniques. All products are inspired by nature and sustainability, and are designed to be easily dismantled and recycled for new life.

Attendees of this year’s NeoCon in Chicago have the opportunity to see the future of design in person, as all of the students’ products will be on display in a luminous lighting installation in the ECONYL® by Aquafil showroom at the MART. Also, as part of the ECONYL® x Aquafil: Designing for the Future Award, three students were selected by the Aquafil leadership team to attend NeoCon and showcase the installation. 

Congratulations to our well-deserving Designing for the Future award winners: Julieta Gaitan Rubio for “Luminous Spore Fantasia,” Shao-chi Lin for “Vibration Lamp” and Mehak Surana for “Echoes of Light.”


Luminous Spore Fantasia, Designed by Julieta Gaitan

Luminous Spore Fantasia is a tribute to the interconnectedness of life and inspired by the resilient, intricate systems of fungi. Through the piece, Gaitan celebrates adaptability, collaboration, imperfection and renewal.

Gaitan designed a pendant lamp composed of intricately knitted ECONYL® yarn and strategically placed wooden hoops that translate the patterns of fungi into textile art.

Using mycelium knitting patterns, the contrasting openness and closedness of the design combined with the structure from the wood hoops allows the piece to look more dynamic. 


Vibration Lamp, Designed by Shao-chi Lin

Inspired by light waves and their physical properties of amplitude, wavelength and frequency, Lin’s Vibration Lamp represents the scientific phenomenon of light traveling through space. 

Lin strived to design and construct the lighting system through eco-friendly processes, using natural dyes for the color gradation and potato starch in place of glue to harden the overall piece. These substitutions ensure that the piece can be recycled and regenerated at end of life.

Vibration Lamp is made from ECONYL® yarn and woven in a loose, triple-layer structure to create the effect of radiation waves and accentuate the properties of ECONYL® nylon. 


Echoes of Light, Designed by Mehak Surana

Surana’s Echoes of Light draws inspiration from the concept of “echoes” to create a captivating and immersive experience that symbolizes the reverberation of light in both a physical and metaphorical sense.

Using ECONYL® yarns that have been dyed with natural pigments, Surana’s unique design weaves a narrative that combines traditional craftsmanship with contemporary sustainability through the interplay of double cloth weaving techniques on a loom.

The double cloth weaving technique and strategic placement of LED lights create a layered and textured effect, manipulating light and shadow to mirror the overlapping and intertwining of echoes. 


Illuminating Next Generation Designers

By investing in today’s design students, we are shaping a brighter future for tomorrow’s innovators and champions of eco-design. 

Visit the ECONYL® by Aquafil showroom at NeoCon to explore lighting fixtures designed by this year’s graduating class from the MFA Textiles program. Attendees and those who follow on Instagram will have the opportunity to share their favorite design and help us give one of the designers the IllumiNATURE Award.


Authors: Gaëlle Merlin, BCF Design & Development Manager