In step with Jefferson’s ethos of innovation and creative problem-solving Textile Design graduate student, Isabel Ramos, has used weft knitting technology to redesign the ubiquitous bubblewrap that is literally flying around the world. When working on this project as part of her graduate studio work, she was asked some questions about herself as a designer, her process, inspiration, and future goals. Isabel, in her typically inventive fashion, decided to answer them in the form of mini-films that offer visual explanations as well as verbal ones. Watch Isabel’s videos below to get a glimpse into her assessment of the US Postal System, the value of weft knitting, and how she plans to make the world a better place.
Where did your inspiration come from to make bubble wrap?
What was the most challenging aspect of your process?
When you use knitting as a method of making, you have more control over your output than with other textile techniques. You can figure out exactly how much yarn you need, and waste nothing. For this project, I wanted to replace single-limited use bubble wrap, so it was important that the product inspire reuse and keep it in circulation. This entirely knit material is very durable because the bubbles can’t pop. I wanted to change some of our behavior, by making a shipping material that is designed to get old.
What advantages does knitting offer you as a way to make a functional and reusable textile?
I loved designing this promotional postcard with the help of the very talented architecture department graduate, Drake Schaeffer. It’s designed to help me spread the word about my project while using the USPS in the process. I recently mailed them out as valentines though!
What direction do you see yourself going next?
There is still SO much to do. I want to keep experimenting and finding new ways to change some of our mail-related habits. I want to make this bubble wrap in new shapes and build in closure systems. I also want to do more testing and get people’s thoughts on using the product.
Interested in keeping up with Isabel and her creative endeavors? Check out her website here and you can follow her on Instagram here. She’ll keep you posted!