Mahtab Oskuei
Light, Space and Gaze Modulator

 “All objective entities are products of a historical process, that is, their identity is synthesized or produced as part of cosmological, geological, biological, or social history.” Manuel de Landa

The thesis is a material investigation, one that takes objects as its point of departure. With the integration of micro technologies (sensors, microcontrollers, and actuators) into everyday objects, a renewed interest in materialism is emerging. With this heightened understanding of a quotidian object, the thesis draws on the complexity embodied within the physicality of objects to inform a transformation enacted within and through the material itself.The project is a curtain. The object is understood as a specific manifestation of a textile, a soft surface that has co-evolved with architecture. Historically, the curtain, as a surface has taken on multiple and simultaneous roles, mediating thermodynamic currents, sight, light, color, smell and sound, framing activities, and staging atmospheres. Aesthetically and politically, the curtain has occasionally been dismissed as a weak form, negatively associated with an interior decorator’s arsenal. The project embraces the curtain’s association with the feminine, exploring its potential to provide insurmount- able utility in the modulation of space through the dynamic entanglement of environmental, social cultural, experiential, and psychological elements. With the integration of sensors and soft actuators into the fibers of a knitted textile, the curtain’s vital performance reveals a veritable soft machine.