A fantastic collaboration between tile and architecture led to the creation of TOUCHY-FEELY. Founded in 2006 by architects Stephanie Davidson and Georg Rafailidis, TOUCHY-FEELY became a platform for sensory-orientated design. Allowing for experimentation in materials, the aim was to develop surfaces that would heighten user experience, and spark deeper relationships between individuals and their environment.
Rather than focus purely on the aesthetic, TOUCHY-FEELY’s FOUND SPACE TILES are more concerned with tactile properties. The desire is instead for human interaction, physical touch, and curiosity. The designs were taken from people leaning against walls, creating uncanny and familiar 3D forms which call out to be leaned on once again.
Cor Unum, a Dutch ceramics company, produced the FOUND SPACE TILES. Created based on their shapes, small collections of tiles are formed together that make up the relief map. They are made like standard ceramic wall tiles and can be glazed in standard white gloss, or customer colours specified by the client.
To create the 3D relief they are slip cast in plaster moulds by highly trained experts. The resulting tile is 150mm by 150mm, 6mm thick, and hollow. Due to this, they will crack under intense and sudden pressure. However, upon breaking, individual tiles can be replaced instead of the entire installation.
The variation in shape is formed by differing body parts, such as hips, lumbar, and shoulders. Upon installation, they invite users into their folds, to explore their environment through more than mere observation, and perhaps to find comfort in something abstract but known.