Touch rather than sight

Museum visitors judge winners of the Haptic Award with their finger tips

In cooperation with the Raumausstatter-Innung, every year the DialogMuseum presents awards to new fabric products from Heimtextil exhibitors. The appearance of the material is irrelevant – because visitors to the DialogMuseum choose the winning fabric in total darkness. In this short interview, we spoke to Klara Kletzka, Managing Partner of the museum, about the background to the award.

foto_klaraMs. Kletzka, what are the special features of the exhibition at which the visitors to the DialogMuseum will determine the winner of the award?

Normally, the visitors to the DialogMuseum are led, in total darkness, by a blind guide through rooms, depicting various everyday situations. This notion will be extended in the run-up to Heimtextil. From 3 January onwards, our visitors will also be asked to feel and assess the fabrics submitted for the Haptic Award. They will thus act as the adjudicating panel and will be requested to select the fabric that they think feels best.   This time, we shall be presenting the winning fabric at Heimtextil – and the rather special tactile experience will, therefore, also be available to all visitors at the trade fair.

Which were the reasons for launching the Haptic Award?

In collaboration with the German Association of Interior Designers, we began in 2010 with a small-scale project in tactile sensation. Even then, the idea behind it was to enhance awareness of the structure, warmth and individuality of fabrics. Moreover, we also wanted to demonstrate how blind people experience the characteristics of a given fabric. There was a great deal of interest in the project, so we extended it in 2012 to become the Haptic Award.

What have past winners of the Haptic Award had in common?

The fabrics submitted by the entrants in the competition were always very different in terms of their haptic qualities. As a rule, however, they ‘flatter the skin”, that is to say it tends to be soft fabrics that appeal to the museum visitors and it is these that have, more often than not, won the award. The fabrics of the Swiss textile company Christian Fischbacher have already taken first prize three times in a row. We shall be fascinated to discover, which fabric will be most favoured by our visitors this time!

Further information about the DialogMuseum Frankfurt is available at:

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