Studio/seminar course, Ryerson University

This course introduced students to felt and provided them with an opportunity to create a permanent installation of a felt wall in the University Library’s public space through a class competition.

Student teams participatde by producing proposals that underwent a review by their peers, the instructor, invited industry professionals—including an architect and manufacturer, and representatives from the Library, to determine a short list. These finalists were then displayed in the Library where Library staff are invited to vote on their design preference as part of determining a winner.

The project was sponsored by Interior Felt, the local felt manufacturer that provided materials, and the work is fabricated by the students under the guidance of Kathryn Walter at Walter’s studio, then ultimately installed in the Library.

The winning proposal Ripples was designed by Amy Li and Emily Furtney and Lindsey Smith. It takes the form of a river inspired by the busy flow of traffic though the Library’s entranceway. A geometric pattern of cuts in the felt allows acrylic rods to weave through the material and create a rippling effect. The hard, transparent rods, in various sizes, contrast with the soft dense felt, and produce fragments of reflected light across the surface.

“In our classes, we often make proposals for sites around campus or in the city, but this project allowed us to truly test the prototype and build something permanent.”

“I find mentoring to be the most rewarding aspect of teaching, and choose to create situations in which students can learn by doing. Providing material and knowledge from my own studio practice is enhanced by partners within and outside the institution.”
(Kathryn Walter, Course instructor)

Working with the students is always inspiring. We are thrilled to partner with faculty colleagues to create these experiential learning opportunities for studens. Being able to highlight student work, of all types, is a wonderful way to celebrate and share the breadth of learning on our campus
(Carol Shepstone, Chief Librarian)