• Perception of Misconceptions: Intersecting Stone and Fabric Material Identities
    Felicia Francine Dean

Process of hand-stitching fabric smocking relief mockup for an upholstered system. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Felicia Francine Dean

The project explores biracial intrinsic methods of reconciling space and place through intersecting stone and fabric material identities in furniture’s hard and soft systems. The work is an exploration of digital and hand fabrication processes, materiality, surface, object, and site. The intersection of the material identities occurs based on the site, carving, quilting reliefs, patterns, and the approach to these methods. The material and making vernacular of the sites—Gramolazzo, Italy and Knoxville, Tennessee—converge in their stone and quilting histories. This project links the cities’ histories by connecting stone and fabric material identities of the locations through the making and design process.

Felicia Francine Dean is an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the College of Architecture and Design's School of Interior Architecture. She holds a graduate degree in interior architecture with a focus on furniture design, a bachelor's in studio art, and a furniture upholstery diploma. In addition, her professional experience includes positions as a diversity relations director, digital fabrication director, textile/fibers lab director, furniture design associate, textile designer, kitchen designer, and artist assistant. Dean defines parallels between art, craft, and design by referencing their ways of thinking, fabrication techniques, and research methods.  Her work explores biracial identity and the creative process, in addition to how form acts as a physical communicator which ignites an emotional response in the user or viewer.