31.7. - 28.8.2021

Pilot for a shared textile

ahoy all

Softislab experimental working residency in August 2021 under the theme SOFT IS RADICAL

If you had the chance to realize your textile or other soft material-related dream project, how would it feel, sound, move, look or smell?

What does the expression
Soft is Radical spark in you?

/ ˈsȯft /

: pleasing or agreeable to the senses

: bringing ease, comfort or quiet

: smooth or delicate in texture, grain or fiber

: based on negotiation, conciliation,
or flexibility rather than force,
threats or intaransingence

(Merriam Webster online dictionary 2020)

open call

Who can apply
Individual designers, artists or multidisciplinary working groups (of max. 3)

We offer help and expertise in realisation of the projects. This means that previous experience in textile development is not necessary but recommended due to the short-term working period.

Paint an image of your project under the theme “Soft is Radical” with visual references and a written description.

You do not have to submit a complete and detailed project plan but please show us what kind of materials and/or techniques you envision utilising.

The nature of the residency is temporary. This is why we do not expect finished outcomes at the end of the residency. Instead we encourage fast prototyping and conversational attitude.

Send your working plan including a short motivation statement towards the theme
either in English or Finnish via email to
by 15.5.2021 at 12 pm.

Criteria for the selection
Three individual artists or working groups of
max. 3 persons are selected.

We value an experimental and multidisciplinary approach to working. In addition, the proposal’s relation to the theme and appealing to sensorial modalities is taken into consideration.

The applications are reviewed as anonymous. The residency artists are chosen by the jury consisting of three distinct individuals working in the field of art and design together with representatives of the Softislab initiative. The applicants are notified personally by the end of May 2021.

Duration 2.8 - 28.8.2021
Working period on weekdays during 2.8 - 19.8.2021 (including exhibition building)

Exhibition is open 20. - 28.8.2021 (presence during is not expected)

Taking down the exhibition on 30.8.2021.

Lab in progress - the space
Shared workspace in a charming and bright art school studio with working desks and access to dedicated manual textile machinery.


Knitting, weaving, sewing, colour kitchen for natural dyes


We offer stimulating pre-selected materials (yarns, fabrics, natural dyes) for testing and for the final works. You can also work with your own materials, but we do not offer additional budget for material purchases.

The outcomes and creative process of the residency are exhibited
20.- 28.8.2021

We do not offer accommodation, but can offer help in finding one for residents outside the Helsinki region.

The residency is free of charge.

Expectations towards the artists
Developing an artistic or applied material prototype or artwork interpreting the theme Soft is radical with a particular focus in sensory modalities.

Building and taking down the exhibition. Taking part in joint discussions during the residency. Giving feedback after the residency via questionnaire.

Safety first
Due to the current covid-19 situation, we reserve all rights for changes concerning the schedule and working arrangements in the Softislab pilot event and its residency. We want to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and residency artists in all conditions. We will comply with the regulations set by the Finnish government concerning safety measures during the pandemic.

The event is organized by Tilaa Tekstiilille ry