KNITWIT WORKSHOP: EASA 2015
BASIC SYSTEM AND DESIGN:
With the site and global design strategy left up to the participants, we began the workshop with only a simple, tubular, knitted unit. We preferred to generate ideas with the participants and let them explore the potentials of filament material and knitted components. After the basic tubular module, participants investigated the potential of the modular system, including typology of individual units, aggregations of components, as well as color combinations. We chose our site to be the Counter Guard Terrace, within the confines of the EASAS 2015 workshop venues. It was a nice transition space between a tunnel, stairs, and a bridge. We saw the potential to unite these spaces with our knitted, architectural landscape. We wanted the final design to be not only a shading structure, but also an inhabitable, architectural space. For this reason we exaggerated the length of one component to transition to the ground and become a space for one or two people to interact with.
The knitted structure spans between the walls to the beginning of the bridge that leads to the city center. It has a slow transition from the large tree-trunklike inhabitable tube to components that are only a few centimeters wide. Our installation fully explores the possible variation of components made by the Addi knitting machines, and goes further to connect multiple components to make larger-scale modules. Our components vary in scale from ~10 centimeters wide and thick, to our largest module made out of 8 components which form a total of a meter wide and five meters tall.
The yarn (75% natural wool+25% nylon) was used as the main filament material for prototyping as well as for the final structure. The amount of 60km was sponsored by LAND YARNS. We used black and white yarn FANTOMAS, thickness 3,5-4. The main tool for the fabricating knitted surfaces was domestic circular knitting machine, sponsored by ADDI GUSTAV SELTER in an amount of 8 (4 big + 4 small machines). Bigger machine had 46 needles in a row, small one - 22.
Introduction to manual knitting with needles, introduction lecture to fabrics in architecture, learning the machine knitting, practicing to improve quality, experimenting with the morphology of the knitted unit, exercises with elastic stretchy fabrics (tights), design investigations, smaller scale prototypes, design of the final installation, beginning of fabrication for the final installation.
Experimenting with the layout of units, smaller prototype at MEPA (Municipality for Architecture and Urban Planning of Malta), fabrication for the final installation, modification of types of units, variations of dimensions and connection types, tensioning the final installation.