Since 2012, the architectural designer Jenny Sabin has explored ways to break down barriers of knitting for fashion and branch into structural and architectural applications. Sabin constantly incorporates a blend of science, art, and technology to bring new perspectives to ways we see structures around us. Now with her latest project “exoKnit” at Neue House in New York City/USA, Sabin has continuously pushed knitting beyond traditional boundaries.
exoKnit features advanced digital fabrication and emerging technologies to incorporate environmentally sensitive and responsive materials that transform with changes in light and program. The material has been manufactured on knitting machines of Shima Seiki USA Inc., Los Angeles, CA/USA. The mission of Jenny Sabin Studio, Ithaca, NY/USA, is to create locally driven, engaging, and transformative spaces together with diverse communities and the expressed intentions of the Neue House to promote inventive, dynamic public design, celebrate the unique creative cultural and physical landscape of the Neue House MSQ outdoor Pavilion.
exoKnit at Neue House in NYC (Source: Jenny Sabin Studio)
Specifically, the project features an undulating series of active-bending arches that correspond with the local street context and provide a diverse array of programmed interior functions and seating areas. An interior surface of soft, digitally knitted, responsive fibers changes color and glow in response to an integrated lighting system and changing programs. An exterior membrane of custom-designed vinyl components provides protection from the elements during the changing seasons and a semi-enclosed space for a variety of programs.