One of the highlighted projects merging technology with the beauty and craftsmanship of fine arts, the Living Knitwork Pavilion recently received the 2023 Black Rock City Honoraria Art Grant from the Burning Man Organization.
Textiles are unique materials that could imbue the natural and built environment landscape with fluidity, softness, and a dynamic quality. By drawing inspiration from the artistry and construction techniques used in traditional textiles, as well as the notion of a pavilion or pagoda serving as a communal space, we aim to infuse a new perspective of technical textiles by fusing novel materials, sensing technologies, and digital fabrication processes to build a large-scale interactive textile, while also integrating them with intricate details and avenues for self-expression.
The Living Knitwork Pavilion is a customized and modular textile shade structure (dodecagonal pyramid: 18ft high and 26ft wide) consisting of 3D-knitted optically and electrically-active yarns that sense activities and dynamically change color and light up through the day and night. During sunny days, hidden patterns of humans, nature, flora-fauna, and synthetic beings inspired by the future worlds are revealed through photochromism. The pavilion, working as a shade structure by day and responsive lantern by night, serves as a communal place. Our presence, movements, and environmental changes constantly contribute toward the entire glow, visual effects, and ambiance of the space, as they are reprojected onto the pavilion as living memories, fostering and amplifying moments of discovery, reflection, and connectedness.