Ancient textiles and reliefs have played a significant role in shaping the social, economic, and religious structures of communities across the globe. Iconic-indigenous clothing and carvings are imbued with unique designs and patterns. Some are believed to have magical powers and are designed to carry specific meanings and wishes. As storytelling media, these patterns, symbols, and experiences have brought together a sense of community, identity, and self-expression. 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 an architectural skin and structure in the form of an interactive textile pavilion.
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. The functional yarns, intricately embedded within the twelve petals of the knitwork are able to detect physical interactions through an array of electric-field sensors and drive an immersive lighting network in real-time. During sunny days, hidden patterns of humans, nature, flora-fauna, and synthetic beings inspired by our history and 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.