15:00 - 16:40
Session: S50
[Bespoke Making] + Design
Thinking Through Knitting: Hand Knit making for rapid architectural prototyping
Knitted Architectures; Prototypes; Craft Making; Generation; Hand-Knit Thinking
Elizabeth GASTON, Jane SCOTT

This paper demonstrates the value of hand knit process in architectural prototyping. Knit is a highly specifiable, additive manufacturing process. Knit architecturesrely on knit fabric properties to generate form which requires prototyping to assess material behaviour; this is developed in conjunction with computational design approaches. Hand knit can be a successful alternative in prototyping, combining simplicity of production with additional craft knowledge gained through the experience of manipulating materials directly. Four parameters were investigated at two scales of materials, resulting in a lexicon of knitted forms addressing three design questions. The outcomes demonstrated self-supporting 3-D forms utilising the inherent curvature of knitted fabrics and integral seaming techniques. The importance of hand process in the investigation was key, allowing simultaneous evaluation of materials and production methods but more importantly extending the cognitive dimension of design development by restoring the intimate relationship between maker and materials in craft process.