A 3D knitted textile installation

New York-based architecture studio SO-IL designed a 3D knitted textile installation, inspired by Bruges’ textile legacy.

Called Common Threads and designed for Bruges Triennial in Belgium, the installation consists of playfully spiralling tunnels. It pays homage to the centuries-old history of lace making, and the embedded knowledge passed down by the women of Bruges through generations.

The celebrated tradition of bobbin lace, still maintained in the city’s shops and ancient béguinage, inspired the architects to reimagine this intricate process on a different scale using modern technologies. They collaborated with Dr. Mariana Popescu and her assistant Anass Kariouh at TU Delft, and were aided by a programmable 3D knitting machine.

The resulting fabric is knit into varying ratios, its individual threads combining and diverging into surprising, ever-changing patterns whose character is reminiscent of Hokusai’s “The Great Wave.”

The installation is located in the courtyard of a 19th-century monastery.

Photos: Iwan Baan