Knit Knot Architecture
What defines the graphic language through which you chose to reveal a proposal?
In our work, the graphic language is very connected to the type of concepts explored in every project. The choices made on the representation of a project tend to emphasize the ideas that are being communicated.
The choice of specific or particular geometric representations is very intentional in our work, in which 2d planimetries, axonometries, perspectives and physical models are used in order to facilitate the full comprehension of the project. We do not believe that an architectural object or narrative should be explored by all those means by default, but be have a clear position on their use. The graphic language then developed, though sharing common aspects across projects, is based on those principles.
To what extent is the means through which you operate architecturally reflected in the images you produce?
We think the images we produce influence the types of spaces we design, so they not only serve as a document to show the project but rather play an active role in the design process.
In some cases, drawings unconsciously lead us to explore certain types of ideas; in other cases, they test certain intuitions or help us translate abstract ideas into figurative proposals.
In any case, representation is never neutral for us; the way in which we draw, or fabricate is directly related to our spatial explorations and our interests.
In ‘Knitting Shanghai’ you reference the graphic style of ‘Cities without ground’ – what dictated this choice?
The project ‘knitting Shanghai’ explores the construction of a multi-levelled connected network, in order to activate a series of identified “modern ruins”, consequence of the post-event city (post-expo 2010) and integrate them in the city fabric.
In this specific case, and connecting to the argument explained in the first answer, we believe the graphic style inspired by ‘Cities without ground’ helps us show the conceptual approach to the project, that aims to use those multiple levels of the city (as explored in the drawings on ‘cities without ground’) as an extension of the street.
How important is the perspective view in the representation of architecture? What do you try and convey through the latter?
Along the rest of the drawings and representational ways we use to explore concepts in our projects, we believe the perspective view, with its inherent characteristics (i.e. point of view, emphasis on the experiential aspect of the project…) is essential when exploring certain consequences of the project. We mainly use perspective view to explore the ways in which our projects can be potentially experienced, through a series of “scenarios”. At the same time, materiality, texture, relation to its immediate context, are aspects of a design we explore through the perspective view. To do so, we tend to embrace different techniques, either 3d digital modelling, construction of physical models, or creation of scaled prototypes (as seen in El Jicarito project+research) to enhance the different scales inherent to an architectural project and its physicality, perception, texture, or finish.
Knitting Shanghai: A manifesto on Post-Event cities_Competition Entry for “Passages . Shanghai”, 2014
We Believe an event city is an urban fabric designed to host massive amounts of people during a short period of time, creating an archipelago of autonomous island where bigness reigns and public space is fragmented. An urban fabric that quickly produces modern ruins.
We Propose a post-event city able to transform Bigness, through an integrated network of S/M/L activators that connect the different existing systems of transportation, where Passages contain program, enacting the ruins.
EL JICARITO SCHOOL 2015/2017
The project is an innovative low-cost school design that brings a community together through collaborative construction methods and local materials, and that creates educational spaces that enhance creativity.
knitknot architecture has partnered with the NGO Seeds of Learning to build a two-classroom school prototype for kindergarten and elementary school students. The school will include two classrooms, a multipurpose space, and a public square/playground. The aim is to explore new construction systems, such as the earth bag or hyper adobe, that take into account the complex internal dynamics of the communities in which the project is implemented and facilitate a more participatory and sustainable construction for the area. In other words, this project is to be understood not only as a building, but as a piece of infrastructure that takes into account technical developments but also socio-economic contextual realities.
After a successful crowdfunding campaign in May 2106, construction started on June 2016 and is currently ongoing.
MARL . Mixed Adapted Recycled Landscape_RUNNER UP PRIZE “City of Dreams Pavilion 2017” competition, 2017
MARL celebrates Governors Island as a potential opportunity to conceive a space where ideas around common and collective space could be formed. By virtue of its large scale, MARL is no longer a structure to be admired, but an infrastructure that aims to engage the public. MARL is a Collectively Own Public Space, promoting engagement with the material – from painting, climbing, moving, or photographing – and encouraging actions that in other New York public spaces are highly normalized through private-public partnerships. MARL vindicates the collective potential of action, transformation and change. Its earth-bag walls are not aimed to be looked at, but rather touched, painted, climbed, and stood upon.
A city of interior_Competition, 2015
PUBLIC SPACE. STRONG AND DEFINED
Jyväskylä is a city with a vast extension of green spaces. This “Interstitial Landscape” fills the space between buildings, and connections between them happen through a series of paths. This condition generates an interesting relationship between built spaces and nature; but, on the other hand, leaves the public space of the ground floor related only with housing private entrances. We believe that the existing landscape on Kortepohja should coexist with another typology of public space, intensively charged with activities and people. We seek to densify the neighborhood and attract a wider demographic group to live in the area; hence, we consider there is a need of a new typology of space, strictly devoted to the Public Domain.
aSIDEbSIDE_Competition Entry for Guggenheim Helsinki, 2014
The design for the Guggenheim Helsinki investigates the dichotomy between completely generic exhibition spaces and those designed for specific artistic expressions. In the proposal, specific and generic exhibition spaces complement and reactivate each other. At the same time, the exhibition of art has become increasingly dependent on constructive and conditioning technology. Technology is turning into one of the main media for new artistic expressions. Realizing that both digital and traditional arts require similar levels of museum technology, Knitknot designed a building that acts as infrastructural, rather than as a background for the art pieces. Reformulating Khan’s idea of served and servant spaces, a series of surfaces that defined closed gallery spaces on one side, and imprecise and surprising spaces on the other were conceived. Those interstitial spaces, defined by the external faces of the galleries, feed on technical elements to provide an experience which, for being unscripted, can be as interesting as that of traditional art.
“knitknot architecture is an international collective of architects, urban planners, artists and thinkers. Our work aims to explore new ways to approach the architectural practice in a more open and critical way. We defend that the aim of architecture goes beyond the built project, and different itineraries such as research, critical writing or development of projects that address social, cultural and economic issues are required to re-conceptualize the role of the architect as a social agent.
Additionally, our team aims to explore new ways of professional association. Taking advantage of new communication and digital systems, knitknot brings together members with different academic and professional backgrounds, working collaboratively from cities such as London, Paris, Los Angeles and New York.”