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A First Look at Knit! - A Global Textile Exhibition Showcasing Extreme Creativity

Creative People

If there’s one silver lining to be gleaned from the state of the world right now, it’s a pretty great time to access some incredible international exhibitions and events that have never before been shared online, with a global audience.

Knit! is the fourth international design project hosted by Danish textile company Kvadrat, in which designers from around the world are invited to interpret the brand’s new knitted materials as original designs. For its 2020 iteration, 28 designers across the globe were commissioned to create sculptural works that sat somewhere between industrial design and craft.

Included in this year’s contributors are Sydney-based industrial designer Adam Goodrum and paper engineer Benja Harney of Paperform, marking the first time Australian creators had been asked to design works for the global initiative. That is not the only novelty of this year’s show, as it will also mark the exhibition’s inaugural online presence. Which means, you don’t have to go to Copenhagen to see it!

9th September, 2020

Australian industrial designer Adam Goodrum designed the ‘In Conversation’ pieces based on Victorian-era loveseats. Photo – Benajamin Lund.

Adam Goodrum‘s Victorian-inspired loveseats. Photo – Luke Evans.

Adam Goodrum’s ‘In Conversation’ series utilised a variety of knitted fabrics to create a kaleidoscopic skin. Photo – Luke Evans.

‘A Trifle of Colour’ by Yinka Ilori. Photo – Luke Evans.

‘Interpersona’ by Australian paper engineer, Benja Harney of Paperform. Photo – Benjamin Lund.

Left: Swatches of Kvadrat Febrik. Right: A sculpture from ‘Interpersona’ by Australian paper engineer, Benja Harney of Paperform. Photo – Christopher Morris.

Left: ‘If I Had Wings’ by Zaven. Photo – Luke Evans. Right: Stacks of Kvadrat Febrik’s knitted textiles. Photo – Courtesy Kvadrat Febrik.

‘Wave Zero’ by Maria Blaisse and Bin Xu. Photo – Benjamin Lund.

‘Living Room’ by Visibility. Left photo – Benjamin Lund. Right photo – Lana Ohrimenko.

Pieces being unboxed for display at Kvadrat’s headquarters. Photo – Luke Evans.

‘+Strap’ by Giulia Chéhab. Photo – Benjamin Lund.

‘Doric Columns, Kinetic Object’ by Objects of Common Interest. Photo – Luke Evans.

‘Salamandre’ by Lea Baert. Photo – Luke Evans.

‘Knit Together’ by Malmö Upcycling Service. Photo – Benjamin Lund.

‘Bola’ by Michel Charlot. Photo – Benjamin Lund.

Inside the Kvadrat workshop. Photo – Benjamin Lund.

Kvadrat’s headquarters in Ebeltoft, Denmark. Photo – Benjamin Lund.

Sasha Gattermayr
Wednesday 9th September 2020

‘Knitted textiles are still quite uncommon, or not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about interiors.’ – Njusja de Gier, curator

Initially slated to show at Salone during Milan Design Week earlier this year, the Knit! exhibition from Denmark-based textile company Kvadrat has taken the bumps and turns of 2020 in its stride. Launching online just last week with its own (very impressive!) interactive website, the exhibition is the fourth design project from the internationally renowned textile design company, and the first to celebrate its acquisition of contemporary textile innovators, Febrik.

Knit! sees 28 designers from around the world interpret the structural and decorative capabilities of Febrik’s knitted textiles. We’re not talking about regular yarn-bombing, we’re talking about some of the world’s top craftsman and industrial designers pushing woven materials to their functional limits. Two of these delegates are Australian makers: industrial designer Adam Goodrum (shortlisted in our Design Awards for the incredible furniture he created in partnership with Arthur Seigneur!) and Benja Harney of Paperform – a self-taught paper engineer.

‘Knitted textiles are still quite uncommon, or not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about interiors,’ says curator, Njusja de Gier, of the material-based brief. ‘But they provided the perfect canvas for our designers to push at the boundaries of what can be achieved within their respective disciplines.’

Adam Goodrum’s contribution is In Conversation – a bank of rotund armchair seating inspired by Victorian loveseats. The pieces are clad in a variety of knitted fabrics, coating the furniture frames in a kaleidoscopic skin. Benja’s is a more surrealist creation consisting of colourful upholstered sculptures decorated with eyes and lips, named InterPersona. Among the other pieces are Swiss designer Michel Charlot’s ‘Bola’ – an enormous sphere clad in stretched grey threads; and ‘Knit Together’ – a concertina-folded room divider made from compressed waste-fabric boards by Swedish sustainability outfit Malmö Upcycling Service. These works display extreme creativity and engineering finesse!

The complete curation has been installed at Kvadrat’s headquarters in Ebeltoft, Denmark, where a vast interactive exhibition has been captured for its online premiere. The exhibition is available for virtual exploration on its own website, where each designer leads a guided tour of their fully installed design. Watch the interview below with Benja Harney for a little taster!

View the Knit! exhibition here. See here to learn more about Kvadrat. 

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net