Erica Hörteborn, Malgorzata A. Zboinska
in Frontiers of Architectural Research, Volume 10, Issue 3, 2021, p. 669-691, ISSN 2095-2635
This study explores the design possibilities with knitted architectural textiles subjected to wind. The purpose is to investigate how such textiles could be applied to alter the usual static expression of exterior architectural and urban elements, such as facades and windbreaks. The design investigations were made on a manual knitting machine and on a CNC (computer numerically controlled) flat knitting machine. Four knitting techniques – tuck stitch, hanging stitches, false lace, and drop stitch – were explored based on their ability to create a three-dimensional effect on the surface level as well as on an architectural scale. Physical textile samples produced using those four techniques were subjected to controlled action of airflow. Digital experiments were also conducted, to probe the possibilities of digitally simulating textile behaviours in wind. The results indicate that especially the drop stitch technique exhibits interesting potentials. The variations in the drop stitch pattern generate both an aesthetic effect of volumetric expression of the textile architectural surface and seem beneficial in terms of wind speed reduction. Thus, these types of knitted textiles could be applied to design architecture that are efficient in terms of improving the aesthetic user experience and comfort in windy urban areas.
Keywords: Textile architecture; Knitted textiles; Kinetic architecture; Wind; Aesthetic qualities; Digital textile simulation