Jenny Sabin Studios, Ithaca, N.Y., is known for using knitting technologies to create structural and architectural applications. Sabin’s “exoKnit” at Neue House in New York City is a recent example of the designers pushing knitting beyond its traditional boundaries.
The exoKnit project is a community-centered, public pavilion pergola designed to embody the kind of urban street experience that became a necessity due to the pandemic. The studio says the project incorporates environmentally sensitive and responsive materials that transform with changes in light and program. An interior surface of soft, digitally knitted, responsive fibers changes color and glow in response to an integrated lighting system and changing programs. An exterior membrane of custom-designed vinyl components provides protection from the elements during the changing seasons and a semi-enclosed space.
The name refers to its segmented structure, like an exoskeleton, the material and processes of its design, and the relationship between its interior and exterior as an integrated space of gathering.