New York City
exoKnit is a community-centred and innovative public pavilion pergola commissioned by the Neue House in New York City.
Since 2012, Jenny Sabin has explored ways to break down barriers of knitting for fashion and branch into structural and architectural applications. Sabin constantly incorporates a blend of science, art, and technology to bring new perspectives to ways we see structures around us.
Jenny’s previous projects include myThread Project @ Nike Stadium (2012), The Beacon @ Thomas Jefferson University (2016), Polythread @ Cooper Hewitt (2016), Lumen at MoMA PS1 (2017), LUSTER for House of Peroni (2018), the Ada @ Microsoft Research Building (2019), and now the exoKnit at Neue House in NYC, Sabin has continuously pushed knitting beyond traditional boundaries. The studio uses Shima Seiki’s WHOLEGARMENT flat knitting technology in many of its installations.
exoKnit from Jenny Sabin Studios is described as follows:
“exoKnit, a community-centered and innovative public pavilion pergola commissioned by the Neue House in New York City, embodies the new urban street experience that outdoor pergolas originally generated through functional necessity caused by the pandemic, as a semi-permanent and vibrant destination and space of gathering for diverse publics.”
“exoKnit features advanced digital fabrication and emerging technologies to incorporate environmentally sensitive and responsive materials that transform with changes in light and program. Jenny Sabin Studio’s mission is to create locally driven, engaging, and transformative spaces together with diverse communities and the expressed intentions of the Neue House to promote inventive, dynamic public design, celebrate the unique creative cultural and physical landscape of the Neue House MSQ outdoor Pavilion.”
“Specifically, the project features an undulating series of active-bending arches that correspond with the local street context and provide a diverse array of programmed interior functions and seating areas. An interior surface of soft, digitally knitted, responsive fibres changes colour 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 for a variety of programs.”
“The name, exoKnit, refers to its segmented structure, an exoskeleton, the material and processes of its design, and the relationship between its interior and exterior as an integrated space of gathering. Specializing in innovative generative design and digital fabrication which looks to hyper-local inspiration to generate spaces, Jenny Sabin Studio is invested in opportunities for varied, material, and community-orientated interventions.”
“For design and architecture in the public realm, Jenny Sabin Studio advocates for a bottom-up, localized approach, where wider experiences and diversity are key to not only promoting but also physically generating projects. Jenny Sabin Studio firmly believes that collaboration across disciplines, practice, and industry fosters inclusivity and diversity, and works regularly within local communities, scientists, and engineers, employing architects, designers, and artists.”