ECAL low tech factory   rocking chair knits winter hats ECAL low tech factory   rocking chair knits winter hats
nov 05, 2012

ECAL low tech factory rocking chair knits winter hats

‘rocking knit’ by ECAL students damien ludi and colin peillex photo © nicolas genta image courtesy of ECAL

shown in the ruckstuhl building as part of ECAL‘s ‘low-tech factory’ exposition during designers’ saturday in langenthal, switzerland is ‘rocking knit’ – a design that makes the transition to the winter season a little less onerous. students of university of art and design lausanne damien ludi and colin peillex created a chair that will fashion its user a beanie as they leisurely rock back and forth, activating gears that put the machine to work as its sitter relaxes. the project is in response to the exhibition’s theme, where students were required to reinterpret the idea of manufacture – deconstructing the fabrication process of a product to a slower, more considered pace. designers’ saturday showcased the work in the ruckstuhl carpet factory, appropriately surrounding the work by spools of thread and feverish machinery, connecting concept and real-world techniques in a meaningful way.


a video showing how the ‘rocking knit’ works

the project is in response to the exhibition’s theme, where students were required to reinterpret the idea of manufacture photo © nicolas genta image courtesy of ECAL

DESIGNERS’ SATURDAY 2012 design is a statement november 3rd – 4th, 2012

the first designers’ saturday took place in langenthal in 1987. since then there have been 13 of these biennial occasions, to provide support for the swiss design scene whilst giving it a publicity platform and stimulating its further development.

designers’ saturday happens at a place where design is actually created. designers’ saturday is not just a product show held on characterless trade fair premises. instead it is a stage where authentic design skills are put on view at the atmospheric production sites of the companies involved.

the event is an international meeting point for the design world. the presentations of numerous internationally known firms will be accompanied by the cartes blanches of both national and international colleges of art and design.

  • I dont like that knit style, does it make other styles or patterns? otherwise its useless

    startist says:
  • Fabulous! A human powered knitting machine! Optional colors and styles would be incredible.

    Miel says:
  • Cooolll!

    Jughead says:
  • Sex, drugs, and rock’n’knit!

    Danno says:
  • I want one

    greta says:
  • Superb! – encourages focus on “surplus” kinetic energy use.

    Nico says:
  • danno! knice!!

    hsien says:
  • Its a really nice idea, but I think the use of using gravity and the weight to turn the knitting contraption is a bit inefficient. Since he\’s rocking, why not have a mechanism that took the input straight off the rocking chair against the floor. In my mind it would be much more powerful as you\’d have the weight of the person sitting. I know it doesn\’t need to be powerful, but you could decrease the power and up the speed to make many more revolutions of the knitting mechanism, to knit faster.

    Sandy says:
  • We read this in the Heinrich Boell story – this is just plagiarism!

    peen says:
  • So this is the new big thing? Designer designs not just the product, but the whole machine to create a sort of \”production performance\”? Seen this kind of approach quite often in the last month…
    Interesting? – Yes.
    Meaningful? – No.

    dj says:
  • thanks

    pole says:
  • Critics beware, these are student projects and obey educational imperatives… A nice creative exercise, very DADA in a Calder kind of way…. One can only hope the students involved in the installation will henceforth add motion to their designs in a meaningful way (power conservation ?)

    I love a school that knows how to promote itself, well done ECAL ! Continuez !

    romain says:
  • Oh this is cool !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Etsy knitter this is your tool 🙂
    can it knit socks too ?

    thejoyofcolor says:
  • Now I have seen everything

    Mary says:
  • LOVE IT

    Lee Ann says:
  • I could knit with needles and make a hat with the rocking chair at the same time. I always wished I could knit two things at once and now it is an actual possibility. Awesome idea!!

    Margaret says:
  • I think this is incredible. I would love to get one of these for my grandmother — she used to love to knit, but since losing her eyesight, she has been unable to. Since she already really likes rocking chairs, it would be perfect to let her enjoy an old hobby!

    Catalina says:
  • I love this! You could knit the matching scarf while you rock. (Sandy, the article says the theme of the project was to slow things down, not speed them up.) I think it’s brilliant.

    Meda says:
  • I would like to thank some of the commenters for being such ego-maniacs that they have to share their hypercritical judgment on all things at all times. Your jaded arrogance is a blessing to the planet earth. Keep it up.

    Shane says:
  • Aaawww, Shane, did someone disagree with you? Were U 1 of the designers? A Friend? Hey, here’s an idea: pull your thumb out of your mouth and suck it up…everyone, even you, is entitled to their own opinion. Read it over- it pretty well spans the canyon that divide the true designers from people who thin DADA is Mommy’s friend. No harm no foul. Personally, I liked Romain’s remark- gave me something to learn more about. Plus the whole kinetic energy thing..open your mind, dude.

    Pashmaniac says:
  • LOL with delight! I’ve loved and done needlecrafts for a very long time; I now have Rheumatoid + 3 other kinds of arthritis, so I would LOVE this machine!! Oh Santa Baby, do please bring me one for Christmas! And to the designer(s), GREAT IDEA! DO EXPAND ON IT AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!

    Kay Harms says:

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