'curved twist' by fay mccaul + kia utzon-frank creates coils of color at collect london

'curved twist' by fay mccaul + kia utzon-frank creates coils of color at collect london


‘curved twist’ is an installation created by designers fay mccaul and kia utzon-frank for the 2017 edition of london’s collect international art fair. the large scale piece represents a collaboration between the duo that combines mccaul’s penchant for materiality and color with utzon-frank’s innovative ‘louver twisting comb’ mechanism.

curved twist fay mccaul kia utzon frank
the piece combines mccaul’s penchant for materiality with utzon-frank’s innovative ‘louver twisting comb’



standing at two and half meters tall, ‘curved twist’ finds its origins in utzon-frank’s cordless shutter system, designed as an alternative to conventional window blinds. called the ‘KUFtwist, the system works by attaching movable modules to slats of fabric that ‘twist’ the fabric when moved, reorienting the slats from an open to a closed position. mccaul, meanwhile, works in textiles — combining contemporary materials with traditional knitting methods to create light-reactive pieces that change depending on luminosity and perspective.

mccaul has knitted a series of 42 italian cotton ribbons for the piece
image by dunja opalko



‘curved twist’ will be displayed at london’s saatchi gallery until the conclusion of the collect art fair on february 6th, 2017. to create it, mccaul has knitted a series of 42 italian cotton ribbons (8cm x 250cm), each housing 484 laser-cut acrylic rods, coated in light-reactive dichroic film and inserted by hand into specially knitted pockets. with 2,904 rows of cotton per slat, mccaul has manually knitted 121,968 rows and pockets for 20,328 rods – making curved twist one of the most demanding pieces of her career.

the piece will be displayed at the 2017 edition of london’s collect international art fair
image by dunja opalko



as each module is moved by hand the fabric is twisted along its length, creating a fluctuation of color and form that the duo hope will immerse viewers in its kaleidoscopic surfaces. ‘it’s a frame shaped structure that curves into a J shape (…) and the idea is that someone can stand in the curved bit and be immersed within the installation entirely’, explains mccaul. the modules, and the structures overall cladding, are made from recycled yoghurt pots from smile plastics that lend a shimmering silver hue to the project. ‘we both work with our hands and we people to interact with it’, says utzon-frank, ‘we want people to be able to touch and play with what we do.’ beyond the exhibition, the designer sees the mechanism being used in a multitude of situations including room dividers, façade systems and bespoke installations.

as each module is moved by hand, the fabric is twisted along its length
image by dunja opalko

the duo hopes the fluctuation of color and form will immerse viewers in its kaleidoscopic surfaces
image by dunja opalko

the modules, and the structure’s overall cladding, are made from recycled yoghurt pots from smile plastics
image by dunja opalko

the ‘louver twisting comb’ mechanism was originally presented as part of utzon-frank’s RCA graduate showcase
image courtesy of KUFstudios

the designers imagine it being used in room dividers, façade systems and bespoke installations
image courtesy of KUFstudios

combined with different materials, the effect can be mesmerizing 
image courtesy of KUFstudios

different orientations result in a variety of sculptural interpretations
image courtesy of KUFstudios

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    design news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,531 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample