jenny sabin installs light-absorbing knitted textile pavilion at cooper hewitt
image by brooklynarchitect




from now until august 21, 2016, the cooper hewitt, smithsonian design museum presents the fifth installment of its design triennial, this year under the theme of ‘beauty’. with a focus on aesthetic innovation, the exhibition features more than 250 works by 63 international designers and teams, and is organized across seven categories — extravagant, intricate, ethereal, transgressive, emergent, elemental, and transformative. 


as part of the ’emergent’ sector — a selection of projects that employ digital systems to generate unexpected forms — jenny sabin studio has conceived the ‘polythread knitted textile pavilion’ specifically for this exhibition in new york.

jenny-sabin-cooper-hewitt-design-triennial-beauty-polythread-knitted-textile-pavilionthe ‘polythread knitted textile pavilion’ has been realized specifically for the exhibition in new york




the installation’s architectural framework is inspired by both nature and mathematics, and is built from an assemblage of mediums: digitally knitted 3D elements, solar active and drake yarns, twill tape and aluminum tubing. the temporary pavilion employs both photoluminescent and light activated yarns that absorb, collect, and deliver luminance. from a practical standpoint, this portable and super-lightweight structure could be used outdoors to consume rays from the sun during the day, before releasing them at night.

jenny-sabin-cooper-hewitt-design-triennial-beauty-polythread-knitted-textile-pavilionthe installation’s architectural framework is inspired by nature and mathematics

jenny-sabin-cooper-hewitt-design-triennial-beauty-polythread-knitted-textile-pavilionthe temporary pavilion employs yarns that absorb, collect, and deliver light

jenny-sabin-cooper-hewitt-design-triennial-beauty-polythread-knitted-textile-pavilionthe structure is built from a mix of mediums, including photoluminescent, solar active and drake yarns

jenny-sabin-cooper-hewitt-design-triennial-beauty-polythread-knitted-textile-pavilionthis portable and super-lightweight structure could be used outdoors

jenny-sabin-cooper-hewitt-design-triennial-beauty-polythread-knitted-textile-pavilionthe yarns can consume rays from the sun during the day, and release them by night

jenny-sabin-cooper-hewitt-design-triennial-beauty-polythread-knitted-textile-pavilionthe piece is part of the ’emergent’ sector, a selection of projects that employ digital systems

jenny-sabin-cooper-hewitt-design-triennial-beauty-polythread-knitted-textile-paviliona knitted ‘vortex’ connects two parts of the pavilion

jenny-sabin-cooper-hewitt-design-triennial-beauty-polythread-knitted-textile-pavilionthe structure of the knitted pavilion references shapes and geometries found in the natural world

jenny-sabin-cooper-hewitt-design-triennial-beauty-polythread-knitted-textile-pavilionthe installation explores the intersection of architecture, mathematics and material 



project info:


design: jenny e. sabin, jenny sabin studio
design team: martin miller, charles cupples
fabrication: shima seiki, wholegarment
engineering design: arup
fabric finishing: andrew dahlgren
final finishing, sewing, and assembly: all sewn together
commissioned by: cooper hewitt, smithsonian design museum