Knots & Knits

2022, Fiskars Village Art & Design Biennale

U-Joints – Knots & Knits is a glimpse into the manifold possibilities of intrinsic connections, unravelling the history of textiles, fabrics and ropework. Whether used in rigging, for lifting heavy objects, wrapping a lunch box or closing a gift, securing a funambulist’s highwire, keeping a climber from falling off a wall or creating adventurous playgrounds for children, knots are considered the oldest and most basic technique of joinery. Bridges, bamboo scaffoldings, fishing nets: all kinds of structures can trace their origins to the simple gesture of pulling a string through a loop. Knitting, in turn, creates anything from clothing to car interiors to entire architectural structures. When strings are intricately crossed, woven patterns are born. In the form of upholstery weaves, they lend comfort to our sofas, can buffer noise or explode into life-saving airbags. Electric cables, airplane wings and morphing membranes for vascular prostheses can be woven. Clothing and home textiles are unimaginable without weaving. Decorative tapestries cover walls to keep out the cold, while knitted, knotted, hooked and woven carpets and rugs cover floors and warm our feet. Woven wicker, rattan or birch bark creates baskets, chairs or shoes. Seamstresses master stitching in sewing work. Surgeons practice stitching for closing wounds. Women embroidered each night after dinner, whether for leisure or work. Needlework was used to embellish dresses or to stitch mischievous political messages into a piece of cloth.But the use of knits and knots is by no means old-fashioned: not long ago, a computer’s core memory was stitched, as are today, books, sneakers and NASA’s equipment for space.  

Visual identity by Graphic Thought Facility.

Featured joint projects by Anni Albers, Luisa Cevese, Clifford Ashley, Carole Baijngs, Estelle Bourdet, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, You-Chia Chen, Rebecca Collins, Dach and Zephir, Pete Decker, Pauline Deltour, Earnest Studio, Pierre Fouché, Shigeki Fuijshiro, Kai Hesari, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kate Jenkins, Ýr Jóhannsdóttir, Hella Jongerius, Chris Kabel, Karhu, Markku Kosonen, Wataru Kumano, Adrianus Kundert, Evey Kwong, Maria Lai, Ada Lovelace, Robin Pleun Maas, Outi Martikainen, Mary Queen of Scots, Masayoshi Matsumoto, Christien Meindertsma, Aino Michelsen, Thomas Missé, Takao Momiyama, Bruno Munari, Matilda Palmu, Gaetano Pesce, Philippe Petit, Tau Pibernat and Vera Castelijns, Irene Posch, Simone Post, Bertjan Pot, Rein Reitsma, Samy Rio, Garth Roberts, Marialaura Rossiello/Studio Irvine, Adrien Rovero, Kustaa Saksi, Katrina Sánchez Standfield, Brynjar Sigurðarson, Mikko Snellman, Ief Spincemaille, Peter Steinhauer, Studio Sanne Visser, Kiki van Eijk, Joep Verhoeven, Milou Voorwinden, Ulla-Stina Wikander, Marcel Wanders, Jamie Wolfond, Zaven

Loans by Ames, Armare Rope, Artemide, Cappellini, Dever Srl, Matthieu Cortat, ECAL, Fogo Island Workshops, Galerie kreo, Kaarnalaiva, Kvadrat, LaGalla23 productions, Lapuan Kankurit, Lindeman, Redfort, Sports Museum of Finland, Vitra, Karin Widnäs, Woodnotes      

In collaboration with Luovi Productions Kari Korkman, Helena Fernström, Anni Korkman, Iris Korkman, Rania Taina, Neea Rautio, Lauri Johansson.

© Aleksi Poutanen