karen duan


Fall 2013-2014 / University of Michigan Research Through Making (RTM) Exhibition
Research Assistant / Assembly Team
Project Leads: Sean Ahlquist, Wes McGee, Anthony Waas

Knit Architectures

A body of work at the intersection of machine knitting and architecture, utilizing both physical modeling and computational simulation to create complex elastic structures.

    The assembly of pre-stressed, lightweight structures is an exercise in deft muscle. Case in point: a fiberglass rod is bent — against its will — secured with tape, and then slipped into a textile robe, before we lash it to its neighboring module, restraining until it settles in. 

    Still, members in tension are prone to crack. They snap behind us, and we find ourselves navigating through the textile, patching up our broken rods. Such exists the volatile, recalcitrant structure, whose assembly marks my first experience in a complex, multi-pronged process of making.

    As part of the research and assembly team, I constructed a collection of tensile study models over the Fall semester, before serving as a core fabricator on the final installation in the Spring. This collaboration through collective making sparked my interest in interdisplinary research, which carried throughout the rest of my education.

Project in the press /

Photo credit: Sean Ahlquist, Research Through Making: Knit Architectures

RTM 2013-14: Part 5 - Knit Architectures from Taubman College on Vimeo

            ︎ Home
Next Project ︎           
© Karen Duan, 2020