Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 6

[ BRIEFS ]
swatches
'Fabricating Networks'
amplifies the invisible
rchitect Felecia Davis used active textiles
and advanced knitting technologies to create
" Fabricating Networks, " on display at New York's
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) this past spring
as one of 11 projects featured in " Reconstructions:
Architecture and Blackness in America. " The
exhibition examined contemporary architecture
in the context of systemic racism and the histories
of discrimination and injustice in the U.S.
Davis's piece recalls Pittsburgh's Hill District,
a vibrant, predominantly Black neighborhood
in the early 20th century that was destroyed for
" redevelopment, " displacing some 8,000 people.
" Fabricating Networks " featured a large
suspended black textile flower made up of 34 knitted
cones, some of which included an embedded copper
yarn, which made the textile active. As visitors
walked around the piece, they heard sounds of
different electromagnetic waves captured in MoMA's
galleries-essentially, hearing that which is invisible.
Leah Resneck, knitting lab manager at NC State
University, assisted Davis in the fabrication of the
piece. Resneck told Shima Seiki U.S.A. that each
cone was knit on a N. SVR123SPSV 14G knitting
machine, using half-gauge to achieve a tubular state,
programming them to include three to four layers
to form " integrated channels along the length and
6 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / August 2021
circumference of each tube. These tubular channels
house the fiberglass and aluminum elements of the
sculpture's frame. "
Davis is an associate professor at the Stuckeman
Center for Design Computing in the School of
Architecture and Landscape Architecture at
Pennsylvania State University and is the director
of SOFTLAB@psu.
" I've been inspired to work with textiles because
this was a skill that I really enjoyed as a child,
learning how to sew, working with my mother,
working with my aunt, " Davis said in the MoMA
audio playlist for the exhibition. " Bringing that into
architecture, I can make buildings with textiles that
I can lift with my own body, that I can make with my
own body. So the textile was a source of liberation. "
A

Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021

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