Every year, as part of London’s design festival, the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington hosts the Digital Design Weekend. During this event, artists, designers, and technologists offer free workshops and showcase immersive experiences that explore the convergence of art, design, and cutting-edge technology.
As part of the Design Weekend, we supported artist Ninon Ardisson on ‘Sensing Patterns,’ an interactive installation. This installation invited visitors to both hear and feel sonified knitting patterns through wearable SubPac technology. It also allowed them to create their own patterns while knitting.
Sensing Patterns explores the relationship between the structure of knitting and the unique material qualities that result from repeating specific instructions. It also examines how these material properties can be transformed into various sensory experiences. Additionally, the piece investigates new methods for digitally recording artefacts and emphasises the interconnectedness between the creation of knitted fabric, code, and gesture.
The sounds were derived from 6 different knitting patterns, the pieces used pendulum waves as a generative system to produce rhythmic patterns and pitch sets. Pendulum waves and knitting sequences demonstrate how simplicity and repetition, guided by underlying rules or algorithms, can lead to the emergence of complexity and beauty.
The synchronised, phase-varying swings of the pendulums create interweaving rhythmic patterns mirroring the repetition of stitches and rows forming intricate textures. It is these rhythmic patterns that enable a sensory experience of knitting sequences.
The sound design weaves together piano, hitting wool on the soft pedal, pure vibrations and women’s voices -mirroring the rhythmic pattern of the pieces.