Pnit takes the form of a macro-scaled knit fabric swatch in honor of Providence's rich history in the textile industry. Designed for PVD Fest, it draws that history vibrantly into the heart of the present city and brings a fresh dynamism to a familiar downtown thoroughfare. Installed on the outward face of a concrete slab parking lot, its intricate swooping patterns and curves offer a soft and playful contrast to the surrounding stone buildings.
Inflatable Design: Matthew Muller, August Lehrecke, Levi Bedall
Inflatable Fabrication: Matthew Muller, August Lehrecke, Levi Bedall, Staveley Kuzmanov
Light Fabrication and Design: Smooth Technology
Pnit is activated by the life of the street, and as people progress down Washington St the variegated form of the installation reveals itself as the stacked rounds of its silhouette unfold into the stunning array of the knit design and condense again in hindsight. Though stationary, the experience of the installation moves with the viewer and offers a sweet spot in their movement down the road.
At night, the programmed LEDs transform the piece into a fluid tapestry of light. As the colors change throughout the form new patterns continuously emerge and dissolve, ensuring that no visit will be quite the same. As Pnit's 5 month long installation unfolds new light patterns will be introduced, encouraging people to revisit and experience its changing state.
In our practice we push the boundaries of textile-based construction, so the image of the knitting swatch is also an ode to our love of fabrics, flexibility, and the strength of soft things. Pnit demonstrates these same qualities of textiles through its calligraphic curves and its weather-ready durability.
Though seemingly solid, Pnit is actually a series of hollow inflated fabric tubes, which allowed us to achieve this massive scale within the structural load of the supporting structure. Knit fabrics are a part of our daily lives—they cloth us and keep our beds warm—and yet as many of us lose track of the way the objects we interact with are made, it can be easy to overlook the intrinsic structural beauty of fabrics. Pnit magnifies the most basic knit stitch pattern so that this elegant and simple strength can be seen and the mechanics of it understood.