Material Imagination

Peter Zumthor describes the idea of the precise yet sensual use of materials arguing that the use of a certain material can bring out specific “meanings that can only be perceived in just this way in one building.”[1]   An understanding of how knitting operates within textile practice suggests ways of operating within architecture.  Knitting operations can be loosely classified as material stratagems, methodological stratagems and metaphorical stratagems, all with the potential to act as architectural ‘deceptions’ in order to construe and construct architecture.[2]   Needless to say, knitting’s architectural translation is always a game of interpretation involving play, looseness and slippage.


[1] Peter Zumthor, Thinking Architecture 2nd ed. (Birkhäuser: Basel, 2006), 8, 10.

[2] Although we can distinguish material, method and metaphor in knitting, they are impossible to completely separate as they are inherently linked through making.