Fashion and Architecture Intertwine at the Design Innovation Hub
It is difficult for most people to find a connection between fashion design and architecture, but that is exactly what Krissi Riewe, an assistant professor in the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, and Jennifer Meakins, adjunct faculty in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, spent their summer doing at the Design Innovation Hub.
The duo worked together in the Design Innovation Hub’s Shared Faculty Studio, bringing with them high-tech, digital knit programming software and machinery to achieve their research goals. The goal of the cross-disciplinary project was to apply the pair’s “design knowledge and digital knit programming skills collaboratively to explore how architecture and fashion intersect,” said Riewe and Meakins. “Both create space and surround the body.”
Their exploration of knit designs focused on tactility, structure and adaptability, leading them to develop a common knit module designed to be stuffed and used for garments, interior design and furnishings.
“How the body feels within spaces, and how humans respond to space and textures that surround us,” was a crucial intersection of disciplines that became a focus of the project. This focus was exemplified in the garment and furniture pieces they designed, which make use of the same knit material.
At the end of their time in the studio the two walked away from each other learning more about the mediums they work with than they initially expected.
“I think when we started the summer we were really thinking that we would just be knitting and making things, but we quickly learned that [there] is so much more to the digital knitting process, like the maintenance and machine itself, that we weren't anticipating,” they said. “We learned as much about the technology and mechanics as we did about the actual design and production of knits, which actually connects more to the idea of handcraft than we anticipated.”