RTD2015 05 Mutate: The Evolution of a Responsive Knit Design System
This smart textile design research is located at the intersection of biomimicry and responsive material systems. Using the inherent properties of natural fibres and knit structure, the aim is to develop responsive knitted fabrics, which question the conventional material systems necessary for smart textile design.
The work is informed by biological models derived from biomimetic research. Underpinning design research is a functional analysis of the responsive capacities of plants. This research is manifested through a framework derived from
specific biomimetic models; the pine cone hygromorph, and the hierarchical nature of plant materials. This framework is mapped against the fundamental components of a knitted fabric to establish a hierarchical model of knitting. Using this model a collection of knitted prototypes, constructed exclusively from natural fibres have been developed. These fabrics transform from 2D to 3D in response to changing moisture levels.
Whilst potential applications span the textiles sector, the impact of this research is more profound. This work represents a shift in thinking about responsive textiles. Rather than applying complex synthetics or e-textiles, my practice re-examines natural fibres and textile processes. Through the systematic application of a hierarchical model derived from biomimicry, a zero energy, 100% natural, responsive material system has been established.