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The Boston waterfront context for Design Museum Boston’s Street Seats Design Challenge led us to begin this exploration with the rich history of maritime knotting. Rather than recreate any literal knot in Pop Art scale, Knot bench uses over three miles of nautical line in different ways to create a springy, resilient surface that is as resistant as it is surprisingly pleasant to touch. The rock-like form of Knot bench is similarly derived from a number of referents –- from the Victorian round settee to the bioluminescent coral-encrusted underwater artifact —that furthers Pillow Culture’s investigation of an upholstered landform.
Along with sixteen other benches, located around Boston’s Fort Point Channel, KNOT bench is on public view and can be experienced until October 2013. The Design Museum Boston hosts a bi-monthly guided tour every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. http://designmuseumboston.org/exhibits/streetseats/
KNOT bench Team: Natalie Fizer, Emily Stevenson, Joseph Chun Jr., Sutton Murray
special thanks to:
Lauren Kogod – Baggywrinkler extraordinaire
Nancy Kim and Lindy Thorsen – our loopers
photographer: Eric Payson
C.E. Beckman Co., marine wholesale & service station
Crest Foam Ltd, outdoor reticulated foam
Fablok Mills Inc., knitting, dyeing & finishing
R & W Rope, marine cordage
pillow friends: Rodridgo Diaz, Glenn Forley, Michael Morris, Suzan Strum
Knot: A twisting, turning, tying, knitting, or entangling of ropes or parts of a rope so as to join two ropes together or make a finished end on a rope…
The KNOT bench takes its cues from the rich maritime and nautical history of Fort Point Channel which ocean-going sailing vessels once populated. Essential to every sailor and seaman was the knowledge of rope knotting and tying. Used in rigging, docking, mooring, anchoring, and netting, nautical tying had a functional as well as a decorative role. Sailors would use their knot tying skills to produce “knot art” when they had time off during the “dog watch.” This form of knot art resulted in maritime objects of extraordinary beauty such as boat fenders made of woven rope that cushioned a blow from another vessel, or early nineteenth-century ceramic jugs whose knotted covers acted as a protective cushion. These artifacts along with various knots such as the cow hitch, lark’s head, and reef knot, served as inspiration for KNOT bench.
The KNOT bench features an innovative mix of materials and construction techniques. Evoking a Victorian circular settee, KNOT bench is specifically designed to engage users of different ages with its varied seat heights. This omni-directional bench will be installed in a park setting along Boston’s historic Fort Point Chanel linking the waterfronts of downtown and South Boston- a seam between the Financial District and the emerging Boston Innovation District.
BIRTH of the Bench
In the studio with PILLOW Culture collaborators JJ Chun and Sutton Murray producing the beginnings of a working prototype for KNOT bench.
Yoshiko’s AirFlow-er were part of Columbia University’s GSAPP PERMANENT CHANGE: PLASTICS IN ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING 2011Conference.With assistance from Shuning Zhao and John Hooper.
THE FOURTH COLUMBIA CONFERENCE ON ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING AND MATERIALS MARCH 30 — APRIL 1, 2011
Alyce Santoro: Philosoprops & Ontological Apparatus From The Center For The Obvious & (IM)Permacultural January 10 – February 16, 2013 Klemens Gasser & Tanja GrunertTuesday, February 5th, 2013
Alyce Santoro, inventor of Sonic Fabric and a Pillow Culture contributor, has a fantastic show at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert Galley, 524 West 19th Street NY, NY. On view is Alyce’s beautiful copper tufted headpiece, Orieller: Listening Pillow, originally included in Pillow Pageant. Also sit on one of Alyce’s raisin pillows and contemplate the expansion of the universe.
New Jersey Film Festival www.njfilmfest.com/
Offering visitors a slightly softer rock upon which to sit while viewing DUMBO’s magnificent waterfront, Twenty-Four Stones I’d Like to Know presents nine giant upholstered boulders in Brooklyn Bridge Park. On view as part of the 2011DUMBO Arts Festival, this project is the brainchild of artist Elizabeth Demaray and Pillow Culture. Each stone sports it’s own uniquely fitted cozy-style covering in plush striped fabric and EZ Dri® outdoor reticulated foam. Twenty-Four Stones asks the age old question: can you ever make a stone any softer?
Through this unlikely marriage of materials, Twenty-Four Stones considers the relationship between monumentality and comfort via a familiar object – the pillow. In this unique project, Emily Stevenson and Natalie Fizer of Pillow Culture will be using each rock pattern as a template to re-construct the underlying boulders in order to generate a geometrized version of each stone. Acting as prototypes, each stone will be re-created as part of a limited edition in their Mega Pillow series.
Pillow Culture, co-founded by architects Emily Stevenson and Natalie Fizer, is dedicated to promoting the pillow. Using current material technologies, Pillow Culture designs and produces, as well as collaborates with artists to create innovative limited edition pillows that relate to human comfort, beauty, and well-being.
New York artist Elizabeth Demaray knits sweaters for plants, fabricates alternative housing for hermit crabs and famously familiarized a 10-ton Nike-Hercules Missile by upholstering it in 400 sq. ft. of satin.
Thank you to our sponsor Crest Foam for their generous contribution of EZ Dri® outdoor foam.
2011 DUMBO Arts Festival, Brooklyn Bridge Park – Main Street Friday September 23 6-9pm, Saturday September 24 12-8pm, Sunday September 25 12-8pm
Pillow Culture is tickled to be part of Corian’s O- SUITE, designed by Morris Sato Studio for the trade show INSPIREDESIGN, at the World Market Center, Las Vegas.read more…