Graded Knit Skins


Architectural Research

Tan Ying Yi, Kenneth Tracy, Christine Yogiaman

Quek Yu Han, Chia Pei Zhi, Kwan Wai Hin, Sruti Niranjan, Tim Yap Ming En, Chiu Po Heng, Wee Yu Hui, Ho Jin Teck Daryl

Wah Wei Glass & Aluminum Pte Ltd, Imagene Creative Pte Ltd

Knit Patterned Flow Pavilion is a spatial envelope formed by discrete knitted panels that seeks to amplify Singapore’s faint breezes to improve its interior and exterior thermal comfort. Its global and localized forms are informed by computational fluid dynamics (CFD): its parabolic hyperboloid global geometry funnels wind through its interior, while its localized scallop-shaped panels create textured undulations that deflect and hasten wind flows.

The pavilion’s skin is the cumulation of Ying Yi’s PhD research (‘Graded Knit Skins’) which explores the computational design and manufacture of multi-material machine-knitted textiles. The research capitalizes on the principles of computer numerical control (CNC) knitting to create differentiated patterned membranes out of glass fiber and spandex yarns to confer localized regions of varied elasticities within each piece of textile. These textiles interact with flexible Delrin rods inserted diagonally into its surface which bend and create the freeform interior. This assemblage of 35 uniquely shaped doubly curved panels is mounted on a bent thin aluminum pipe frame using 3D printed joints that interface with glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) rods.

Knit Patterned Flow Pavilion is funded and supported by a ZJU-SUTD Seed grant and the SUTD Digital Manufacturing and Design Centre. It is also supported by the Architecture and Sustainable Design pillar of SUTD.

Photographs are courtesy of Lee Tat Lin.

Further reading:
Tan, Y.Y., Chia, P.Z., Quek, Y.H., Tracy, K.J. and Yogiaman, C. (2022). Multimaterial Knit Skins: A Design-to-Fabrication Workflow for Mass Customized Freeform Membrane Panels. Technology| Architecture+ Design, 6(2), pp.184-199.

Tan, Y. Y. (2021). Graded Knit Skins – Design and Fabrication of Curved Modular Facade Cladding Panels. In: A. Globa, J. van Ameijde, A. Fingrut, N. Kim, T.T.S. Lo. PROJECTIONS – Proceedings of the 26th CAADRIA Conference – Volume 1, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Online, 29 March – 1 April 2021, Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA). pp.733-742.

Tan, Y. Y., Tracy, K. J. and Viray, E. (2020). Graded Knit Skins: Design & Fabrication of Modular Membrane Façade Panels Using Bespoke Multi-material Knitted Textiles Shaped by Bendable Rod Assemblies. PhD thesis, Singapore University of Technology and Design.

Tan, Y.Y. and Quek, Y.H. (2019). Graded Textile Shaping: Manufacture of Curved Cladding Panels using Multi-material Knitted Preforms. In Proceedings of IASS Annual Symposia (Vol. 2019, No. 6, pp. 1-8). International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS).