U-JOINTS: Knots & Knits

Knots & Knits is the fourth part of the U-JOINTS research project and exhibition series by Andrea Caputo and Anniina Koivu. Seen for the first time at Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2018, U-JOINTS highlights the joints and connections used in design and architecture. Joints are rarely paid attention to as they are mostly invisible, hidden inside objects. The exhibition reveals these hidden details and invites visitors to appreciate their beauty and quality in objects and structures. In the old Granary of the Fiskars Village, Knots & Knits unravels the history of textiles, fabrics and ropes. Whether it’s about a rig, lifting heavy objects, or wrapping lunch or a present – knots are everywhere around us. The knot is considered the oldest method of connecting things.

Knots are used in rigging, for lifting heavy objects, or wrapping a gift; securing a funambulist’s highwire and creating adventurous playgrounds for children. Bridges, bamboo scaffoldings, fishing nets: all kinds of structures can trace their origins to the simple gesture of pulling a string through a loop. Knitting, in turn, creates anything from clothing to car interiors to entire architectural structures. When strings are intricately crossed, woven patterns are born. 

More than forty works by top international designers have been selected for the exhibition. Participants include Basketclub, Estelle Bourdet, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, You-Chia Chen, Pauline Deltour, Pierre Fouché, Kate Jenkins, Hella Jongerius, Chris Kabel, Kwangho Lee, Outi Martikainen, Masayoshi Matsumoto, Christien Meindertsma, Aino Michelsen, Bruno Munari, Matilda Palmu, Irene Posch, Bertjan Pot, Marialaura Rossiello, Katrina Sánchez Standfield, Ief Spincemaille, Kiki van Eijk, Sanne Visser, Milou Voorwinden, Ulla-Stina Wikander, Marcel Wanders, Zaven and many more. 

A joint – the union of two or more parts – is a fundamental element in almost any designed object. Joints come in all possible sizes, from nanoscale to a whole room. The materials used can range from plastic to steel, carbon, fibre, wood orwool. Joints are created, appropriated or personalised by designers, architects and engineers according to fit the needs at hand, whether ingeniously engineered or the result of garage tinkering. The joint is the kind of detail that holds the world together. A joint is often invisible; hidden elegantly within an object, it can be overlooked.