Wind Powered Knitting Machine
An experimental sculpture tracks urban wind through knitting.
The Wind Knitting Factory, created by Merel Karhof, is a wind powered machine that continuously knits a scarf that visualizes in real time the amount of urban wind used in the process.
Karhof explains the project:
I define my work within the public space. I use elements that people share, from the most obvious thing like the wind, to ignored details like the pattern on a manhole cover. In my approach to design, I choose a specific heritage and make people experience it in a new way. ‘Wind Knitting Factory’ demonstrates this approach. Walking in the city of London, I gave myself the constraint to focus on an immaterial element: the wind. The idea was to use the wind to power a machine, which will create a product at the end. I designed a small wind knitting factory that illustrates a little production process from the outside of a building towards the inside. The machine visualizes directly what you can produce with the present amount of urban wind. Along the façade, the knitwear moves slowly through the window into the building as a long scarf, going faster at high wind speed. Every now and then, the wool is harvested and rounded off in individual labelled scarves. The time to knit one is related to its length, and people will protect their neck from the element that has actually conceived the scarf. I also like to use my designs as a way to communicate the history about an area where people live.