OYUNA at LDF - Study O Portable

Echoes

For London Design Festival 2014 we collaborated with three starkly different design practices. The pieces were exhibited as part of Brompton Design District in September 2014. 

Bernadette Deddens and Tetsuo Mukai were instinctively drawn to the way in which something completely distinct (a binary-style code) can inform something else entirely distinct (a knitted product). It is an interest that has informed much of their work to date.

Their interest was compounded upon discovering that during the Second World War many countries banned the posting of knitting patterns for their ability to exist also as secret codes. Resistance forces in Belgium even employed elderly ladies whose rooms overlooked railway yards to ‘knit’ different stitches for the different trains they saw coming and going.

The pieces that you see here were created using a specially created colour gradation code of 1’s and 0’s, starting with 00000… and ending with 11111… Of course the 1’s and 0’s don’t produce a completely smooth transition from one colour to another, but when translated into knit and viewed from a distance it gives the effect of all in-between colours appearing and disappearing across the piece. The bridging of colour ‘0’ to colour ‘1’ in turn portrays the very intention of the code through the colours it manifests.

Each piece that you see here is knitted using exactly the same sequence of 1’s and 0’s – the reason they appear so differently is due to the differing widths of the pieces. Each pattern mirrors itself between front and back, between code and knit, through gradation between colour ‘0’ and ‘1’.
The process for each was extremely labour intensive: every individual stitch had to be plotted by hand individually – up to half a million stitches for each product. The plotted stitches were then sent to Mongolia where a programmer reproduced each pattern within a special knitting programme. Each piece took five days to programme.