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Knotty: the collection of digital benches that transforms waste into art

Knotty Alcova The New Raw ©Mathijs Labadie
Knotty: the collection of digital benches that transforms waste into art it has been modified: 2023-04-02 di Benedetto Fiori

The Dutch design studio The New Raw, founded by architects Panos Sakkas and Foteini Setaki, will participate in the Milan design week from 17 to 23 April 2023 with the "Knotty" project. It is a collection of benches that explores the boundaries of digital craftsmanship and materiality, exhibited at Alcova, an exhibition space located in the former slaughterhouse of Porta Vittoria.

“Knotty” was inspired by knitting techniques, where plastic waste is treated as a continuous thread that bends, twists and intertwines to create an intriguing tactile texture similar to that of textiles. The benches, made in three different shapes and sizes and in two colors (mint and peach), present a silhouette that invites interaction and spontaneous use.

The 3D sculpted texture of the material, made up of thick, seemingly soft knots, creates a tactile, permeable, load-bearing surface for indoor and outdoor furniture or other architectural applications. The "knitted patterns" increase functionality by allowing water drainage and avoiding internal structures, and can become ornaments and construction units that embody a new digitally elaborated materiality.

The rigid benches, created digitally, undergo a deformation during their materialization in the physical world due to factors such as temperature and mechanical properties of the material. The resulting deformations and imperfections make each object unique and enveloping.

“Knotty” represents the continuation of the studio's ongoing research, which began in 2017 and was inspired by nature and craftsmanship to transform recycled plastic through the development of tools and new approaches that reinvent craftsmanship in the digital context and automated contemporary.

According to the founders of the project, the aim is to tangibly express the transition from traditional to digital craftsmanship and from the virtual to the physical, through a touch of originality. The use of analogue knitting techniques on large hard surfaces is a tribute to the continuous thread of the production process. The New Raw is committed to creating a new formal language of digital craftsmanship that combines traditional manual work with digital production.

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