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SO – IL’s Common Thread: Textile Innovation

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SO – IL‘s Common Thread installation at the 2024 Bruges Triennial is a stunning example of architectural innovation and homage to local heritage. This textile masterpiece weaves together the past and the present, drawing inspiration from Bruges’ lace-making tradition to create a modern marvel of 3D knitted textiles.

The project transforms a previously hidden 19th-century monastery courtyard into an immersive pavilion, using a 3D knitted textile passage to connect it to the city. This bridge-like structure not only provides physical access but also serves as a metaphorical link between history and modernity.

Drawing from Bruges’ rich history of lace-making, SO – IL’s design pays tribute to the city’s craft traditions. The intricate form of the installation mimics the wave-like patterns of bobbin lace, creating a play of light and shadow reminiscent of Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave.’

Collaborating with TU Delft, the team used a programmable 3D knitting machine to explore the geometric possibilities of their design. The resulting fabric varies in density, creating a dynamic and visually engaging structure that invites exploration and contemplation.

Common Thread not only celebrates Bruges’ heritage but also showcases SO – IL’s commitment to structural innovation. Working closely with Summum Engineering, the studio pushed the boundaries of standard materials to create a unique and thought-provoking installation.

This project is a testament to the power of architecture to blend history, craftsmanship, and technology into a seamless whole. It is a reminder that the past is not separate from the present but rather a foundation upon which we can build a vibrant and dynamic future.

SO – IL’s Common Thread is a must-see at the 2024 Bruges Triennial, offering visitors a glimpse into the intersection of tradition and innovation in contemporary architecture updates. It serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and celebrating our cultural heritage while embracing the possibilities of the future.

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