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Living Knitwork Pavilion at Burning Man 2023

Help us bringing this large-scale interactive textile art to the Playa! )(


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29 Supporters

29% of $9,800 goal

Team Members



2023 Burning Man Arts¬†ūüß∂ūüóľūü™©

"Once upon a time, in the heart of the Black Rock City desert, a knitted shade structure seamlessly melded ancient and contemporary designs and wisdom. As the sun traversed the sky and the winds swept through, she¬†swayed and danced in a symphony of life and living, as patterns, colors, and shadows began to reveal stories and spark imaginations. Her dynamic ambiance played with surrounding lights, presence, and movements ‚ÄĒ creating an immersive journey into a world of wonder, where art and engineering were fused to create an experience that transcended space and time."

One of the highlighted projects merging technology with the beauty and craftsmanship of fine arts, the Living Knitwork Pavilion recently received the 2023 Black Rock City Honoraria Grant from the Burning Man Organization. We are also honored to be featured in the Desert Arts Preview 2023, among the 12 other artworks that define the landscape of Burning Man: ANIMALIA. Join us from anywhere in this event for the official design unveil, and for a special 3D VR experience of the Living Knitwork Pavilion in BRCvr. 

Since Burning Man only partially funds the project's full budget (for textile materials and structure fabrication), your monetary support really helps us in realizing this dream work. The donation will cover the cost of tools rental, build-week infrastructure, artwork transportation from Boston to Black Rock City, crew support, hardware development and fabrication and any additional materials (lighting system, power+battery, textile treatment, and structural anchoring).



Our motivation

Burning Man has been blessed with majestic structural arts, including a couple of technical fabrics art, involving aesthetic shade structures and inflatables. Fabrics in particular, give a touch of fluidity, softness, and dynamic quality to the desert art landscape. There’s an exciting space here! to introduce new technologies, fine-crafts, and self-expression in these architectural fabrics.

Ancient textiles and reliefs have played a significant role in shaping the social, economic, and religious structures of communities across the globe. Iconic-indigenous clothing and carvings are imbued with unique designs and patterns. Some are believed to have magical powers and are designed to carry specific meanings and wishes. As storytelling media, these patterns, symbols, and experiences have brought together a sense of community, identity, and self-expression. We are inspired from the artistry used in traditional textiles of Indonesia, as well as the notion of Asian/Southeast Asian pavilion or pagoda serving as a communal space. 


Several of our inspirations include Balinese Pura, as a sacred site where community gathers. It provides spiritual space for meditation and discovery. The Gunungan, serving as a symbol in shadow-puppetry to indicate the transition of narratives; the patterns in this puppet-skin represent the cosmic balance between human and the other-mystical-magical world. Lastly, hand-written Javanese Batik, with its repetitive geometric patterns and flora-fauna motifs that signify various meanings and wishes - harmony, prosperity, growth, fertility, abundance, et cetera.

In this project, we infuse a new perspective of technical textiles by fusing novel materials, sensing technologies, and digital knitting to build an architectural skin and structure in the form of an interactive textile pavilion that can respond to various environmental and physical stimuli. This is achieved by seamlessly integrating optically and electrically-active yarns, such as photochromic, luminous, silver-plated yarns. We have also been playing with 3D structures, tensioning yarns, and thermoforming to tune the forms and tactility of the textile surface. 

Living Knitwork Pavilion is a dodecagonal pyramid structure consisting of 12 sectional fabrics and measuring 19ft tall and 26ft wide. Each knitwork pattern fuses the contemporary and the traditional. It has 90 textile reliefs parametrically distributed on a knitted-mesh surface and individually hand-designed to show 12 photo-encrypted stories of the future world through the composition of human relationship with nature and the built environments, involving organic and synthetic beings.

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The central structure of the pavilion is composed of an asymptotic gridshell, a lattice network of timber elements designed to optimize structural integrity while minimizing material usage. By tailoring the curves in the design, the gridshell organic forms and aesthetics seamlessly blend with the knitwork, amplifying a sense of fluidity and harmony to the entire pavilion. The antennas seamlessly integrated within the 12 knitworks receive an electrical field constantly sent by a central transmitter pole and drive an immersive lighting network in real-time.

During sunny days, hidden patterns of humans, nature, flora-fauna, and synthetic beings are revealed through photochromism. The pavilion, working as a shade structure by day and responsive lantern by night, serves as a communal place. Our presence, interactions, and energy-levels are constantly sensed and contribute toward the entire glow, visual effects, and ambiance of the space, as they are reprojected onto the pavilion at night as living memories, fostering and amplifying moments of discovery, reflection, and connectedness. 

Toward our sustainability efforts, the Living Knitwork Pavilion adopts the additive manufacturing of digital knitting, a technique known for its minimal waste production. Moreover, we take pride in incorporating recycled materials into this large-scale textile art, with 60% of our yarns derived from recycled plastic bottles. We are also thrilled to announce the selection of our art for the Solar Library, an effort to reduce generators and noise in Playa through the use of renewable energy sources. We are excited to work on reducing environmental footprint in our production processes and existence in Playa. We anticipate the pavilion having a rich post-burn life, as we exhibit her all around the world.  She will continue to spotlight the merge of the traditional and the contemporary, and serve as an educational springboard for multidisciplinary work at the intersection of art, culture, and technology through augmented textiles as media for artistic expression, mediation, and protection.


Support us!

We are really excited to bring this community art, research, and immersive experience to Playa. It's this amazing community that really empowers us to make and share this work. As we knit and we build, we would really appreciate your support in any form by donating through this page (any amount is really appreciated, we strive to update you about our progress! and donation over $1000 will receive a tangible token of appreciation from us! :) ). You can also help by donating the essential materials or tools we need or propose program ideas to do with the Pavilion (more info: www.livingknitwork.com/support).

We look forward to seeing you in the dust!
the Living Knitwork Pavilion team


Core Team: Irmandy Wicaksono (ID), Gabriela Bila Advincula (BR), Alfonso Parra Rubio (ES), Judyta Maria Cichoka (PL), Nicole Bakker (NL), Sam Chin (US), Tongge Yu (CN), Age van der Mei (NL)

Thanks to: BRC Honoraria, BRCvr, Phage/the Institute, Center for Bits and Atoms, Responsive Environments.

www.livingknit.work | @livingknitwork | [email protected]


Patterns of Living Knitwork

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29 Supporters

29% of $9,800 goal

Living Knitwork Pavilion