The CATenary HOUSE explores a parametrically design knitting catenary structure. Taking advantage of different knitting stitch types, this project used tuck stitches and stockinette stitches to control the stretch of a knitted textile to create a sort of coffered catenary structure. Grashopper and Kangarro were used to design the overall form. Attractor curves were drawn on the base mesh to cull a set mesh edges in the design. This set of edges were given a length constraint in Kangaroo to prevent them from stretching as much as the rest of the mesh edges. In the simulation, this created the design of various ridges and bulges on the roof of the structure. The mesh and the desired set of culled edges were then translated into a knitting pattern. Where the edges that were intended to not stretch would result in tuck stitches. A tuck stitch results in a pucker in the fabric, similar to a cinch or gather which creates tightness and a restriction in the ability to stretch.
The resulting knitted textile shows the overall pattern of the tuck stitches as small puckers in the fabric. The textile is then attached to a framework to temporarily hold it upside-down during the shaping and hardening process. Gravel rocks were used to add weight to the fabric, and force the knitted loops into full stretch. The textile was then coated in a bio-resin to harden it in this form. These types of resins can be biodegradable, combined with the cotton yarn, this results in the final structure eventually being able to be biodegraded leaving no footprint. Once hardened the rocks and framework were removed and the structure was flipped up-right. The resulting structure was strong enough to support the weight of an average sized cat.

Roberto Greco