StudioTJOA is a fascinating design company that works on a lot of interesting high tech projects, such as a ThermalSwitch facade for building renovations, but they are committed to utilizing crafts of the past (including crochet). They use these “analog” techniques directly in their projects as well as abstractly using them to inform their designs. I find their work so inspiring!
We’ll start with the Lilypad, which is their most straightforward crochet piece. This is a “statement pieces used to create a focal point in space”. In other words, it is a piece of art. It is approximately 5′ across but made of hand crocheted lightweight material. It can be hung on the wall or placed on the ground, and it is buoyant so it can be used as pool art as well. This design is an art piece for home, office or other institutions.
The Basket is a similar type of crochet art to the Lilypad. It is basket-shaped, obviously, but otherwise serves the same purpose as a focal point or statement piece. It can be used as indoor or outdoor art and is, of course, crocheted by hand.
Lilypads and Petals is kind of a combination of the two pieces above but was specifically designed as an art installation. The basic Lilypad was altered to a more curved design to represent petals. “Each Lilypad was crocheted by hand from a large spool of 1″ foam that was custom made in purple” for the installation which took place in 2015 at the Denver Art Museum.
Next up is the Acoustic Crochet Installation, which is a crochet wall piece, similar in a sense to the original Lilypad except that it is rectangular instead of round. This piece is designed not only as a work of wall art but also to create a specific sound effect: “the echo in an office call room”. It is hand crocheted with polyethylene rod – a foam rod construction material; the same material is used throughout the products showcased here. The studio explains in a KnotWe interview, “The scale and feel of the material is a large part of the emotion that these pieces invoke.”
This crochet work is made by StudioTJOA co-founder Alex Worden who was interviewed by TextileArtist.org. In that interview we learned that his grandmother crocheted, we find out who some of his crochet influences have been, and we gain a greater understanding of how he sees crochet as an analog link to digital work. We learn specifically about his thesis, in which he proposed, “that one could not only use the forms created by crochet to develop and shape space, but also could aid in the understanding of learning a new coding language utilized by the digital environments.” An excerpt of his thesis was published in Insight.