Algorithmic Textiles Design: Warm-Up Tetraptych

This class is about weaving, sewing, knitting, and generative algorithms. In this warm-up exercise, you will create a four-part artwork ("tetraptych") where each part is a demonstration of one of these techniques.

Remember: this is a warm-up. Don't spend a crazy amount of time on it. Let the units of the course be your guide. (I.e., this is a 12 unit course, so you should allocate no more than 12*2-3 = 21 hours; or about 4 hours per part + 4 hours of planning.)

The Engineering Part

Make four samples in total:

  1. Hand Sewing: stitch a strand/strip material through a sheet material in order to attach or decorate it.
  2. Hand Weaving: interleave strands/strips in order to create a sheet.
  3. Hand Knitting: loop a strand/strip material through itself in a standard knit topology in order to create a sheet material.
  4. Hand Programming: write code that generates and saves a text file containing a 20x16 character square made of printable low-ASCII characters. Each run of the program should produce a different square. Print out a generated square of your choice in a fixed-width font of your choice.

NOTE: you should do all the physical construction tasks by hand -- no machine sewing, weaving, or knitting. (Though feel free to use hand-construction aids -- a frame to hold your weaving or knitting, pins to hold your sewing, etc.)

NOTE: you will likely be following tutorials in order to learn at least some of these techniques. Don't worry if your craft is not up to expert standards. This is a warm-up.

The Artful Part

There are many possible samples you could construct for each of the four tasks. Consider how to develop a tetraptych that is thematically and conceptually united. Can you use the samples to tell a story? Convey an idea? Explore a material? Make an interesting point?

Consider that you have wide freedom in choice of materials (paper, plastic, leather, etc.), in structure (there are many weaves, sewing stitches, knitting patterns), and in presentational arrangement. Make use of these freedoms.

NOTE: this is warm-up. You are required to make a considered attempt at thematic unity, not to succeed.

What To Turn In