Jenny E. Sabin, Jenny Sabin Studio / Cornell
Dillon Pranger, Jenny Sabin Studio / Cornell
Clayton Binkley, Arup
Kristen Strobel, Arup
Jingyang (Leo) Liu, Sabin Lab / Cornell

This paper by Jenny E. Sabin, Dillon Pranger, Clayton Binkley, Kristen Strobel and Jingyang (Leo) Liu documents the computational design methods, digital fabrication strategies, and generative design process for Lumen, winner of MoMA & MoMA PS1’s 2017 Young Architects Program. The project was installed in the courtyard at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, New York, during the summer of 2017.

Two lightweight 3D digitally knitted fabric canopy structures composed of responsive tubular and cellular components employ recycled textiles, photo-luminescent and solar active yarns that absorb and store UV energy, change color, and emit light. This environment offers spaces of respite, exchange, and engagement as a 150 x 75 foot misting system responds to visitors’ proximity, activating fabric stalactites that produce a refreshing micro-climate.

Families of robotically prototyped and woven recycled spool chairs provide seating throughout the courtyard. The canopies are digitally fabricated with over 1,000,000 yards of high tech, responsive yarn and are supported by three 40+ foot tensegrity towers and the surrounding matrix of courtyard walls. Material responses to sunlight as well as physical participation are integral parts of the exploratory approach to the 2017 YAP brief.

The project is mathematically generated through form-finding simulations informed by the sun, site, materials, program, and the material morphology of knitted cellular components. Resisting a biomimetic approach, Lumen employs an analogic design process where complex material behavior and processes are integrated with personal engagement and diverse programs.

The comprehensive installation was designed by Jenny Sabin Studio and fabricated by Shima Seiki WHOLEGARMENT, Jacobsson Carruthers, and Dazian with structural engineering by Arup and lighting by Focus Lighting.

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