Merel Karhof is a product designer rather than a designer within the traditional confines of ‘the fashion industry’, even though more recent years have seen her moving into the arena of producing top-quality fashion accessories.
Perhaps it is more accurate to say that Karhof is a designer in the best Dutch tradition whose practice is deeply conceptual; addresses design as a systemic whole in which all parts interact and affect each other. This is clearly seen in her most recent projects in which fashion, furniture design, urban space and even re-use of an historic ‘industrial’ building are all drawn together around the core of her central consideration of issues such as sustainability. But, we should never underestimate poetics in her work.
Her various projects that make use of wind power – whether the outcome is fashion accessories or furniture or, indeed, the alternative use of existing city buildings or historic ones- are all linked by a rather poetic quality of making the invisible visible; of transforming the energy of the wind itself –something that most of us only understand as an abstract theoretical thing- into manifest physical design objects.
‘Wind Knitting Factory Pop-Up’ will take the form of a ‘performative outdoor presentation’ and a small exhibition at The Building Centre. Its centre of focus will be the unique wind-driven knitting machine, Karhof’s innovative adaptation of traditional agricultural windmill equipment to create a “zero carbon footprint’ industrial knitting machine raises many pertinent issues relating to sustainability and materials.
But, as will be evident in the small exhibition inside, Karhof’s practice always exists beyond the singular. For example, she is currently producing furniture that is produced entirely by wind; the textile elements are produced by the wind knitting machine while the wooden elements are produced in a unique historic wind-driven sawmill in Edam. ‘Wind Knitting Factory Pop-Up’ will take the form of a performative outdoor presentation – somewhere between a demonstration and a performance- located in front of The Building Centre from 12:00 to 16:00 on 17, 18 & 19 February 2014.
The exhibition will be open to the public in The Building Centre’s Café exhibition space from 17 February to 7 March.
‘Wind Knitting Factory Pop-Up’ is the Dutch embassy’s contribution to the British Council’s International Showcase for February London Fashion Week 2014.
Win A Unique Wind-knitted Scarf!
Don’t miss the opportunity to win a unique Merel Karhof wind-knitted scarf. Nothing could be simpler: simply take a photo of the Wind Knitting Machine Factory Pop-Up exhibition or outdoor performance/presentation and post it on the NL-Pop-Up Facebook page. The two winners will be announced on the last day of the exhibition.
Each scarf is unique. Made from the finest quality yarn, each is labelled detailing the number of hours it took the wind to make it.
More info at www.nlpopup.co.uk
Merel Karhof’s website: www.merelkarhof.nl