Designer Merel Karhof wanted to visualize the wind–a challenge made poetic by the fact that the wind’s ever present but always invisible and almost always ignored. And what she eventually came up with is having a windmill create a scarf–an item that would protect the wearer from the very power that created it.
“The machine visualizes directly what you
can produce with the present amount of urban wind,” she says. The Wind Knitting Machine is fairly simple, with a 4-foot metal windmill attached to an industrial loom. When it was originally installed at the Royal College of Art, Karhof cut the material at regular intervals; on each scarf that resulted, she printed the time it took to make–since that varied with the wind strength–and the date it was created.