Jewellery, ceramics, furniture, fabric, carpet, lighting: It’s a wide range of design that Lara Knutson covers and is planning to cover. The New York based designer studied Architecture (Bachelor) and Industrial Design (Master) at Pratt Institute and doesn’t see any limits to her creative output: “Fortunately, because of all my education and experience, I have a large tool kit of knowledge and I can trust my intuition about how something is going to work or be made.”
Inspired by playing around with different materials she discovered reflective glass fabric, a material where tiny glass beads are inwrought. These beads reflect light multiplicatively, the knitted designs glow and sparkle, appear different every time they are being moved. Trying different ways to mould this illuminated fabric, Lara did some knitting and voilà – the outcome was beautiful jewellery, now being sold at MOMA design store.
Pushing the limits of knitting even further Lara combined it with product design, more precisely vases. “Knitting is a natural way to make things, it’s very human and an easy way to build form”, she says and I can’t help but notice that she has a very similar approach to knitting as Sandra Backlund.
Lara uses different stitches and materials such as mohair, silk, nylon or cashmere, which she mixes with the reflective glass fabric to create various visual effects.
Lara’s recent project is lighting: She also uses the reflective glass fabric combined with LEDs. The LEDs create an optical illusion, meaning the light simulates a physical object – a phenomena you can unfortunately hardly see on pictures. You can see that Lara Knutson is not only an artist but actually an innovator.
Being asked about her future plans, Lara has a clear vision: She wants to find manufacturers she can work with und who will produce her designs on a more professional basis. And of course she already has various ideas for more designs: “The best thing about industrial design is that it’s wide open leaving plenty of room for opportunity.”