Knotty by The New Raw at Milan Design Week


The New Raw, run by architects Panos Sakkas and Foteini Setaki, participates in the 2023 Milan Design Week with the project “Knotty” — a collection of playful benches with a bold and tactile texture, on display at Alcova, in the vast, monumental spaces of the Porta Vittoria’s former slaughterhouse.

Inspired by knitting techniques, the project treats plastic waste as a continuous thread of material which folds, twists and loops to create an intriguing tactile surface that resembles textiles, and invites users to touch it.

Launched at Alcova 2023 for the first time, this innovative 3D sculpted fabric dresses a new family of benches, produced in three different shapes and sizes (150x80x27cm; 150x60x40 cm; 80x60x40 cm); and two colours: mint and peach. Made in the shape of bent and swinging blocks, their swinging silhouette fosters interaction and encourages spontaneous use.

Ten pieces of different colours and dimensions are scattered along La Galleria of the Ex-Macello di Porta Vittoria, re-arranging and transforming the space in a playful manner, while providing an opportunity for rest and an ideal conversation starter.

The sculpted material texture, consisting of thick and seemingly soft knots, creates a tactile, permeable and load-bearing type of surface for outdoor and indoor furniture or other architectural applications.

“Knitted patterns” that increase functionality by allowing water drainage and avoiding internal structures, can be upscaled and become ornaments and building units that embody a new digitally crafted materiality.

The rigid shapes of the furniture, in the digital realm, are deformed during their materialisation in the physical world, due to production aspects such as temperature and the material’s own mechanical properties. The resulting deformations and glitches make each object uniquely crafted and huggable.

Developed by The New Raw, Knotty is a next step towards the production of a new formal language of digital craftsmanship that combines traditional handwork with digital fabrication:

“We use analogue knitting techniques in homage to the continuous thread of the manufacturing process, testing them out on large and hard furniture surfaces.

With our work, we seek to tangibly express the transition from traditional to digital, and from virtual to physical, with a twist” — explain Panos Sakkas and Foteini Setaki, co-founders of the studio. Knotty is the latest evolution of the studio’s on-going research, which started in 2017.

Inspired by nature (seashells in their Second Nature statement pieces, geological layering in their Stratum entrance furniture) and craftsmanship (carving in their COMB mural).

The New Raw relentlessly pushes the boundaries and buttons to transform recycled plastic through developing tools and new approaches which reinvent craft in the contemporary digital and automated context. Source by The New Raw and photos Courtesy of MINT LIST.