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Friday, June 19th: Diedre Brown

Diedre Brown

Today is Friday, June 19th

Rag & Bone Bindery is open for business

(read our post from Wednesday, March 25th for more information about how we're able to remain open for business)

Hello everyone! This Friday we’re sharing the genius work of architect, designer, amateur naturalist and crochet artist Diedre Brown. Brown began learning basic crochet stitches when she was a child. The practice returned to her in her twenties while she was studying math and science to eventually earn her Masters in Architecture at Parsons The New School of Design. In school, she was studying the "ways that people thought about how things came into being,” while simultaneously being fascinated by the transformations she was able to make by putting stitches together, turning one thing “into something else”.

Brown’s recent project “Wild Crochet” integrates her architectural knowledge with her concern for the safety of the natural world and the people populating areas that will become coastal communities within the next half century. Through "Wild Crochet," Brown seeks to generate a series of crocheted pieces that would serve as small-scale models for structures that could make up a resilient coastal habitat. The project is a product of the question, “If it were possible to create a habitable textile, what would it look like?” For Brown, her method of merging architectural design with fiber arts is nothing new. The first architecture, she writes, “is said to have been created by the hanging of a textile, and dividing two spaces”. With her textile pieces now, Brown seeks to go beyond dividing space, and hopes that her work might "foster the growth of community-crafted spaces that inspire one's sense of wonder and imagination, while empowering one with knowledge about the environment she lives in”.

In addition to considering habitable textiles, Brown asks of her work, "could this textile evolve to become nature?". Brown's interpretations of a resilient coastal habitat are based on the natural geometric structures of coral, which can be geometrically described as hyperbolic, referring to the way the organisms curl and ruffle. Mathematicians have long considered crochet to be the ideal method of representing the hyperbolic plane since Dr. Daina Taimina recognized the geometric principles of hyperbolic structures in her crochet patterns that called for an increase of stitches at a regular rate in each row. Beyond modelling the shape of her crocheted figures after organic geometry, Brown's "Wild Crochet" pieces “utilize unconventional materials such as bioplastic, jute, paper, and dirt, whose deterioration fosters the growth of a beneficial ecosystem".

You can learn more about Diedre Brown’s “Wild Crochet” here.