Knotting~Works is a biography of knots. It is a collection of social, cultural, material and scientific expressions of knotting, knots, knot-works, and knot-making.

The project started as an exploration into knotting as a metaphor for learning. I was interested in how the knot is both a material quality of a thing, but it is also a process. Initially I was drawn to knots through Engeström’s theory of learning, in which he likens the learning process to knot making:

“Learning is exploratory movement in space and the meaningful encounters that occur between ‘heterogeneous actors and their lives of movement’ that Engeström likens to knot forming. These collaborative ‘knots’ are particularly critical between nonlinear wayfaring trails and predominantly straightforward lines of transport” (Sprake, J. 2012)


As the project moved on I collaborated with a group at Bristol University to explore knots in molecules. We mapped knotting processes onto a VR system of molecules. We were exploring how the time-old, intuitive mechanism of knotting could be a way to approach dynamics on a nanoscale.

The project was initially developed as a “materialities” exploration with Duncan Fairfax, and exhibited at the Goldsmiths Design Festival, part of London Design week. See more at the project site: