, interactive installation, interactive architecture, cybernetics, responsive architecture, interactive art, digital fabrication, responsive art, responsive installation, living architecture, installation art, soft architecture, kinetic art, kinetic installation, responsive environments, interacitve environments, cyber-physical


Jenny Sabin Studio

MoMA PS1, Queens, NY, US  2017

By night, Lumen is knitted light, bathing visitors in a responsive glow of photo-luminescence; by day, Lumen offers succor from the summer heat, immersing participants in delicious ground clouds of cooling mist. Lumen is a socially and environmentally responsive structure that adapts to the densities of bodies, heat, and sunlight. A lightweight knitted fabric of responsive tubular structures and a canopy of cellular components employs recycled textiles, photo-luminescent and solar active yarns that absorb, collect, and deliver light. This environment offers spaces of respite, exchange, and engagement as a misting system responds to visitors’ proximity, activating fabric stalactites that produce a refreshing micro-climate. Families of robotically woven recycled spool chairs reveal informal messages and conversations through hydro-chromic materials. It is an open responsive system featuring digitally knitted and robotically woven lightweight, high-performing, form fitting, and adaptive materials. Lumen is a feminine form that offers luminous interiorities, informal networks, social fabrics, and fibrous assemblages that are pliable, transformative, and playful.

Lumen is an experiment, taking risks through collaboration across disciplines. Held intension within the PS1 courtyard matrix of walls, Lumen applies insights and theories from biology, materials science, mathematics, and engineering. Material responses to sunlight as well as physical participation are integral parts of our exploratory approach to new materials, embodiment, and a transformative, adaptive architecture. The project is mathematically generated through form-finding simulations informed by the sun, site, materials, program, and the structural morphology of knitted cellular components. Resisting a biomimetic approach, Lumen employs an analogic design process where complex material behavior and processes are integrated with personal engagement and diverse programs. Through direct references to the flexibility and sensitivity of the human body, Lumen integrates adaptive materials and architecture where code, pattern, human interaction, environment, geometry and matter operate together as a conceptual design space. Knitting and textile fabrication offer a fruitful material ground for exploring these nonstandard fibrous potentials. As with cell networks, materials find their own form where the flow of tension forces through both geometry and matter serve as active design parameters. Lumen undertakes rigorous interdisciplinary experimentation to produce a multisensory environment that is full of delight, inspiring collective levity, play, and interaction as the structure and materials transform throughout the day and night.

Project Leads

  • Jenny E. Sabin, Principal and Lead Architectural Designer
  • Dillon Pranger, Project lead and manager


Jordan Berta (content coordination)
Diego Garcia Blanco
Elie Boutros
Daniel Villegas Cruz
Omar Dairi
Alejandro Garcia
Andres Gutierrez
Jingyang Liu Leo (senior research associate)
Mark Lien
Jasmine Liu
Andrew Moorman
Christopher Morse
Bennett Norman
Marwan Omar
Sasson Rafailov
Steve Ren
David Rosenwasser
Danny Salamoun (production lead)
Aishwarya Sreenivas
Raksarat Vorasucha

Installation Volunteers

Mike Babcock
Luke Erickson
Chia-Yi Hou
Rachel Kaplan
Wenli Li
Mark Lien
Irisa Llana
Lauren Lochry
Elisa Medina
Chris Morse
Sophie Nichols
Yueer Niu
Chelsea Smith
Mat Sokol
Andrew Sullivan
Yifeng Wang
Linshen Xie
Stella Xu
Youngjin Yi


Engineering Design: Clayton Binkley & Kristen Strobel, Arup
Fabricators and Installers: Tom Carruthers, Bo Jacobsson, Erik Grinde, Spencer Whynaucht, Todd Fitcher, Ryan Fitcher, Shannon McElree, Mateo Baca, Jacobsson Carruthers, LLC
Knit Fabrication: Tom Shintaku, Shima Seiki WHOLEGARMENT
Lighting Design: Juan Pablo Lira and Hilary Manners, Focus Lighting
Sewing & Finishing: Wade Wesson & Christine Garcia, Dazian
Misting Systems: Sabin Design Lab & Mist Cooling Inc.
Structural Engineer: Arup
Fabricators and Installers: Jacobsson Carruthers, LLC
Digital Knitting: Shima Seiki WHOLEGARMENT
Lighting: Focus Lighting
Sewing and Finishing: Dazian
Rope Fabrication: Diamond Nets
Floor Installation: Art Domantay Artworks

The 2017 Young Architects Program is made possible by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Additional funding is provided by the Bertha and Isaac Liberman Foundation, Jeffrey and Michèle Klein, and Agnes Gund. Additional support provided by College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Cornell University