off grid → introduction

off grid → introduction

Computing first started with textile patterns with the Jacquard looms using punched cards to automatically form a pattern. In this context, patterns are repetitions, repetitions could be considered as discrete elements (elements we can combine, see; discrete elements are the basis of computing.
During this session we propose to explore patterns through digital manipulation, alter the repetitions through algorithms, other repetitions, or analogically, to transpose a pattern through different grids (screen, loom, kntting grid, print…).

Punched cards in Jacquard looms:

Grid fitting:



In the same manner as the frame can operate and play with thicknesses —for example in the production of a carpet— how this thickness may find an equivalent on paper and screen?

African wax

Print a layer of wax, then tint the fabric: the ink will stick only where there is no wax (draw in reverse like in lithography, engraving).

Atumpan, “The Thing” (Official Video) → African wax in the digital world

Metahaven, Holland Festival posters


Over the last hundred and fifty years quilters have built up a large repertoire of patterns based on the repetition of a certain motif constructed from geometric shapes. These provide a basic design structure within which the seamstress can improvise. See .



Metamatic Research Initiative
Website by Luna Maurer, 2011

Rasterizing (trames)

Literal Draw

Inkscape clone tiles

Lena in ASCII.

Verbindingen/Jonctions 12
ASCII art with rectangular pixels, posters by OSP;a=blob_plain;f=iceberg/24_vj02.jpg;hb=HEAD

XPM image format, a text-based format for images.

Le Rouge et le noir, by Sarah Magnan
Pattern of a text through lexical fields of red and black.

How to fit typographic curves into the pixel grid.

The Human Printer
Images are reproduced dot per dot, colour per colour by the hand of a human.

Anne Bertinchamps
Images are reproduced dot per dot, colour per colour by the hand of a human.


 Diane Steverlynck

Karel Martens

Patterns made out of letters.

Yuichi Yokoyama


Luna Maurer, Argyle pullover

Daniel Temkin: Glitchometry Stripes

Dérapage contrôlé, Chevalier Masson

Richard Hutten

Fuzzy Rug by Pierre Marchand for Diane Steverlynck
A software to preview a pattern when changing its parameters.

The same pattern produced different visual outputs due to the inconsistency of the wool.



Mathematickal Arts 
Workshop at foam exploring the relations between textile and mathematics.

Workshop at foam about fixing used fabric; analysing the “source code” of a fabric, a pattern by looking at its reverse side; how this source code is sometimes obfuscated to hide the recipe.

Digital adventures in contemporary craft.

Open hardware knitting machine.


Here is a non exhaustive list of tools that we could use:

What we say

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