On the trail of the zeitgeist

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New York City

‘Acquired! Shaping the National Design Collection’ exhibition at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, features hi-tech Stoll balaclava.

What does it mean to be a design museum today? Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City provides an answer to this question with its cleverly curated exhibition ‘Acquired! Shaping the National Design Collection’, which runs from 16 March to 2 September 2024.

The curators focus on the zeitgeist by placing objects from the permanent collection in thought-provoking new contexts. The role of design in our living environments is being renegotiated.

Visitors can expect more than 150 works that have been compiled from the museum’s collection and new acquisitions since 2017. The selection, which includes works by design pioneers of the recent past, also includes a stylish, sophisticated and highly functional balaclava from leading flat knitting machine builder Stoll.

The perfect blend of design and functionality

The flat knitted balaclava is part of an exhibition area that visualises the defining themes of our time. Alongside a hijab, it stands for considering inclusivity in design. The balaclava offers protection from extreme cold, is extremely stylish and is the result of an exemplary combination of creativity and technology.

“Our breakthrough ADF technology and collaboration with leading scientists and technology companies from different disciplines opens up a whole new world of functionalisation for high-performance knitwear – from heat and moisture regulation to compression and 3D shaping. This takes knitwear design to a new level,” says Jörg Hartmann, Head of Fashion & Technology at Stoll, and part of the design team behind the balaclava on view. This product shows what we can expect the new level to look like.

The balaclava integrates an NFC chip for near-field communication, a heater to warm breathable air, a positive and negative power connector and reflective strips for passive visibility, all knitted directly into the fabric. Stoll’s state-of-the-art flat knitting technology is the basis for straightforward integration. Circuits and conductive yarns can also be incorporated in a fully automated process exactly where they are needed.

Other performance features do not require additional components. A knitted-to-shape 3D design – made possible by the goring technique – offers a perfect fit by following anatomy and eliminating the need for complex tailoring.

If you would like to delve deeper into the techniques used, you can download the sample programme for free from the Stoll sample shop here.

www.stoll.com

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