Submitted by Jenny Sabin


Client: Museum of Modern Art PS1

Location: New York, NY, United States

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $350,000

Project Team

Industry Resource

Clayton Binkley & Kristen Strobel

Arup Engineering

Industry Resource

Shima Seiki Wholegarment

Shima Seiki Wholegarment

Industry Resource

Juan Pablo Lira and Hilary Manners

Focus Lighting


Jenny Sabin Studio won the competition for the 2017 Museum of Modern Art PS1 Young Architects Program in New York City. A host for events and concerts throughout the summer of 2017, Lumen is a socially and environmentally responsive structure. This knitted enclosure is held in tension within the PS1 courtyard matrix of walls, applying insights from biology, materials science, mathematics, and engineering.


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. Lumen produces 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.


Jenny Sabin Studio won the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Pavilion competition to build Lumen, a pavilion for the MoMA PS1 Warm Up series in 2017 hosting cultural events through the summer. Working with frequent engineers and collaborators and building on experience with knitted structures, Lumen arose to undertake rigorous interdisciplinary experimentation, applying insights and theories from biology, materials science, mathematics, and engineering. The project is mathematically generated through form-finding simulations informed by the sun, site, materials, program, and the structural morphology of knitted cellular components. 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.