Kwilt is a design proposal developed to reference significant historic elements and the current transformation throughout the city. The project takes a multifaceted approach at exploring the importance of the textile mills in Greenville and how they are being woven back into the urban fabric through arts and culture. In a very literal way these once important structures of the economy are being transformed into something unique and distinct from their initial use.


Completed: (TBD)
Medium: Painted Aluminum
Location: Greenville, SC
Size: 24’ x 30’ x 12’

There are several layers to discover in the project that both abstractly and literally speak to the concept. The overall form, structural system, and patterning are direct reflections of the idea, while considerations for the site and how people will experience the work led to many other decisions. It is important for us that the project has multiple levels of meaning throughout, and that returning visitors can appreciate this through form, color, and discovery of each design move.

Our approach looks at traditional quilts and their use of remnants to create a completely new textile. Conceptually they are a reflection of the reuse of mills in the city, and we have used their patterning as a building block for the project. Traditional quilt blocks are created by taking a single square and dividing it into two triangles. The square is then mirrored or rotated to create a block pattern, that in turn creates the overall design for the quilt. We used this logic to develop the overall formal strategy for Kwilt. Using a custom designed quilt block, we abstracted the basic idea to design a plan for the project. One could imagine these blocks repeated into a pattern across the city.

The design of the structure and skin reference the main concept as well. The exposed inner structure has been developed based on the simple geometries of a traditional quilt: a continually subdivided square grid into triangles. The overall wall components, and each of the smaller elements within, follow this pattern. This is intended to represent the historic foundation of the city, and is the support structure for the project. The exterior skin is representative of the current diverse growth and change in Greenville, evolving from the more rigid system within. However, the flowing patterning is actually created from that very simple geometry. The intersections and centers of the grid are the basis of the new interconnected network that grows externally. As they move upward the panels begin to separate from the structure, signifying the unlimited potential of this change.

Color is applied to the entire project as a way to unify as well as create two distinct halves. We developed a color-set that is complex and eclectic, including some very vibrant and more subdued hues. The structure and skin are colorized similarly as a representation of the cooperative nature and respect for both the city’s history and future.