knitknot architecture
A constant flexibility
New York, US; London, UK; Spain

knitknot architecture is an award-winning international collective based in New York, London and Spain. Founded in 2013, knitknot has developed projects across different mediums and scales, combining practice with academia. knitknot is formed by Diana Cristobal Olave, Gonzalo J Lopez Garrido, Alfonso Simelio Jurado and Tania Oramas Dorta.


Consolidating the collective

We started working together in 2013 when we formed a team to enter the Europan 12 competition in Germany, although most of our members already knew each other from college. After this competition we decided to continue working together and established an informal practice, forming a collective structure and developing a wide range of projects together: from academic research to architectural competitions, and from non-profit schemes to building commissions. We formalised the practice as a business after winning the following edition of Europan, Europan 13 in the city of Os, in Norway.

Discovering a unique methodology

Our practice has been based in multiple locations since its founding. We decided on a methodological structure that facilitates people living in different cities to work together—it is based on the idea that, in a time marked by people’s hyper-mobility and hyper-connectivity, new ways of professional association that are no longer bounded to a ‘physical space’ are possible. This working methodology has enabled us to share knowledge, mobilise skills, cooperate with each other and take initiatives in a non-hierarchical, dynamic and flexible manner.

Dealing with uncertainty

Our projects come from different places, sometimes competitions, sometimes private clients and other times self initiated projects, mixing public and private sector. We do believe the situation is very challenging for architects in our condition, especially when it comes to finding a stable sequence of work/projects, but we are hopeful that the system we have established based on high flexibility allows us to adapt as things keep changing around us.

The perks of distribution

Living in different cities is definitely a challenge in terms of workflow and communication, as well as in trying to reach out to potential clients more familiar with traditional practices. Also, it's difficult to find competitions open to emerging offices that turn into built projects, as most of them don't go past the conceptual phase. These difficulties, however, have defined our work and have allowed us to develop work strategies that are invaluable for our practice. Our collective approach to projects also allows us to find alliances way beyond our members, and access projects in collaboration with other practitioners, big or small, and from many different fields.

A constant flexibility

We follow a role-based structure that changes and adapts depending on the specificities of every project. When a member is interested in a project, receives a proposal or wants to do a competition, they propose it to the group and form a team. The part of the team that decides not to take part on the project takes up the task of support and design criticism. The possibility to have a certain number of members working on a specific task while the others are focused on something else provides the collective with great flexibility. This flexibility also allows for the individual members to manage their concurrent occupations, which include teaching for some, studying for others, caring, or personal matters, creating a good life-work balance.

Achieving horizontality

Certainly, we rely almost completely on digital interfaces to work. We have had physical offices in the past, as when we were selected as members of GSAPP Incubator at the NEW INC, in Bowery St in New York. It served as a physical office for our members in New York, and from there we would connect with the rest of members via internet calls and meetings. As per hierarchies, we have a very horizontal understanding of roles and responsibilities, making every member equal in our collective partnership.


01 KN Progfile picture Gonzalo J. Lopez


07 ANDAMIAJE SOCIAL Special Mention Europan 16 Spain Gonzalo J. Lopez

03 EL JICARITO SCHOOL Nicaragua Gonzalo J. Lopez

06 CAMERA LUCIDA Davidson Prize Shortlisted Gonzalo J. Lopez

Images Courtesy of knitknot architecture

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