December 4, 2022

TIL about Knolling

Knoll /noʊl/


1. Scan your environment for materials, tools, books, music, etc. which are not in use

2. Put away everything not in use. If you aren’t sure, leave it out

3. Group all ‘like’ objects

4. Align or square all objects to either the surface they rest on, or the studio itself

—Tom Sachs

Today I learned:

“Knolling” is the method of organizing things neatly that my studio employs. There are other names that others use: stackenblocken, tessellation, tidying up, making like piles, and Things Organized Neatly. Much is made to compare these methods with obsessive-compulsive disorder but we all know that OCD is a form of narcissism. That the patient believes if he doesn’t go through a specific ritual then something terrible will happen. ’This is an irrational thought because it’s based on fear and a sense of grand self-importance, where the subject feels that his ritual actions control unrelated events.

Knolling helps us see what’s in front of us so we can discern. It helps us make more things fit into less space, or fewer things into more space, but always with the aim of understanding materials. This book shows us how things, when organized neatly, help us to build, to organize, to pack for a trip, or to conquer a nation.

December 4, 2022 · #til


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