Knit Researcher, Footwear Innovator
Suzanne Oude Hengel is a knitted textile researcher, programmer and footwear innovator based in Arnhem. Her focus is on researching and developing functionalities in footwear through knitted techniques.
Oude Hengel graduated from ArtEZ University in Arnheim, the Netherlands in 2015 with a degree in Product Design. During an exchange at Aalto University in Finland she had the opportunity to learn basic knitting skills. Now she works on a variety of machines, including the latest flatbed and circular knitting machines from both Stoll and Santoni.
The technical aspect of knitting intrigues her to think further and bigger, but to also try to push boundaries of both the materials and the machines. Her aim is to reform and rethink the manufacturing process and the production of shoes, which is why she uses techniques in an unconventional way.
In this project, created at Santoni in Shanghai, a tube and the shape of a sock were the starting point. Oude Hengel’s aim was to show new possibilities of Santoni’s machines and to give answers to problems. This collaboration with Santoni allowed her to show what is possible with a circular knitting machine other than producing meters of socks. With this project working with circular knitting machines gave her a different way of thinking about shape.