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In 1987, a janitor named Andrew Kromelow was working in a fabrication shop that produced furniture for Knoll. Inspired by the angular design of the furniture, Andrew started arranging displaced shop tools at right angles. Eventually, he began to describe this routine as “knolling”. What Andrew was unaware of was that he had started a global art craze that would be popularised by his fellow employee, American sculptor Tom Sachs, who held as his mantra: “Always be knolling.”

These days, knolling is becoming increasingly popular across various art forms. Many people may be unfamiliar with the term, but would recognise the execution: arranging similar objects at 90-degree angles as a way of organisation. The purpose of this art form is to grab the attention of the viewer, while at the same time presenting a vast array of subject matter. But knolling is about more than just tidying up a space with precision organisation.

Although neatness plays a huge part in knolling, the space should also be an improvement of functionality – this is why similar objects are grouped together. The overall design of knolling is very 3 dimensional, so it has to be crafted with this in mind.

Knolling photography can be inspiring in its artistic ability, creating portraits and patterns with the use of simple everyday objects. It’s an art form based on precision and the master “knollers” have a superb eye for detail, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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