Untitled by Hannah Sitzer 2003

A design meme for neat freaks

"Knolling" is all about grouping items together in an orderly -- and aesthetically pleasing -- fashion

Hannah Sitzer
July 8, 2011 5:01AM (UTC)

I just watched "A Selby Film"; I love the brain of Tom Sachs. I feel that this guy is a much more mature and organized version of myself. Holy crap, does he speak to me.

I always felt when I lined up all of my tools and projects parallel or at 90-degree angles and in aesthetically pleasing "piles," it was either OCD or what most people keep telling me is a "Virgo trait." How nice to have company in my anal retentive tendencies!


In a nutshell, Tom Sachs inspires me to keep on doing what I am doing.

Tom Sachs | Always be Knolling

Tom Sachs | Always be Knolling (from Ten Bullets II)

Sam Octigan

Sam Octigan

Sometime I just do it by color when the items don't really have a purpose but I still want to see them, like in my closet or shelves and as in the above shot by Sam Octigan.

We have all seen this piece below, I am sure, and I have always loved it, but now when I find it in my image search for knolling I love it even more. It all makes sense. I am obsessed with order, and it has a name! How is it that I had never heard of knolling?

Andreas Gursky, 99 Cent II Diptychon

Andreas Gursky, 99 Cent II Diptychon, 2001, C-print mounted to acrylic glass, 2x 207 x 307 centimeter


About 15 years ago I started a phase in my life of doing large painted canvases covered in organized grids of same objects (usually race cars -- my favorite palindrome besides hannah). I refused to call it art; I just needed to get it out of my head so I could move on and think about other things. I don't have many photos since it was a pre-digital-camera time for me, sad excuse I know...

Untitled by Hannah Sitzer 2003

Untitled by Hannah Sitzer 2003 - photograph by Fernando Cepeda

Untitled by Hannah Sitzer 2004

Untitled by Hannah Sitzer 2004 - photograph by Fernando Cepeda

Untitled by Hannah Sitzer 2005

Untitled by Hannah Sitzer 2005 - photograph by Fernando Cepeda

Untitled by Hannah Sitzer 2003

Untitled by Hannah Sitzer 2003 - photograph by Fernando Cepeda


Some drunk girls shot this one up with a BB gun, unfortunately, so it looks pretty beat up. Note the holes in the corner. I am not kidding.

Untitled - Hannah Sitzer 2001

Untitled - Hannah Sitzer 2001 Photograph by Fernado Cepeda

I still put this in front of the piano when it is out of tune so people don't play it. It is the symbol for "please come over and tune my piano."


So it is nice to know that there is such a thing as knolling. Nothing makes me happier than seeing like objects grouped together in an orderly fashion. What I once thought was some sort of affliction, I now know is just my system. Maybe there are conventions out there for people like us, like OCD Trekkies or something.

Copyright F+W Media Inc. 2011.

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Hannah Sitzer

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