The brief was to develop an interactive art piece that would position F21 at the crossroads of Art, Tech, and Fashion. We conceived the Thread Screen - a 2,000 lb machine made up of 6,400 mechanical spools of thread that rotate through 32 colors, displaying any Instagram hashtagged with #F21ThreadScreen. It is one of the most complex machines ever built for a brand, comprised of over 200,000 parts. Every component, from the thousands of motors and gears, to the 600 pounds of milled aluminum, to the lathed wooden spools - all have been custom designed, engineered, and manufactured from scratch.
Forever 21 was looking to experiment with something quite different than anything they had done in the past, and BREAKFAST happens to specialize in doing the never-been-done-before. They gave us a rather open brief, and from the start we knew we wanted to build a web-connected experience that anyone could try from anywhere in the world.
We focused on thread , with it being the most basic element of fashion and quite versatile. We also focused on Instagram, as it's the most artistic/creative of social networks, and Forever 21 has a massive following on there. The idea developed from there.
Each spool has a 5 1/2 foot long piece of threaded fabric that rolls over top of it, similar to a conveyor belt. The fabric is made up of 36 colors, each 1 3/4 inches in length. Instagrams that are hashtagged with #F21ThreadScreen are automatically captured and optimized for the screen’s 80x80 resolution, then each spool’s motor drives the fabric to its appropriate color. Each ribbon also features a reflective strip which is scanned by an infrared sensor, which tells the machine the color each spool is currently showing, allowing for corrections for any slip that may occur.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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