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Eric Gunther, Sosolimited, art director
John Rothenberg, Sosolimited, creative director
Alex Olivier, Sosolimited/David Wicks, Sosolimited, programmers
Print All Over Me/Processing Foundation/Sosolimited, project design and development
Jesse Finkelstein, Print All Over Me/Meredith Finkelstein, Print All Over Me/Lauren McCarthy, Processing Foundation/Daniel Shiffman, Processing Foundation, development partners
Processing Foundation, client

“This concept of making digital into physical through a simple algorithm was a winner from the start. Personalization in textiles is something the fashion industry is slowly starting to pay attention to, and we need projects like this to point the way.” —juror Keri Elmsly

“Simple, fun and oddly beautiful.” —juror Ben Hughes

Overview: Code meets fashion in this algorithmically driven online app. Boston digital firm Sosolimited teamed up with custom clothier Print All Over Me and the Processing Foundation—a nonprofit that promotes digital literacy in the arts—to create PixelWeaver, a microsite that generates fashion designs based on visitors’ image searches. Users can create bomber jackets, scarves, T-shirts and tote bags with PixelWeaver’s algorithm, sampling their searches’ top results to create a one-of-a-kind, pixelated pattern that recalls glitch art. The generative aspects of the site garnered the attention of Co.Design, Dezeen and VICE’s The Creators Project, and PixelWeaver was named a finalist in Fast Company’s 2016 Innovation by Design Awards.

•Users can adjust parameters to get “chunky” or “delicate” results.
•PixelWeaver cuts up images using the JavaScript library p5.js, a set of tools that makes coding accessible to artists.
•Thirty percent of the proceeds go to the Processing Foundation.

Comments by Olivia Johnson, graphic designer at Sosolimited, Alex Olivier and John Rothenberg:
Was the topic/subject of the project a new one for you? “Our studio has created many data-driven and remixed works of art. We’re used to taking a fire hose of data and using it to make engaging and thought-provoking work. But with PixelWeaver, our data source was purely visual, which was a departure from our typical numerical and text-based datasets.”

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “We wanted to design an application that could transform the essence of a word into a beautiful garment. Because PixelWeaver can use any Internet search query as a seed, some remixes look nicer than others! Making an app that keeps the search term’s visual identity while generally producing a quality aesthetic was a balancing act. Part of the fun is making beautiful creations from surprising sources, like a T-shirt made from the search results for ‘grandma.’”

How did time constraints affect your final solution? “Because of the app’s short development process, we went with our gut when building the app. We liked the idea of wearing the ‘average’ image of an object. As we began to play with our software, we experimented and obscured the source imagery more and more. We found that even after sorting and weaving pixels, many of the images retained the feel or mood of the original search term. The garments became almost like cyphers for a user’s search history.”


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