Nike Sportswear presents a look back at the second Flyknit Collective Workshop at the brand’s Bowery Stadium in New York City.
July 17th, 2012 – Nike Flyknit is a revolutionary design technology from which footwear is made with a knitted upper. Precisely engineered yarns are used to create a lightweight, form fitting and virtually seamless upper, designed to deliver great performance while reducing material waste. The “Flyknit Collective” workshops, held at Bowery Stadium and led by architectural designer Jenny Sabin, will use the features of Nike Flyknit as inspiration for three innovative and engaging workshops during the summer. Participants will create data based on Sabin’s research on knitted, braided and woven architecture, ultimately converting them into a practical, physical structures that will inspire the community in transformative ways.
Ben Shaffer, Studio Director at Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, introduced the history of the Flyknit shoe from concept, to prototype to reality. “Ultimately, we wanted to see how we could make a sock shoe,” he said, emphasizing the end goal of creating a shoe that will make athletes faster, stronger and better at their sport by focusing on the core qualities of Flyknit in Performance, Lightness, Formfitting and Sustainability.Jenny Sabin then brought the group up to speed, showcasing how the data sets collected in May’s workshop will begin to influence the next stage of the project during Workshop 2. Sabin reviewed the data and began to find patterns that could lead the way to structural influence built upon a knitting technique.
Prompting the audience to think about how knit technology influences and affects different structures, Sabin asked the question “How can we begin to think about how buildings breathe and adapt to their environment?”
Photographer and skate boarder Todd Jordan, followed the presentations by taking the audience through a slideshow of his own work. He articulated the importance of motion and the capture of life often missed while in a state of constant movement. Jordan joined the participants as they left the Stadium, split into teams and outfitted with Flyknit shoes, Fuelbands, GoPro cameras and iPhones. Their goal was to capture movement often missed to eventually influence the final project from the New York workshops in Jenny Sabin’s myThread Pavilion.
Participants were excited to have a first hand interaction with product as the went out to capture the energy of the city. “I’m an ultra-marathoner and would love to run a marathon in them,” said Flyknit Collective participant Robin Arzon about the new sneaker. “I like the minimalist feel, and because it’s one knitted piece there’s more fluidity in the shoe,” Arzon said.
After completing the challenge and finding their own inspiration, the teams returned back to Bowery Stadium for the second half of the workshop with RISD textile professor Anne Emlein. Emlein demonstrated how different knit stitches and materials can change the strength of a structure. Participants were invited to design their own knit patterns to attach to structure prototypes, keeping in mind the idea of motion captured during their outing. The prototypes, design patterns and motion capture from the participants will be the basis of the myThread Pavilion, a large scale structure that will explore the relationship between knit technology and architecture and include all New York Workshop participants as members of the design team.