Invite consumers to create a free-range merino wool scarf, by playfully disrupting a traditional houndstooth pattern.
Moniker: Amsterdam-based interactive design studio, which works on commissioned and experimental projects. Founders Luna Maurer, Roel Wouters and Jonathan Puckey. Recent projects include Dance Tonite, a WebVR experiment that gives fans a role in the video for the LCD Soundsystem track Tonite, via a single url.
Moniker’s experimental, public-facing projects explore the social effects of technology. Their work has a responsive quality that never fails to inspire and amuse. Could they apply this thinking to an item that would engage the consumer throughout the creation process?
Using Unmade customisation editor software , the Pied de Poule Fermier scarf invites you to deconstruct a well-recognised motif and abstract it. All within physical parameters. Moniker took the French name for houndstooth - pied de poule or ‘chicken’s feet’ - and added fermier to make those feet free-range. Think of a chicken that can roam, just like the checks on the scarf.
‘It’s instantaneous. You can see how you’ve affected the pattern and what your interaction was. Even moving a tiny bit makes a big difference. I’ve made a few scarves for different people and I know that not a single one is the same, even when I try and repeat it,’ says Unmade co-founder Kirsty Emery.
Skew the arrangement of the checks and let them wander across your scarf. Create blank spaces. Click on ‘reset’ and the scarf returns to its original form. And you can start all over again. Beware, it is highly addictive!
“People can be involved in an element of the creative process, in a way that achieves different results every time but isn’t random. It’s designed; if it’s random, people don’t feel the connection.”
Free the pattern
The traditional houndstooth pattern is a classic example of tessellation: four dark bands of thread alternate with four light bands. Legendary fashion designer Christian Dior embraced this uniformity. It was integral to the bottle design for his first fragrance, Miss Dior in 1947 and became a signature pattern of Dior women’s tailoring.
But as Wouters and Maurer explain: ‘Houndstooth is normally locked up in its grid, in a specific order. We wanted to free this pattern, unlock the grid and make new formations.’
“The very shape of houndstooth, pied de poule, is a result of a specific technology, a way of weaving. Now this technology has evolved, you can move it, detaching it from the original system. All of the sudden, you ignore the technology itself.”