Manipulating social media data feeds and turning them into digital creative artworks is a growing trend in retail and event spaces. Brands keen to show off their social worth and are looking to the design world for new ways to translate online conversations.
For its latest flagship store in Rome, Diesel partnered with POSTmatter magazine and Berlin-based artist Andreas Nicolas Fischer for a live digital artwork that draws on data from maps of of Rome as well as social media users, posting content via the hashtags #Rome, #Roma and #POSTroma.
‘The idea was to use the gallery in the store’s atrium as an ambient immersive piece that would make the audience lose their spatial perception while being completely related to the city of Rome,’ explained Yann Binet, senior art director at the POSTmatter magazine. ‘The premise of the project was to carry the DNA of Rome without trying to represent it in a literal form.’
For its sponsorship of the September Fashion Rocks music event in New York, telecoms giant Verizon collaborated with fashion designer Christian Siriano to create the world’s first couture dress inspired by a social media feed.
During the show, Verizon encouraged viewers to tweet their thoughts about the music performances and the singers’ costumes. The #SocialImprint fabric was conceived using codes for certain words to represent colour and topics of conversation to influence the pattern. Screens backstage showed the live feed, while every 30 seconds the eight most popular colours and topics were converted into print designs and fed into an industrial printer to produce rolls of fabric.
‘If everyone is talking about Jennifer Lopez on Twitter, then the fabric is going to be dominated by that colour,’ said Siriano. ‘We’re creating this Social Imprint fabric based on the social conversations people are having and what they are reacting to throughout the event – it’s a challenge and it’s never been done before.’
The secret life of data
Fashion retailers have long tracked their customer data and the addition of e-commerce cookies makes it more relevant than ever. Creatively digital brands such as Topshop , Net-a-Porter and most recently Lyst, are choosing to visualise and display their data feeds and offer the resulting insights for the world to see.
As one of the largest global fashion e-commerce operators, Lyst has a lot of data to showcase. An inventory of over a million products, from 9000+ fashion brands and retail stores combined with the purchase power of customers that generated a record $10m in sales earlier in 2014, means the platform can drill down with its data patterns to deduce how shoppers behave online.
For an internal share-holder dinner held in July this year, Lyst asked augmented reality creative agency Holiton to visualise a snapshot of the platform’s daily data into a real-time video feed. Holition’s projection brought to life 250,000 Lyst purchases, documenting brand names, product prices, colours and key styles, so that trends from the data were easily identifiable through pattern recognition.
- Showcasing data in this way brings facts and figures to life and provides a visual snapshot of consumer behaviour. Visualising big data and transforming online conversations into art and fashion is a trend to watch.