Designed for running shoes, the Flyknit fabric is made from precisely engineered yarns and Nike have commissioned a series of designers around the world to showcase the material in an installation for the Nike Flyknit Collective.
This installation, named The Feather, was created by stretching thin strings of the lightweight fabric from various points around the tower in a pattern that looked like a drawing made by a Spirograph toy.
A circular pavilion made from recycled plastic bricks sat on the ground in the centre of the tower and contained a single pair of shoes suspended in the air.
Splayed metal rods folded over the pavilion walls, providing the framework for a two-layered canopy of tightly woven fabric.
Springs under the pavilion floor were connected to the metal rods so the strings moved up and down when people walked around inside.
The gas tower is located in the 751 art district in the north-east of Beijing, a former industrial zone that is now home to many galleries and studios.
Watch a movie of Nike's global creative director talking about the knitted Flyknit Racer running shoes here.
Here is some more information from Nike:
Arthur Huang's "Feather Pavilion"
Taipai-based engineer, architect, entrepreneur and pioneer in sustainable thinking, Arthur Huang, sees the world differently. His interpretation of FlyKnit’s key tenets — performance, lightness, formfitting, and sustainability — created through his MINIWIZ company, is both metaphorical and literal, resulting in the Feather Pavilion.
This spectacular space is a platform for showcasing every value of FlyKnit in an interactive, innovative way, that lets multiple concepts take flight though inspiration from nature’s own mechanical masterpiece — the feather.
Itself encapsulating the four FlyKnit principles, the feather is reflected conceptually throughout as well as physically though the shape of the pavilion roof, resulting in a personalized journey for visitors that, like FlyKnit and the Nike philosophy, is part of something much bigger — portable and capable of being the centerpiece of a stadium or larger exhibition space.
After seeing FlyWire innovations, guests enter a second half where the concept surrounds them for a 360 degree understanding of the technology where they can revel in Huang and Miniwiz’s vision.
Performance is represented through every element of Huang’s work – just by walking into the pavilion, stepping onto the platform creates a sensory action elsewhere in the structure.
Kinetic energy changes the look and the actual architectural form of this building, The ceiling moves like a feather, sounds are emitted and light and video is transmitted both internally and externally throughout the walls and floors, resulting in a sense of technical and musical harmony.
Lightness imbues every element of the Feather Pavilion experience – beyond being visually themed on the very essence of lightweight, the lightweight feel and transparency of the recycled TPU POLLI-Brick construction twinned with the shifting ceiling makes it utterly immersive. Formfitting is embodied in the precision engineered, industrial and tailored spirit of this project.
An intricate pulley system mirrors the motion of a loom, similar to the looms that create FlyKnit, while the building adjusting in line withthe form of its occupants, taking the form of a feather in the wind, transforms pure physics into an expansion of Nike’s breakthrough.
Sustainability is more than just a buzzword. It’s a testament to MINIWIZ’s work in the field that the sustainable nature of this entire structure, with the POLLIBrick compression walls, might go unnoticed.
This is the art of turning trash, something of no perceived value, something seen as primitive, into something awe inspiring. Made entirely from recycled TPU, each POLLI-Brick interlocks to create a resilient structure. To add further 100% organic reinforcement, recycled rice husks continue this design’s merger of tradition and the future of creativity.
Made with specifications from Nike’s R&D lab after a visit to Nike WHQ in Beaverton, a yarn runs through the pavilion in a Volt Green colour that matches the smaller scale version, turning into rugged caribiner cables that tie, with the threads becoming rope. This is function and beauty on a scale never before seen. And at the end of its own journey, the Feather Pavilion is capable of being recycled to create the next visionary MINIWIZ structure.