Video: Martino Gamper creates Flyknit drum kits for Nike

Martino Gamper creates drum kits for Nike with Flyknit skins

Milan 2016: designer Martino Gamper explains how he repurposed the Flyknit material Nike uses in its shoes to create drum skins in our next movie from the sports brand's The Nature of Motion exhibition in Milan.

The Nature of Motion exhibition by Nike

Gamper's contribution to the Nike show, which presented installations by an array of international designers exploring the concept of movement, was a series of colourful drum sets.

The Nature of Motion exhibition by Nike

"For this project, I wanted to explore the the idea of rhythm – the rhythm in running, the rhythm in drumming, the rhythm in music," Gamper says in the movie, which Dezeen produced for Nike.

"I created a series of drum kits and I used Flyknit technology as the drum skins."

Martino Gamper create's drum kits with Flyknit skins at Nike's The Nature of Motion exhibition in Milan 2016

Nike's Flyknit material is a flexible, breathable textile made from synthetic yarns. It is usually used by the brand to make uppers for sports shoes that are knitted in one piece like a sock.

Martino Gamper create's drum kits with Flyknit skins at Nike's The Nature of Motion exhibition in Milan 2016

Gamper made three sets of drums using the material – a classic rock drum kit, a cocktail drum kit and a set of marching band drums – with each drum featuring a different pattern.

Martino Gamper create's drum kits with Flyknit skins at Nike's The Nature of Motion exhibition in Milan 2016

The challenge was creating a textile strong enough to be stretched taught over the drums, Gamper says.

Martino Gamper create's drum kits with Flyknit skins at Nike's The Nature of Motion exhibition in Milan 2016

"I worked very closely with the Nike in-house team to produce these flyknit drum skins," he explains.

"Usually Flyknit is used to create quite a small knit for the shoes. They haven't ever knitted anything that large."

Martino Gamper create's drum kits with Flyknit skins at Nike's The Nature of Motion exhibition in Milan 2016

He continues: "We had to create a very dense material that you can stretch in all directions. I think it was interesting for them to push their technology."

Martino Gamper create's drum kits with Flyknit skins at Nike's The Nature of Motion exhibition in Milan 2016

Gamper is not a drummer himself, but he says he was drawn to the idea of creating a series of drum kits after watching footage of marching band processions.


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"You instantly get this sense of people being affected by it," he says. "That's what I was after, to create drumming that could then reverberate and go out in the world, to create a wave of sound."

Martino Gamper portrait
Martino Gamper

This movie was filmed by Dezeen in Milan for Nike. It is the fourth in a series of movies looking at the work presented in The Nature of Motion exhibition.

In the first movie in the series, Nike's vice president of global design John Hoke introduces the show and explains why putting on an exhibition during Milan Design Week is important for the sportswear giant.