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Soft Tiles is interactive wall art. It's a unique and simple way to bring tactility and warmth to any space.
63 backers pledged $2,533 to help bring this project to life.

About

D+Y Workshop Soft Tiles project video thumbnail
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$2,533

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A Little About D+Y...

We love designing with fibers and fabric. We believe the tactility of textiles can bring an unmatched quality of warmth and softness to our everyday world, whether through the things we wear, the objects we use, or the spaces we inhabit. 

We want to share the beautiful things we make and show you how to make them, too!  A big part of our studio is about sharing our passion for making with others in the DIY community. In the same way that we have cultivated our unique techniques for designing with fibers and fabric through workshops, online resources, and constant collaboration, we want to pass on that knowledge and inspire others to find their own special ways of making! 

Every D+Y design is lovingly handcrafted in our Cambridge studio. We believe in high-quality craft at every scale. From the material to the design to the application -- every detail matters! 

What are Soft Tiles?

We are developing a brand new product line that will bring an exciting element of softness to your walls. Soft Tiles are made of a very special non-woven fabric that can be heat formed to create a three-dimensional relief while retaining all its original properties of softness and flexibility. 

We designed the tiles to have a unique re-configurable motif. From a set of only five tile designs, you can create a nearly infinite number of overall patterns. 

The soft textile is attached to a shallow frame embedded with magnets. The magnets can then snap and re-snap in any orientation you chose to a pre-installed grid of metal fasteners. 

You can chose to install only as many fasteners as tiles you wish to use, but you can also install a larger grid of fasteners and add or remove tiles to suit your needs!

This is an image of what we imagine a 10 foot wide wall might look like with Soft Tiles gradually filling in the grid:

How are Soft Tiles Made?

In order to produce the unique three dimensional relief in our products, we use a "baking" technique that applies heat and pressure to the fabric. Any polyester-based fabric can be used, but we use a non-woven faux-suede material.

An overview of the process
An overview of the process

First, we create a two-part mold:

A laser cut chipboard mold
A laser cut chipboard mold

Next, we place a piece of fabric (stretched out in a rigid frame) in between the two parts of the mold:

The mold and framed fabric
The mold and framed fabric

Then, we place the whole set in a special oven that can apply both heat and pressure. We heat the mold from both sides to around 160 degrees celsius for about 10 minutes: 

"Baking"
"Baking"

And that's it! We now have a permanent relief in the fabric, which retains all the original properties of the fabric -- flexible and soft and ready for any application! 

Soft and flexible!
Soft and flexible!

Why Kickstarter?

Our goal with this Kickstarter is to prototype and develop Soft Tiles for an installation at our D+Y Workshop booth at the Unique LA craft show on May 3rd and 4th. We are also planning to run a workshop where visitors to the booth can actually "bake" their own tiles! So if you're in the LA area, we'd love for you to come by and experience Soft Tiles first hand! We hope that through this trial period and the feedback from the show, we will be able to take the next steps towards production.

Rewards!

We are very excited about Soft Tiles and hope you are, too! So we're offering a wide range of rewards for your support, all handmade by us with our signature soft relief designs.

Postcards:

  • $1 - a thank you postcard
  • $5 - a set of 5 Soft Tile postcards

Limited Editions:

  • $20 - a small pouch for storing anything from glasses to pencils
  • $20 - a small notebook for jotting down ideas or sketches 
  • $20 - an iphone 5 case

Necklaces:

  • $45 - a necklace of your choice from 5 options (with an earlybird discount for just $30!)
  • $70 -  a customized necklace (!!!) 

Soft Tiles:

  • $150 - for those of you who want to be the first with Soft Tiles on your walls, we're offering a full set of our first Soft Tiles prototype!

UPDATE: Some early sketches of the rewards...designs aren't finalized because these are limited editions for Kickstarter, so the molds haven't been made yet!

POUCH: closed and open
POUCH: closed and open
NOTEBOOK and IPHONE CASE
NOTEBOOK and IPHONE CASE
NECKLACE and COMBINATION OPTIONS
NECKLACE and COMBINATION OPTIONS

The Plan:

Our campaign will be open to backers for just 20 days! After we are successfully funded, the making and fulfillment process will begin.

Pre-funding: D+Y continue prototyping Soft Tiles

Week 1: D+Y preparing for the Unique LA show

Weeks 2-3: D+Y making Limited Editions and Necklaces

Weeks 4-5: D+Y making Customized Necklaces and first Soft Tile kits

Week 6: Packaging and Fulfillment of all orders! Expected delivery: on or before June 14th, 2014. 

Thank You!

Risks and challenges

We fully recognize the time and effort that must be invested in this type of endeavor.

Some of the risks with this project include the tight schedule and unforeseeable elements of the site where we plan to install. In order to minimize those risks we plan to exhaustively prototype and are relying on the simplicity of the system to make the final installation go smoothly. Additionally, from our time as architecture students, we have accumulated quite a lot of experience in dealing with the trials and tribulations of installation projects...and of course making things on tight deadlines.

Although the completion of the project doesn't hinge on this, we would very much like the installation to be mostly made up of tiles produced at the on site workshop. But, ultimately, how many people are willing to participate in the workshop is an unknown.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You're awesome! We'll send you a lovely postcard with a soft tile illustration and personalized note in thanks for you support!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You're wonderful! We'll send you a complete set of five postcards with soft tile illustrations to send or keep, as well as a personalized note in thanks for you support!

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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    You're amazing! We'll send you one of our limited edition handmade pouches with our signature soft relief designs (perfect for glasses or pencils or other small things).

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    You're amazing! We'll send you one of our limited edition iphone 5 cases with our signature soft relief designs (an adapted clear hard shell case).

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    You're amazing! We'll send you a limited edition handmade notebook covered in our signature soft relief designs (a 3 x 5 inch saddle stitched notebook with 40 blank pages).

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    Limited 9 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Earlybird Special! You're super! We'll send you a lovingly handmade necklace in the design of your choice (from 5 options) made with our signature soft relief designs.

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    Limited 7 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    You're super! We'll send you a lovingly handmade necklace in the design of your choice (from 5 options) made with our signature soft relief designs.

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    2 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    You're super duper! We'll make you a customized necklace! It will be in the same family as the pre-designed necklaces, but you'll have the choice of colors, shapes, combinations, and necklace length!

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    3 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    You're awesome, wonderful, amazing, and super duper!! We'll send you a set of 15 Soft Tiles, an installation kit with detailed instructions, and offer you a design consultation for ideas on the best application in your space.

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Funding period

- (20 days)