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.
First, we create a two-part mold:
Next, we place a piece of fabric (stretched out in a rigid frame) in between the two parts of the mold:
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:
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!
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.
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.
- $1 - a thank you postcard
- $5 - a set of 5 Soft Tile postcards
- $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
- $45 - a necklace of your choice from 5 options (with an earlybird discount for just $30!)
- $70 - a customized necklace (!!!)
- $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!
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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)