Creative Code Fellowship Week 1: Planning!

Yesterday I started the Creative Code Fellowship Program. I can already see what an amazing framework of support Gray Area and Stamen have put together for the fellowship participants. 

What's THE main idea?
Create fabrics, with the look of Dutch Wax Block Prints (popular in West Africa), that use symbology to communicate the prevalence, contrasts, and/or frictions of rapid change as it affects parallel lives in the Bay Area. The background textures of the fabrics will be generativity constructed using data related to the chosen pattern topic.     WORKING TITLE: BAY DATA FABRICS

original proposal and block print examples

more block print examples

The timeline for my project is really short! It's especially short if I want to get fabrics printed and clothing tailored by the August 26th presentation date. I really want use an analog printing process but research is showing that I may have to go with a digital printing process just to stay on schedule.

Here's a rough timeline to start:

June 11th - July 16th: 

  • Determine themes
  • Find data 
  • Drawing, Create patterns (4-5) 
  • PAOM and Spoonflower tests
  • Seek tailor

July 16th - July 30th: 

  • Fabric printing
  • Start QR/Web element

July 31st - August 20th: 

  • Clothing tailored
  • QR/Web element

I've already considered and researched some printing options:

Printing lead times:

  • Spoonflower: 7-9 days + shipping (leaning to using this service)
  • PAOM: 2-4 weeks for production.
  • Zoo Ink (screenprint): up to 4 weeks, already taking orders for July
  • Print myself….? CNC Wood Blocks.

What are my data fabric themes? I hope to choose 4 to 5

What kinds of background patterns will I use to encode the data? See the sketchbook


  • Should I print the fabric by analog process or digital? (Leaning digital due to time constraints) Production ideas?
  • Should I have the clothing custom tailored?  Where?
    (Leaning to yes. Still need to decide on patterns and tailor)
  • How many different patterns and topics should I pursue? 
        (leaning to 4, maybe 5)
  • Data sources?
  • Which themes are the strongest? which should I start with? (leaning to yes)
  • What does the fabric identification system look like? 
  • Should some designs could be completely abstract (but still based on data)?
  • Should patterns be parametric with many variations?
  • How can I bring something new to the “changes in San Francisco” dialogue?
  • Long term: What happens with the fabric and/or clothing? Sale to benefit local organization?

Other Thoughts:

  • Work fabrics and data like paintings and drawing. Layering, depth of color and texture.
  • How to make the images look like they were block printed?
  • Limited palette