Vault49 Gets Microscopic with Uniqlo
Uniqlo is in the business of textiles. They make materials from which to shape garments, and it’s more than a question of just color or texture. Instead it’s about strategic weaves that maximize potential, like breathability and UV protection. The designers at Uniqlo get deep into the fibers of their materials, literally, by figuring out how to lay fibers in such a way that they can do what other textiles cannot do. For their latest publication, “The Life Wear Book,” Uniqlo wanted to offer readers a better understanding of how deep the design of Uniqlo goes. In order to bring a visual language to these technical textiles, they tapped Vault49 to work their CGI magic.
Close up, these textiles are otherworldly. Each fiber takes on the look and imagined feel of steel. They become vast woven structures that are equal parts impressive and humbling. We start to see these objects from a completely different point of view. The vision that Vault49 gives us is through the eyes of the technicians and artists who take it upon themselves to understand our world in a much finer way. Every object, every composite piece of our world, is crafted by nature or man. And rather than just leaving it to chance, when we create these smaller elements, we have the opportunity to do it right, to understand how we fit into a larger context and take advantage of it in a way that benefits ourselves and ideally our world. Vault49 shows us how the designers have to see each tiny element in creating these powerful fabrics. It shows us how light, air, and these complex weave interact with one another at a nearly microscopic level. And that level is exactly where Vault49 started their production.
Luke Choice, Lead Designer at Vault49, explains that they were given a close look at the fabrics, much closer than just the human eye could reveal. “For a couple of them there were microscopic images,” says Luke. “We had to study the actual fabrics to see the individual weaves of certain products.” Using hands on interaction they were able to learn about the materials in such a way that they could communicate their details visually. But the real trick was avoiding the typical, cliché graphic diagrams and turn the images into something compelling. “The challenge went into crafting the visual stories,” explains Luke. “It had to be quite classy.” The results are look at these materials we could never see all on our own.