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VaporScape Hong Kong by H0nh1m x NikeLab

Celebrating the release of their new VaporMax technology, Nike teams up with award-winning designer h0nh1m for The Vision-Airs project with their amazingly cool sound installation: VaporScape.


April 19th, 2017

I love it when fashion brands get all up in the design industry. Actually I love any excuse for a good mashup (or cross-pollination if you want to get academic about it) – it drives innovation, disrupts challenges and inspires new ways of thinking, making and getting things done.

Just look at any output from the Salone in the last three years; Nike, Hermes, Jil Sander, Dolce&Gabbana, Fendi, Valentino – all major fashion houses that have become very invested in the design industry to create something for them that their retail component desperately needs – interactive spectacle. In many ways, fashion is years ahead of where we are in A+D – but in the last 12-18 months, I’ve seen more and more evidence of a bit of a role reversal, where design pulling fashion up and along, rather than the other way around.

The latest example of this is the “VaporScape” installation designed by the young and cool h0nh1m in collaboration with the NikeLab for the official release of their new VaporMax technology.

Here, h0nh1m – aka multi-media artist Chris Cheung – created a method to translate his environment into sound using the latest in bio-mechanical technology. The result? An interactive ambient installation containing four layers of sound.

Vaporisation is about the changing of state, thus turning liquid to vapor where it occurs in our body. We breath; we sweat; heartbeats hit and blood flows. That’s how the internal circulation work and regular the body temperature. The heat evaporates through sweating hence for the result. Our body work like an orchestra, the micro sounds are amazing.

In order to generate music, the product follows a certain criteria — the detection of humidity in a room and the audience’s skin temperature. This prompts the sensors to translate vaporisation rate into sound modulation. This kind of material responsiveness is a very clever and fun demonstration of Nike’s new VaporMax tech, bringing together fashion, art, design and science.

It’s encouraging to see the future of inter-industry collaboration produce such tremendously interesting results, and I really hope examples such as this provoke further experimentation between design an fashion. We need each other more than we realise, and after all – the creative industry is stronger together.

VaporScape is part of NikeLab’s The Vision-Airs project, an exhibition currently hosted at Hong Kong Art Central for Art Basel Hong Kong 2017, that celebrates the rebirth of Nike Air with the new Air VaporMax sneaker.

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