As part of his Senior Design Thesis at Boston University, Cody Ben Lewis is applying lines of code to an unlikely canvas: your feet.
“I took classic argyle as my inspiration and deconstructed it to allow the computer to choose the line weight, intersection positions, dot size, and dot density,” Lewis told me. “Everything about the resulting brand, string&&loop, balances between craft and code with the idea that consumers should be in control of supporting genuinely fun, innovative and intellectually designed products.”
That’s right: Lewis developed a computer program that generates sock patterns from randomized values.
The company is live on Kickstarter and more than halfway to its goal of $1,800 with 15 days remaining. That money, said Lewis, will go toward producing the first line of red, white and blue argyle-based socks made predominantly from combed cotton – a pattern ultimately spit out from his program. The socks will be manufactured in America.
“I wanted to start with red, white, and blue, but the goal is to continue to produce limited runs of socks from the same program and feature different colors and patterns,” said Lewis. “Every line will be unique!”
Lewis had a previous startup, America Duck, which we covered in January 2015. The concept there: Create a Canada-Goose-lookalike patch you could adhere to any jacket and, hopefully, still feel just as cool. The “parody” project, as he called it, struck a nerve – it was ultimately taken down (after hitting its goal) as part of an intellectual property dispute.
The plan with string&&loop seems more forward-looking. “I really wanted to design my own pair of socks and I started experimenting with Processing to make patterns,” said Lewis. “As a result I uncovered a genuinely innovative design method that had never been applied to hosiery before.”