An American classic surf brand challenged us to rethink how a true surfer documents his passion for the sport and the ocean. Tossing away the typical social media, we recognized that such a strong passion for a nature sport belongs in a more sacred place than online pixels, and is too spiritual for casual everyday sharing on the internet.
With social media oversharing, sometimes it feels like we don’t know how to tell the truth anymore. Surf, as a culture of determination and risk, can inspire brands to rethink the way we tell and capture truth. To tell a surf brand story, we need new forms of truth telling. We created four different ways for surfer’s gear to document their experience in the ocean, using IoT technology and material investigations.
Self-Documenting Objects was created by Room for Possibilities, an innovation lab at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.Director: Wojtek SzumowskiStrategy: Alexia MathieuInvention Design: Monique Grimord, Vitor Freire, Sara Plavsic
A small capsule that is attached to the board shorts fills with water every time it is in the ocean. After several days without surfing, the water evaporates, an analog way to remind the surfer of the call of the water.
This tag is an analog entry point into the universe of surfers’ sportswear. It is a material language for the aftermarket exchange, using a digital code imprinted on the physical tag and self-documenting fabric. Each time the material touches the salt water, the color of the tag very slightly changes, marking the object’s experience, and the surfer’s commitment. This timeless language can be read and translated into the digital world, and used for surfers to pass down the lineage of their surfwear.
The surfer enters the shop to make a new apparel purchase.
An in-store press creates the surfer’s personalized Forever Tag.
It is stamped with his name, blood type, hometown, and the year of the purchase.
When the apparel is overworn, and ready to be replaced, the Forever Tag is removed and placed in the new apparel.
Surfboard shorts come with a rough sandstone on the tie. After repeated use, and exposure to the water, the stone erodes and eventually turns into a smooth black bead to represent the seasoned surfer.
When the surfer first purchases the board shorts, the bead tie is a rough sandstone.
Years pass, and the surfer experiences many times in the water with the shorts.
Eventually, the sandstone erodes away to expose a smooth black stone, signifying the surfer’s experience.
Surf apparel comes with a tag that syncs to the accelerometer in the surfer’s board. With each highest wave, the tag receives its data, and documents the surfer’s experience. The surfer can then scan the tag to access his own online memories database—where each piece of anonymous apparel is represented by the experiences that have happened in it. The history of the wave stays with the apparel, for the next owner to inherit the object’s story, and accrue with the next owner.