What happened in December?

Following our monthly summaries of what happened in September/October and November, this summary tells of the final month of 2017, and the first month of the tailor shop actually being OPEN!

The Opening Collection

The big event this month was the opening! For which we rushed right until the end to finish these examples that make up our opening collection:
EMF Listeners: Jacket and Cape
KOBA Uniform
Poetry in Motion: “ohne mich” jean jacket and ja/ne hat

Opening Collection

Open source documentation coming in January:
– Pattern in svg, dxf formats
– Circuit diagram
– Bill of materials (BOM)
– Assembly notes/instructions

The Opening

In March/April this year we had the idea for this shop and now, 10 months later, the shop exists and is open. The opening took place on a Thursday evening and we sent out a press release, invitations, tweets about a week before, and also managed to print postcards for the neighbors and locals the day before. People arrived on time and brought shop-warming gifts, especially the neighbors and our friends.

Photo by Berit

opening opening
opening opening

The Opening Presentation

By around 19:30 there was already a good group in the shop and we started our introductory presentation. In this we went back 10 years to our first collaboration in e-textiles and wearable technology – Massage me:
A wearable massage interface that turns a video game player’s excess energy into a back massage for an innocent bystander.

Inventing and building Massage me was for us an exercise in “getting what we want”. We wanted a free, long-lasting back massage, and building a custom wearable game controller with a fully textile interface was our solution to our problem. Massage me was published as an open source design (pattern, circuit diagrams) with tutorials on how to make it.

A few years later, when we published an online database of our e-textile designs we decided to call it HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT because this idea of sharing how to make something was all about making it easier for others to build technology themselves, to get what they want.

How to get what you want

Now, today, the shop we are opening is a continuation of this concept, of technology being something made in response to an individual desire or need. This stands in stark contrast to how most all of us experience technology today. And it is not just technology that is largely invented, designed and manufactured outside our cities and neighborhoods. Production of almost all commodities, from food to books, bricks, toasters and smartphones, no longer takes place near where we live and work.

the crying dress

You can see the slides we used in our presentation here:

The first days of being open

Directly following the opening event, we were open “for business” on Friday and Saturday from 13-19:00. As Mika wrote in this post about We are open, business was slow, but we had some nice interactions with those curious enough to enter through our door.

We get to listen to many people standing outside our window display and talking about what they see. Speculating about what it is we are… “Oh, eine Werkstatt, ein Atelier” (oh, a workshop, a studio)…. “Schau mal, ein neuer Klamottenladen” (look, a new cloths shop)…

We had a “customer” come in to consult on the design of his Discolele costume.

Opening Preparations

Of course leading up to the opening we had to prepare the space, make it useable and presentable. We wrote about it in this post titled Getting ready for the opening.

We printed photos of some of our past projects and workshops:
KOBA photo frames

Laid out some samples:
KOBA exmples

Junshen painted our blackboard:
Painting the blackboard wall


Development of the KOBA Uniform

KOBA Uniform

Featured in Make’s book

We received copies of book in which we announced that we’d be opening this shop:-)
Fabric and fiber inventions
Musical inventions

Critic’s Column / Expert Opinion

Anne Prahl’s introduction to “Longevity” as a sustainability motive.

Curating the Shoptalk Discussion Series

Starting in Januray we will host a series of monthly discussion in the shop space titled “Shoptalk”.

KOBA - A Fairytale in 3 Acts

Gifts and Thanks

From friends local and afar, from collaborators, helpers, neighbors… we’ve been receiving gifts and notes, and are so grateful to know you are following our work and reading these posts:-)

Ready for a break

It is the end of the year. We are tired and ready for a good break. We will back in the shop Monday January 8th 2018. Our shop opening hours are still Fri & Sat from 13-18:00 but if you ever want to visit us another time, just email or call us beforehand.