BREAKFAST unveils Brixels™ and Brixel Mirror.
These spinning bricks will pave the way for digitally controlled artwork and architectural facades.
For release on October 16, 2018
Brooklyn, New York — Today, BREAKFAST unveiled Brixels™, a groundbreaking technology designed to inspire a new creative era in art and architecture.
Brixels™ are infinitely rotating, variable-size bricks that are controlled by proprietary software and can act as pixels in large-scale and customizable artworks, building facades, and a range of other applications.
Brixels™ introduce a way to create 3-dimensional interactive visual experiences whose look and feel can evolve over time via real-time data and software updates. Brixels™ is already being explored by several prestigious brands, architecture groups, and museums for future projects and exhibitions.
In the hands of industry innovators, this new technology can usher in an aesthetic defined by kinetic walls and installations that are as mesmerizing as they are functional.
To demonstrate the capability of this new medium, BREAKFAST has also launched Brixel Mirror, a 18 by 6 foot interactive installation that uses 540 Brixels™, and is the first artwork to use the technology.
Brixels can be designed and assembled into almost any configuration, allowing them to be utilized for interactive art sculptures, dynamic walls, railings, facades, and more. They can display a range of digital content, as well as respond to the movements of passers-by. The bricks themselves are customizable in size, shape, material, and color, making each installation unique.
“We saw an opportunity to blur the lines between what is deemed ‘art,’ ‘infrastructure,’ and a ‘digital display,’" says Andrew Zolty, BREAKFAST's Co-Founder and Head of Design. "We sought to develop a new medium that would allow us to create a variety of captivating installations that are, at first, perceived as art, and second, deliver relevant information and unique experiences.”
Brixel Mirror is a 18 foot wide by 6 foot-tall installation made up of 540 Brixels, black on one side and mirrored on the other. Brixel Mirror is the first installation built by BREAKFAST to utilize Brixels.
Brixel Mirror can be controlled from a smartphone to switch between various content and interactive experiences. "Silhouette" is an experience where the Brixels directly in front of you rotate creating a mirror that matches your silhouette and moves with you giving a one-to-one reflection.
When no one is directly in front of the installation, kinetic animations and relevant information can play across the installation with the Brixels rotating to create letters via positive and negative colors and space.
An additional feature of Brixel Mirror is the embedded LEDs that illuminate from the bottom of each Brixel. This creates an entirely different look and experiences for when the sun goes down.
Details of Brixel Mirror
Size: 18' W x 6' H x 0.8' D
Materials: Aluminum (Polished and Matte Black), Steel, Acetal, PTFE, UHMW
Number of Brixels: 540
Top Speed: 60 rpm
The Making of Brixels
The hardware and software behind Brixels were developed from the ground up by BREAKFAST — a small collective of designers and engineers based out of Dumbo in Brooklyn.
The key design feature behind Brixels was designing the essential components into the center support shaft. This allows each Brixel to spin endlessly in either direction without any tangled wires or slip-rings.
A Linux controller computer sits at the heart of each installation, running a variety of apps that process the visual data and pass it along to the Brixels. The data is sent via RS485 to the controller PCBs that sit at the bottom of each column. Each controller PCB then sends the data over a serial line up the column to each individual Brixel. The architecture allows an endless amount of rows and columns of Brixels.
A web app that runs off of the Linux Controller allows each installation to be controlled from any device. You can create and upload a variety of content, as well as create playlists and schedules.
Art and Interactive Experiences
Over that past 10 years, BREAKFAST has designed high-tech kinetic interactive sculptures for both public and commercial use. Brixels is their latest paintbrush allowing them to develop custom kinetic pieces faster while not limiting their creativity.
BREAKFAST is accepting commissions to develop custom installations that utilize Brixels in unique ways.
Architecture and Interior Design
The architecture and interior design industries have seen little innovation in terms of how to integrate digital content and information in an aesthetically appropriate way. When it comes to integrating digital elements into a space, it almost always comes in the form of a glowing rectangle. Brixels' ability to adapt in both look and form allows it to meld into an architects' particular vision for a given space.
Brixels was supported by Two Trees who provided gallery space for assembling and filming of Brixel Mirror.
BREAKFAST LLC, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, is a rapid product and prototype company that develops IP for companies and brands, along with developing their own products. Their past work includes Flip-Disc Display, Thread Screen, Points - The Smart Street Sign, and Luster (formerly Instaprint). For more information please visit: https://breakfastny.com.
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Co-Founder / Head of Design