The new glass atrium at 100 Federal St. just got a little more color. Created by the Boston-based Sosolimited, the Local Fabric public art installation functions as an ever-changing digital quilt—weaving together photographs that capture the culture of each of the city’s 23 neighborhoods. Viewable from the street, the site-specific piece aims to engage the community and brighten the surrounding urban landscape with patterns and hues inspired by fabric.
“The clothing worn in a city becomes—both literally and figuratively—the fabric of the neighborhood,” says Sosolimited creative director Eric Gunther. “We wondered how we could bring that idea full circle and weave the textures of the neighborhood landscape back into evolving, clothing-like patterns.”
The piece began with 400 curated photos—highlighting murals in Roxbury, Charlestown row houses and the vibrant street fairs of Chinatown—before incorporating crowdsourced images. Each composition is generated using software that extracts the photographs’ colors and textures to produce constantly evolving images—no two patterns are alike—with a geometric design that also incorporates the angles of the Federal Street building’s atrium. Throughout the day the installation cycles through a sequence featuring all of Boston’s neighborhoods and it’s often refreshed with new photos posted on Instagram and tagged #localfabricboston.
“We want to breathe new life and color into the familiar sites of Boston,” Gunther says. “And invite people to explore corners of the city they’ve never seen before.”