Nike Joyride BeadCloud




Project: Nike Joyride BeadCloud
Technology: Kinetic Sculpture
Client: Nike
Agency: UNIT9

Nike wanted to introduce runners to its newest running shoe, the Nike Joyride. So we built an installation that demonstrated the benefits of the unique shoe—namely, that it’s packed with a thousand beads—and how it can improve performance.

We built the Joyride bead cloud, an installation in a coveted spot in the Dubai Mall Nike store on Fashion Avenue that explained how the beads help improve recovery running. While the technology behind the beads is impressive, we didn’t want to get too caught up in the details of how it works. Instead, we focused on creating a beautiful, artistic sculpture that brought out the playfulness of the shoes and conveyed the essence of what it’s like to go running in them: smooth, effortless, and freeing.

The installation, which was 4m long and over 3m high, was an extraordinarily large undertaking. The CNC-ing of the shoe took over a week in machine time alone, and that didn’t include finishing. We used 148 servo motors to power the beads, which moved at 25cm per second. Building the animations to project onto the beads was a complex process, and we kept tweaking and improving them throughout the duration of the project to ensure they looked exactly right. There were many “what ifs” and “therefores” to write into the code, and the team worked hard to determine every single possible scenario.