Many contemporary design innovations have embraced the growth and expansion of new technologies. BREAKFAST, a Brooklyn-based rapid product and prototype company, has released ‘Brixel’ a product that combines the customizability technology can provide with the most fundamental building block of architecture – the brick.
The Brixel is an infinitely rotating brick controlled by a software app on your phone. The sleek design and variety of available shapes provide the designer or architect with the tools needed to create a 3-dimensional, interactive installation. Brixel’s design flexibility allows it to be used in many applications, such as dynamic wall installations, railings, facades, and sculpture. Andrew Zolty, BREAKFAST’s Co-Founder and Head of Design described Brixel:
“We saw an opportunity to blur the lines between what is deemed ‘art,’ ‘infrastructure,’ and a ‘digital display,’ 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.”
The orientation and movement of the Brixel component is not its only customizable element; size, shape, material, and color are all elements of the spinning brick that can be customized to enhance the architect or interior designer’s vision for the interior or exterior of the building. Brixel is supported by a central support staff, allowing it to move freely in either direction without any visible wires or mechanical components.
BREAKFAST has implemented the Brixel bricks in a series of experimental installations, and has piqued the interest of a number of prestigious organizations, including the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Museum. The ‘Brixel Mirror’ is a 19-foot wide, 540 Brixel installation. When standing in front of the mirror, the Brixels in front of you rotate, creating a mirror that matches your silhouette and moves with you, giving a one-to-one reflection. When the installation no longer senses your presence, kinetic animations and relevant information can play across the installation with the Brixels rotating to create letters via positive and negative colors and space. Each Brixel is outfitted with LED lights that illuminate the bottom of the brick.
Written by Lindsay Duddy