How do you engage 25,000 people in one day? That was Visit Oakland‘s dilemma for the Oakland Raiders 2015 season opener at the Oakland Coliseum. Visit Oakland reached out to us to design a concept for both sides of the pedestrian bridge between the Coliseum and the BART rail station. Our guidelines: use this string art installation as our inspiration, maximize longevity, use Oakland’s team colors, use shapes that reference Oakland, add hashtags, and cover 150 feet over just two days.
We quickly mocked-up four designs and a did a live sketch to estimate time and materials. We scrapped one design for being too labor-intensive, nixed the lamest, and Visit Oakland named the Bay Bridge design below their top pick. We popped their hashtag #OaklandLoveIt into our Arduino-hacked consumer knitting machine to knit four labels for selfies and social media. We stocked up on yarn in Raiders, Warriors, and A’s team colors at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Lastly, we prepped for full 90-degree sun with a quick Amazon order for chic umbrella hats to add to our toolkit. An ounce of preparation!
Yarn filled our Snapchat story (username Knits for Life) as we worked over two days. Follow our story for more behind-the-scenes snaps of our projects. The people in Oakland are so nice! Thanks to all the commuters, residents, and sports fans who stopped to cheer for our beautification efforts. We also got a huge helping hand from our phenomenally creative aunt, who has always inspired our imaginations, and my machine-knitting virtuoso husband. We could never have done it in less than two days without them!
We loved working with Visit Oakland on this project for the fans and look forward to doing more projects in Oakland, the city where our grandparents lived, met, and fell in love way back in the 1940’s! The festive installation even made it in the news on SFist, KRON 4 News, and SF Bay. #OaklandLoveIt