London software developer Stef Lewandowski has found a way to turn hashtags into a fashion statement, creating jewelry inspired by Twitter accounts.
The Data Necklace, sold at indiegogo.com, represents an individual’s history of tweets, highlighting a particular word in a person’s Twitter handle. Using custom-made software, Lewandowski downloads the most recent 3,000 tweets, looks for a pattern, and then works with a London-based company to turn the data into a laser-cut design.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)
“I made a necklace for a friend of mine who uses the word awesome a lot,” Lewandowski says. “I wasn’t expecting to start making jewelry, but people liked the design and the idea took off.”
During Digital Sizzle’s Hack Day, a technology networking event which required attendees to create an experiment combining art and data, Lewandowski enlisted laser-cutting companies to help him with the project. “I wanted to turn data into something that’s wearable and personalized,” he says.
The finished necklace is cut from acrylic, industrial felt, or snake chain. “Each material brings its own strength to the design,” Lewandowski says.
The lengths of the beads indicate the number of tweets in a month. The shorter lengths highlight how often you used a particular word that month. “The design is almost like a 21st-century locket,” Lewandowski says.
The jewelry currently retails for $500, a price Lewandowski hopes to cut down in the future. “I’m trying to find a range of designs that let people tell their story, but are more reasonably affordable,” he says.
Those interested in providing research and development funding for the project can visit the Indiegogo page, where they’ll receive a special discount. Lewandowski plans on creating a giant “You’re All Awesome” necklace with the Twitter names of all of his supporters.
In the future, Lewandowski hopes to expand his designs to bracelets and even accessories for men. “I come from a software background. I’m not a trained jeweler, so if anyone reading the article wants to share their input, I will gladly accept the higher wisdom of others,” Lewandowski says.
Love Necklace (Photo courtesy of Stef Lewandowski)