Common Threads; how does what we wear express who we are?

‘’Unraveling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories’’ at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC, explored the relationship between our clothing and our identities. Presenting pieces from around the world and throughout history, the exhibit surveyed how textiles serve as tools for self-expression.


Inviting visitors to experience this connection for themselves, we created “Common Threads,” a temporary, one-of-a-kind photo booth for the space’s lobby. Visitors use a touchscreen to respond to a series of prompts, selecting the keywords that best describe them. They then pose for a photo and share the stories behind their appearance: the t-shirt they stole from their big brother, the scarf their great-grandmother wore to her wedding, the pair of shoes they saved up to buy. When visitors submit their final image, they discover a collage of photos of others who have used the same keywords to describe themselves. They notice similarities and start to unravel the signals conveyed through their own clothing.

While museum curators decode the meanings of textiles, “Common Threads” empowers visitors to encode them with signals about their identity. In the process, they forge connections with others and perhaps get to know themselves just a little bit better.

Second Story, The Textile Museum

2015 Washington DC

  • Digital Signage Awards, Winner, Content &
    Creativity: Elsewhere

  • HOW International Design Awards, Merit, Kiosks/Interactive Exhibits

  • W³ Awards, Silver, Environmental/Experiential: Art

  • AAM Media & Technology MUSE Awards, Gold, Interactive Kiosks

  • Creativity Media & Interactive Design Awards, Platinum: Best in Category, Alternative Media: Digital Display

  • Communicator Awards, Gold Award of Excellence, Interactive Multimedia: Special Interest