22nd November 2011
A team of scientists in the US have developed a new material that is the lightest on earth - so light in fact that it can be balanced on top of a dandelion without damaging it. What is amazingly unique about this material is that it is still dense and strong - yet so light and is capable of keeping its form even after intense pressure. It is even lighter the aerogel or frozen smoke as it is known. With a density of 0.9 mg/cc it is approximately one hundred times lighter than Styrofoam™
Called the Ultralight Metallic Microlattice it is a combination of nickel and air. Lorenzo Valdevit one of the scientists behind the invention explains that, 'materials actually get stronger as the dimensions are reduced to the nanoscale. Combine this with the possibility of tailoring the architecture of the micro-lattice and you have a unique cellular material.'
Although early in its developments such a material will have a huge impact on truly making products ultra lightweight
17th November 2011
Borre Akkersdijk who graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven last year has just released his first collection called By Borre. Based in Paris his collection is called ' The First cycle – the story from the yarn to the show'. An interesting collection with oversized woven coats and dresses as well as duffle dresses.
His textiles are from a unique process he developed for his graduation project working with textile mills who manufacture the textiles for mattress covers that allows him to weave the pattern piece and exaggerated quilting into the fabrics.
His show started with a stop-motion animation explaining the production process of the clothing as this is as equally important to his collection as the aesthetic and silhouette.
4th November 2011
By far one of my favorite shows during Dutch Design week (and the hardest to find!) Mass: 10 designers on Methods, Material and Manufacturing explores how the DIY revolution is pushing the boundaries of design and manufacturing as designers take it into their own hands to make their own tools, processes and manufacturing.
Through resourcefulness designers are customizing technology as well as making their own materials and methodology. A move on from the new materiologists, these designers are taking it entirely to the next level. The exhibition is also a comment on issues of mass manufacture.
Charlotte Dumoncell D’argence’s Kneaded project explores an alternative production process of plastic goods using materials and skills borrowed from the kitchen. Inspired by pasta making and the processes within the plastics industry she has developed a low cost material and tooling technique that can be carried out in the kitchen.
Julien Carretero’s Stencil project was also on show highlighting how a bit of imagination can up turn a complex manufacturing system into cheaper and more sustainable methods resulting in low tech manufacturing processes.
Studio Formafantasma's Botanica was also on show again which was a pleasure to see again after Milan.
All set and curated in a disused Philips factory, the exhibition was a beautiful feast for the eyes and food for thought.
3rd November 2011
The latest Philips Design probe was unveiled during Dutch Design week. Shown within Piet Hein Eeks space it explores a future home scenario that is totally self sufficient. The overall idea for the Microbal home is for an integrated cyclical ecosystem where each function’s output is another’s input - essentially the home becomes a biological machine to filter, process and recylcle what we conventionally think of as waste – sewage, effluent, garbage, waste water.
Concept appliances within the home are a bio luminescent light that is powered from bioluminescent bacteria and a 'Patemoster’ a plastic waste up-cycler that uses mycelium (from mushrooms) to break down plastic packaging waste in the home. They also suggest an urban beehive that lives within the home and a kitchen table that is also where you grow vegetables that are kept 'fresh' for longer with 'Evaporative cooling' technology.
There is also a beautiful film commenting on future dirt and nano technology in collaboration with Nancy Tilbury, Bart Hess and Harm Rensik that is beautiful and thought provoking, I will post it up once it is released.
2nd November 2011
One of my favourite projects from Design Academy Eindhoven was Tom Gottelier's Paraffin Table. Looking like a normal table top it is actually made from wax. Encouraging users to place hot objects onto the surface the damage is seen as part of the design and beautiful as well as a temporal memory of what has been going on around or on the table. Once the table has been damaged enough you simply plug the table into the mains and the surface melts and repairs itself.