May 7, 2008

We Like: Flock, the Ceiling Light Made from Preserved Sheep Stomachs

When we first saw Flock at the Design Museum in London, the pure beauty of the ceiling light charmed us: irregular organic shapes, soft light a very detailed texture. Not being able to figure out the material it was made of, we read on the label next to it that it was made of fifty stomachs! How is that for an unusual material in design these days?

Flock’s designer Julia Lohmann likes to provoke with her creations, and remind people that we are using more animal products than the steaks we might eat ocasionally. She started researching the contradictions in our relationship to animals during her studies at the RCA, and found new ways to use leftovers from the meat industry as materials.

In an interview with the London Design Museum, Lohmann is asked: “Why did you decide to make lights from animal waste such as sheep's stomachs?” Her answer: “All animal parts are useful but we do not value them equally. We wear some and throw others away in disgust, probably because we do not want to be reminded of the animal we killed. I want to find out where we draw the line between what we regard as beautiful or disgusting. […].”

Read the whole very interesting interview here. To see more products by Julia Lohmann visit her web site, and check out the Cow Benched made from real leather, and the installation she did with Irish kelp at the Milan Design Week this month.

Jan 22, 2008

We Like: Gumnetic, a New Material Made from Used Chewing Gum

British product designer Anna Bullus has created a brand new material by mixing used chewing gum with bio resin, called Gumnetic. She explains that varying ratios of the mixture enable different material characteristics to be achieved.

One such mixture, the designer used to develop a Bubble Gum Bin to collect more raw material (used chewing gum in this case), which can then be made into more bins or other objects, saving thousands of chewing gums from ending up as landfill and keeping our streets cleaner. Keep a look out for these cute pink gum bins as the project is available soon for commercial use.

Anna Bullus won the British Councils National Design Award in 2007 with the Gumnetic Bin. It is another great example where the designer has created and manipulated the raw material, resulting in a more sustainable and surprising product. Check out more projects we like under the category We Like, and find more information about Gumnetic on Anna Bullus' Web Site.

Dec 10, 2007

Barcelona Workshop Pictures

A few pictures of the Materialise Me workshop at the Design School ELISAVA in Barcelona last month. See the video and more information here.

Nov 21, 2007

We Like: ANANITA, the Latex Lamp

Ananita is a latex lamp designed by Anita Garcia and produced by Cha Chá in Spain. It is a perfect example of handmade for mass production. Garcia experimented on her own coffee maker, applying liquid latex with a brush. The latex could be peeled off and voilà: a lamp. She then took the handmade prototype to Vinçon and Cha Chá who went straight off to making a mould and mass producing it. The finished piece can be seen in Vinçon amongst other shops. Oh, and word has it, a whole collection of ananitaobjetosluminososparatocar (ananitailluminatedobjectstotouch) is on its way, everyday objects that are here to serve us. Keep your eyes out for the following objects: GoOoOoooLLL!!!! . . . MMmmmhhh!!!! . . . Rriiinnngggg!!! . . . For more, visit Anita Garcia’s web site.

Nov 9, 2007

2nd Workshop : ELISAVA Design School, Barcelona

Last week we finished another workshop ,at ELISAVA Design School in Barcelona. This time, the participants were Master students whereas at Krabbesholm School in Denmark we had the pleasure to work with foundation students.
The materials changed quite a lot too. This time around, students came packed with cork, biodegradable packaging material, metal strips from construction, Magnolia leaves, substrate from the beach and even human hair!
The workshop at ELISAVA offered 1001 possibilities to explore those materials and transform them into new ones. Who would have known leaves stitched together form a funky-looking bag, human hair mixed with glue and knotted makes a strong and beautiful cord, cork dices coated with latex in a mould form swim-armbands for kids and shredded pieces of packaging plastic ironed around a mould melt together into a lampshade.
Thanks to the DIA team for incorporating our workshop into your Master course. We really enjoyed working with you.
For more information about the Materialise workshops, click here.

We Like: Cohda Revolutionises Recycling in Design

We like the way these guys turn waste plastic into something other than mostly ugly looking, colourful sheets of recycled plastic. With the RD4 chair by Cohda, a new aesthetic for recycling plastics was born. How does it work? It start with a pile of domestic HDPE waste (bottles, bags, food packaging,...) which needs to be shredded. The flake material gets heated in Cohda's own extruding machine, transforming the HDPE into a soft ribbon of recycled plastics. This is hand-woven around a specially designed mould. Once the plastic has cooled off and turned hard, you can remove it from the mould, and voilà: the chair. Watch the video for an amazing example of handmade for mass production.

Oct 8, 2007

We Are Looking For Your Design!

Are you a designer, architect or maker? Are you passionate about materials? Are your designs influenced by the material? Have you got some interesting projects you would like to share with us? Do you fancy the possibility of being published in a book? If the answer is yes, tell us about your project in a comment under this post or email us! We would love to hear from you.