I.D. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2009
(yes, that was sadly the last issue of I.D.)
Material ConneXion explores design's far-out future.
Rapid prototyping, plastic ball joints, and brain scans: The digital revolution has come and gone, leaving in its wake the advanced technologies that have expanded design practices at unprecedented speed. "Bits & Pieces," an exhibition at the New York outpost of the global materials library Material ConneXion, showcases work from eight designers that was enabled —and complicated— by the influx of those sci-fi materials, many of which Material ConneXion helps develop.
Much like MoMA's 2008 exhibition "Design and the Elastic Mind," the goal of "Bits & Pieces," as curator Alissia Melka-Teichroew explains, is "not to show finished objects, per se, but how our thought process goes back and forth between analog and digital ways of designing." Former Droog designer Lucas Maassen, in collaboration with Unfold studio, presents a sofa made from foam that was cut by a five-axis CNC machine into the 3-D peaks and valleys of Maassen's brain waves and hand-upholstered in lo-fi gray felt. New inroads into ceramic manufacturing include Unfold's rapid-prototyping unit used to make ceramic tools and Melka-Teichroew's own ball-jointed jewelry for byAMT, created using laser-sintering, another rapid-prototyping technology first refined in the auto industry. Such creative research defines the ultimate theme of the exhibition: Innovation from all corners of science and industry flattens the design world, making the impossible possible and the cutting edge quotidian. Through December 5. www.materialconnexion.com