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Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Women shaping the design world, India's wine industry, the recipe for black concrete and more Farewell to the Plastic Bags of NYC While the single-use plastic bag ban in New York (instated 1 March) is undeniably necessary, the bags’ kitsch designs have become synonymous with the city. Graphic designer Sho Shibuya collected more than 200 different types of bags over several years and photographed some …
Tags: Travel, Art, New York, Science, Design, News, NYC, India, Environment, Cars, Tech, Sustainability, Materials, Architecture, Bags, Antarctica

Mycelium is Growing Everywhere

Growing Pavilion at last year's Dutch Design Week photo by Eric Melander This past November the growing popularity of the fungal building material called mycelium was made manifest by the Growing Pavilion at Dutch Design Week. A collaboration between designer Pascal Leboucq and the bio-fabrication company, Krown Design, the construction was a testament to the power of the industrious organism and other bio-materials. Within the pavilion resided an exhibition of evidence to the ways in which myce...
Tags: Europe, Design, Sustainability, Materials, Netherlands, Sustainable Design, Design Festivals, Mycelium, Dutch Design, Dezeen, Asia Australia Africa, Ecovative Design, Dutch Design Week, Eric Melander, Pascal Leboucq, Krown Design

Please, I'm Begging You, Take My Plastic Bags

In my apartment, there is a small mountain of plastic bags that my roommates and I continue to reluctantly build upon. Desperate to deal with these wasted bags, I am regularly trying to find different opportunities to reuse them. Of course, I alone will never find ways to reuse all of them. So my mountain of plastic guilt grows ever higher. This might be a familiar feeling for many who are justifiably concerned about the amount of plastic gumming up the gears of the earth. A heap of plastic bags...
Tags: UK, Design, Environmental, Materials, Systems, East London, Sustainable Design, Onni Aho

Cool Production Method: Soft Baroque's "Puffy Brick" Concrete Casting Technique

Soft Baroque is the brand of Nicholas Gardner and Saša Štucin, a pair of artists and designers who create work "with conflicting functions and imagery, without abandoning beauty or consumer logic." As part of their goal to "blur the boundaries between acceptable furniture typologies and conceptual representative objects," the duo invented a rather nifty production method by experimenting with balloons, concrete and a containing mold:"By injecting concrete into balloons and arranging them in a mo...
Tags: Design, Materials, Stockholm, Furniture Design, Nicholas Gardner

MycoWorks Debuts Their Plastic-Free, Non-Animal Premium Leather Alternative, Reishi

The sustainable biomaterial 'Fine Mycelium' tans, performs and ages like cowhide Amidst the tidal change rippling through the luxury sector—one that involves reduction of carbon footprint, protection of animal rights and dismissal of plastics—only one leather alternative adheres to such standards and still feels premium. That product, Reishi, launches this week. A fungi-based “fine mycelium” grown in labs under proprietary circumstances, Reishi emulates many sensory …
Tags: Science, Design, Style, Leather, Environment, Materials, Luxury, Mushrooms, Fashion Week, Sustainable, NYFW, Vegan Leather, Reishi, Material Innovation, Fine Mycelium, Leather Alternatives

Farm-to-Table Product Design: Visually Delicate Tableware Made from Cow Bones

Here's a great example of a designer spotting an untapped opportunity hidden inside of an obvious trend. The obvious trend is farm-to-table restaurants, which have exploded in popularity. While such things wouldn't succeed in the rural community my wife and I live in--we and our neighbors routinely eat things that were once walking around on our own properties--urbanites and suburbanites are increasingly interested in knowing where their food came from, and seeking the "dining experience" that f...
Tags: Food, Design, Materials, Pennsylvania, Times, Barber, Moore, Dan Barber, Cornish, Blue Hill, Greg Moore, Stone Barns, New York Barber, Philippe Gouze

“Living” Concrete Made From Bacteria

Developed by researchers at the University of Colorado, a new concrete alternative could provide a carbon-free option for buildings in remote places—where lugging traditional concrete ingredients proves difficult. Only two components—photosynthetic bacteria and gelatin—make up this “living” concrete. Due to its photosynthetic nature, it starts off green before drying into a brown hue. Perhaps most impressive of all, the concrete can regenerate: “When half of …
Tags: Science, Design, Tech, Bacteria, Materials, Studies, Carbon Emissions, Buildings, Building, Linkaboutit, University Of Colorado, Concrete, Material Innovation

The Missing CAD Link for Furniture Designers Working With Wood and Composites: Woodwork for Inventor

"The furniture industry is quickly evolving, fashion trends are changing almost daily, and customers are demanding evermore complex solutions. Meanwhile, project implementation deadlines are shortening. To keep pace with these trends, design tools must be highly tailored to meet the needs of the designer." --Celi Automated Design SystemsIf you design furniture, case goods or interiors, chances are you're working with wood. Whether it's for a home, hotel, hospital, office, shop or retail chain, c...
Tags: Design, Germany, Tech, Software, Materials, Canada, Switzerland, Romania, Autodesk, Inventor, Sap, Furniture Design, Woodwork, MDF, CNC, Celi

Good Vibrations Calculated to Ease Your Stress

There was no shortage of wearables showcased at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, but only one –– claims Apollo Neuroscience Inc. –– that uses finely tuned vibration frequencies to calm or energize you, or improve your recovery from stress. The young Pittsburgh firm, co-founded by the husband-and-wife team of Kathryn Fantauzzi and Dr. David Rabin, turned to nearby Bally Design to come up with the look and feel of a high-end wearable device on just a fraction of the budget often devoted to such matters by ...
Tags: Apple, Design, Germany, Medical, Ces, Materials, Healthcare, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Greg, Covestro LLC, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Rabin, Bally, Albany Medical College, Department of Neurological Surgery

Self-Healing Bricks That are Grown From Bacteria

As we saw earlier, Hempcrete is amazing stuff. The concrete alternative is sustainable, lightweight, fireproof, acts as a natural insulator, and sequesters CO2. Hempcrete's properties are passive; the material is not alive. But Wil Srubar, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at Colorado University Boulder, has been wondering: If we used building materials that are still alive, could we yield additional benefits from them?Wil Srubar and C...
Tags: Design, Materials, Sustainable Design, Sarah Williams, CU Boulder, Hempcrete, CU Boulder College of Engineering, Colorado University Boulder, Srubar, Wil Srubar

IBM is Developing a New Battery That Can Be Made Without Heavy Metals

IBM is working on developing an alternative battery made without heavy metals. The new research could prove instrumental in increasing the sustainability of existing battery technologies and have far-ranging applications. "Many battery materials, including heavy metals such as nickel and cobalt, pose tremendous environmental and humanitarian risks," explains Young-hye Na, manager of materials innovations for next-gen batteries at IBM Research. "Using three new and different proprietary materials...
Tags: Design, Materials, Ibm, IBM Research, Sidus, Central Glass

ETH Researchers Found a Way to 3D-Print Complex Glass Objects With a New Take on Stereolithography

3D-printing glass hasn't gotten much easier over the years. The few researchers who have attempted it so far rely on two, inherently problematic techniques. Printing molten glass is technically possible, but it requires extremely high temperatures and expensive, heat-resistant equipment. Another method is to use powdered ceramic particles that are printed at room temperature then sintered to create glass, but this approach can only yield very simple objects. Researchers at ETH Zurich's Complex M...
Tags: Design, Materials, 3d Printing, ETH Zurich s Complex Materials

Packaging A Seed

This summer, while on a guided nature walk along the Hudson River in Manhattan, my companions and I were shown the seeds of the Kentucky Coffeetree. The seed packaging of the Kentucky Coffeetree is an incredible demonstration of evolution and design. The seed is encased in a package so strong, that to actually breakthrough the hard outer layers, one would require the teeth of a mastodon, or a bottle of Hydrochloric Acid. I was impressed with how specifically designed the tree's seeds had been s...
Tags: Google, Design, Kentucky, Earth, Materials, Manhattan, Packaging, FSC, Sustainable Design, Hudson River, Katz, George Church, Ara Katz, Branding & Identity, Kentucky Coffeetree

A Process For Working With Nature (Not Against It)

At one time in design history, not so long ago (though it feels like forever ago), the designer would rely on the environment around them to provide the material of their creation. They might wade into the tide, walk into the forest, scale the mountain, go into whatever space was accessible to collect that which they needed and then return home to create. Now the origin of our materials is all but invisible to the designer, due in large part to some thermodynamically-ignorant ideas about global ...
Tags: Design, Materials, Nature, Manufacturing, Sustainable Design, Wageningen University, Agar, Fabrication, Karlijn Sibbel, Nature Sibbel, Sibbel

Israeli Company Figures Out How to Turn Household Garbage Into Injection-Moldable Thermoplastic

When I moved to the rural county I now live in, I learned they were several years into their "Single-stream recycling" initiative. All household garbage--organic materials, plastics, metals, whatever--went into the same bag. A nearby recycling facility held magic machines that tore the bags open and sorted the trash using a multitude of technologies, then recycled everything recyclable. I was in awe when I watched the company's presentation video. The program was canceled after just a couple of ...
Tags: Design, Materials, The Washington Post, Sustainable Design, Negev Desert, Hebrew University, Oded Shoseyov, Jack Tato Bigio, UBQ

Ensuring Honesty and Authenticity Through Color and Material Design

Amy Frascella is the Director of Colour & Material Design at Jaguar Land Rover. Colour and materials touch all aspects of vehicle creation and her team encompasses concept vehicles, production vehicles and Special Vehicle derivatives. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2003 with a BA in Art and Design and a BS in Textile Engineering, beginning her career as a textile engineer working with major Japanese automotive OEM's on production textile developments. She went on to work ...
Tags: Google, Asia, Europe, UK, Design, Interviews, Cars, Materials, Land Rover, Colour, North Carolina State University, Hyundai Kia, CMF, Jaguar Land, Kvadrat, Ivy Ross

Concept Car Shows Japanese Plan to Make Interior & Exterior Car Panels from Wood

If I had to oversimplify the world's current industrial state in order to explain it to a small child, I'd say "Metal is expensive everywhere because China ate most of it."I'd also explain that we can't just grow metal, but that we can grow trees. So that if it were possible to replace some things we make out of metal with things made out of wood, that would be desirable.And sustainable. Particularly for a country like Japan, which is low on natural resources but lousy with trees. That's why Kyo...
Tags: Japan, Design, China, Cars, Materials, Kyoto University, University of Maine, CNF, Ministry of the Environment, NCV, NCV Nano Cellulose Vehicle

Give Your Smart Watch a Touch of Nature With Bandly

The story of Analog Watch Co. started in 2012 when founder Lorenzo Buffa was a senior in the Industrial Design program at Philadelphia's University of the Arts. "Most of my undergraduate work was research-focused, but before finishing school I wanted one portfolio piece that was a physical product and mock brand," he explained to us in a recent email. "I saw a trend of wood watches emerging and decided to explore an alternative to wood links for the band." Over the course of his thesis year, Buf...
Tags: Design, Crowdfunding, Materials, Kickstarter, Philadelphia, Wood, University of the Arts, Buffa, Analog Watch Co, Lorenzo Buffa, Bandly

All These Recyclables Have Nowhere To Go

Product designers in the US, Australia, Canada or Europe: be aware of Operation National Sword. For some time now, much of our recycled waste has been shipped out to China. All those bottles, boxes, phones, appliances, plastics, metals, papers, the unneeded or unwanted products, that had the capacity to be recycled have been sent across the sea, out of sight, for someone else to properly recycle through a system of production. That is until the arrival of Operation National Sword, which as of la...
Tags: Design, Materials, Recycling, Sustainable Design, Solutions

Los Angeles to Test "Plastic Asphalt" as Alternative Material for Pavement

Now that China has stopped accepting waste from California and lawmakers rejected a bill to phase out single-use plastic containers last September, the city is getting more creative with its recycling solutions. In partnership with Technisoil, the city will soon be testing a new paving material made largely out of recycled plastic. The first test site—at West First Street and North Grand Avenue, near the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Hall—will receive the treatment before the end of the year....
Tags: Design, Urbanism, Materials, Sustainable Design

Watch the World's Largest 3D-Printer Spit Out a 25-Foot Boat

If you're shopping for a 3D printer, a key consideration is bed size; what's the largest object you'd realistically need to print? For the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center, size limitations aren't so much of an issue. That's because they've got a gantry-style 3D printer that can spit out pieces that are 22x100. Twenty-two by 100 feet. And ten feet tall.Here it is in action, printing out a one-piece, 25-foot-long, 5,000-pound boat: For their troubles, UMaine won th...
Tags: Design, Materials, Maine, Sustainable Design, Digital Fabrication, Ornl, Angus King, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Maine, UMaine, CNF, U S Dept of Energy, Maine Technology Institute MTI, University of Maine s Advanced Structures, UMaine Composites Center, Habib Dagher

Engineers Develop a Hyper-Compressible Material Using Artificial Intelligence

You may not realize that among more conventional applications of artificial intelligence like apps and search engines, emerging technologies are transforming yet another unexpected area of design: materials. A fascinating new material study released by Delft University is showing how machine learning may upend our assumptions of how materials are capable of behaving.The Delft study, led by assistant professor of materials science and engineering Miguel Bessa, has developed a new meta material th...
Tags: Science, Design, Tech, Materials, Machine Learning, Delft, Delft University, BESSA, Artificial Intellige, Miguel Bessa

This Plastic-Alternative Packaging for Personal Care Products Is Made Entirely Out of Soap

On average we each go through eleven bottles of shower gel and ten bottles of shampoo a year—and that's without factoring in all the other products that make up our daily personal care routines. "Why is a product that is used for about a month made of a material that takes an average of 500 years to disintegrate?" That's the question designer Jonna Breitenhuber asked herself as she started developing her master's thesis at the University of Arts in Berlin. The end result is a refreshingly simple...
Tags: Design, Berlin, Materials, Jonna Breitenhuber, University of Arts, SOAPBOTTLE, Breitenhuber

MIT's Color-Changing Ink Could Bring Customization to the Next Level 

Ever wish you could change the color of your sneakers whenever you feel like it or update your phone case with a custom design instead of buying a new one? A future where inanimate objects can change colors like a chameleon may not be that far off. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has developed a "reprogrammable" ink that can change color when exposed to UV light. Called PhotoChromeleon, the innovation stands out from ear...
Tags: Design, Mit, Materials, Ford Motor Co, Ford Research and Innovation Center, Yuhua Jin, Alper Kiziltas

Algae Demand Our Attention

Algae is hot right now, and not just because global warming is exacerbating massive algae blooms (you'll understand later). If you've been paying attention to recent design trends, you've likely become aware of the growing popularity of algae in design. This year, the Nature Design Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York and the Cube Design Museum in Kerkade, Holland, as well as Paola Antonelli's Broken Nature exhibition at the Design Triennale Milano, have exhibited a number of projec...
Tags: New York, Science, Design, China, US, Materials, Canada, North Atlantic, Luma, Fashion Design, Cooper Hewitt, Agar, Paola Antonelli, Japan Korea, Cooper Hewitt Museum, Arles France

Meet 5 Textile-Focused Dutch Designers Exhibiting at Ventura New York

This year, Ventura exhibited their Dutch Edition at ICFF for the first time, venturing into new territory from their typical WantedDesign Manhattan takeover. In the center of the massive furniture fair, a booth filled to the brim of work from 15 different Dutch designers brought a bright, joyous and material-focused perspective to NYCxDesign. One of the main trends we noticed from the show-within-a-show was a focus on textile innovation, with five of the 15 projects centered around finding new c...
Tags: Design, Materials, Manhattan, Ventura, ICFF, Anammox, Colback, Nycxdesign, GACA, Nienke, Ventura Projects, Ventura New York, Nienke Hoogvliet Nienke Hoogvliet, Aleksandra Gaca Aleksandra Gaca, Rick Tegelaar Rick Tegelaar, ICFF Tegelaar

This Ethereal Raincoat is Made Out of Algae-Based Plastic

While there's a lot of public discourse about where plastics go, not much attention is typically paid to where they come from. For interdisciplinary designer Charlotte McCurdy, who began researching the chemical processes of material production during her graduate studies at RISD, our focus on waste reduction and biodegradability is more of a "band-aid solution" that misses the larger connection between common plastics and climate change. Most plastics today are made from fossil fuels, which are...
Tags: Design, Materials, Fashion Design, Cooper Hewitt, Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, RISD, McCurdy, New Inc, Charlotte McCurdy

What are Elastomers, and How Can They Improve Your Manufacturing Process?

Elastomers: what you need to know With 3D printing came a revolution in manufacturing and industrial design, underpinned by dramatic developments in printing materials. One material that has provided proved material innovation is the elastomer, which gives users the ability to 3D print flexible parts to meet their prototyping needs. What is elastomer? The name elastomer comes from the term 'elastic polymer'. An elastomer is a rubbery material composed of long chainlike molecules—polymers. Elast...
Tags: Design, Tech, Materials, 3d Printing, Manufacturing, Stratasys, Elastomers

Will Transparent Wood Become a Viable Construction Material?

One of the world's oldest building materials may soon be getting a makeover. Wood is celebrated for being a good insulator, durable, and renewable, but despite its best qualities it's still opaque, and we need natural light—not only for our sanity but also to decrease our use of artificial light. Glass, however, is a really bad insulator and not energy-efficient. Looking for an alternative to drafty windows, a team of researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden have developed a pr...
Tags: Design, Sweden, Materials, Canada, Morocco, American Chemical Society, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Montanari

3D-Printing Could Rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral

Dutch-based Concr3de has proposed an innovative plan to rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral: combine 3D-printing and the ashes and rubble from the site. Essentially the debris resulting from the fire would be used to create new materials to rebuild the landmark. The concept would certainly be the among the most high-profile applications of 3D-printing tech and Concr3de has already built a gargoyle as proof of concept, using …
Tags: Design, France, Materials, Architecture, 3d Printing, Paris, Notre Dame, Linkaboutit, Concr3de

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