So, I was at Dutch Design Week and I'm looking around and thinking about all the awesome stuff there: the design-y chairs, pretty frames, beautiful book cases etc. And out of all those things I fall in love with one item. This item is a six foot bright green foam filled dolphin made by Geboren im Wald.
After the design week was over I bought it. It is cuddly, soft and you can lie on it and I just think its a lot of fun. I do admit that it was a bit of an impulse buy and that it is not a very standard furntiture item.The net result is that I now have a unique design item and that my mom and girlfriend think I'm nuts.
Apart from the whacky and loveable appearance of the thing I really enjoy the concept of it. It is an indoor version of a common inflatable pool toy. Another piece by Geboren im Wald is "the island"(pictured below) which you might recognize as resembling quite closely the largest of these toys. So the deisgner took something standard and cheap that is for the outdoor use by playing children and turned it into something made for living rooms and grownups. Although some feel, incorrectly, that this purchase disqualifies me from belonging to this category.
On Sunday Mieke Kleppe came by to pick up her DDW Punnik2.0 Waistband. This design by Peter Hermans(her boyfriend) won our Dutch Design Week competition and was designed specifically for her. I love the way it looks and hope that it will get a lot of other Shapeways members to start thinking about 3D printed jewelry. We like the idea of something unique designed for that unique someone.
Something lovely I saw at Dutch Design Week was Mieke Meijer's Newspaperwood. NewspaperWood(or KrantHout in Dutch) is wood made from paper.
The process of turning recycled newspapers into wood consists using a roller on the newspapers and using a special water soluble glue to bind them. The resulting NewspaperWood can be cut, milled, sanded and generally treated like any other type of wood. I'm fascinated by the idea of reversing a traditional production process: not from wood to paper but the other way around. I also like the way it looks. This just proves that recycling does not always have to produce ugly or boring materials.
Mieke has already made special editions of the wood such panels from a specific date or region. At one point you might be able to get a kitchen table made of the sports pages, a chair made from newspapers from your birth year or a financial crisis headboard.
Mieke, a Design Academy graduate, is currently working together with design label vij5 to develop NewsPaperwood.
Arjan van Raadshooven of Vij5 told me that they are actively looking for other designers to come up with products made out of this innovative material.
At Dutch Design Week one of the talented designers that make up the Virtual Making exhibit is Alexander Pelikan, better known as PeliDesign. I first came across his Plastic Nature furtniture in a catalogue and immediately loved it. His chairs, stool and table combine resin with wood to create a natural with synthetic 'cyborg' that is just absolutely amazing. I know I tend to use a lot of exclamation marks in my posts and can at times seem overly enthusiastic but I simply love this furniture. The smoothness of the resin combined with the wood give the desings a unique feel. I also love the juxtaposition of a natural material with a man made one.
Peli initially came up with this design for his graduation project for the Design Academy in Eindhoven. It is no surprise then that he would now be interested in 3d Printing and rapid prototyping. For our Virtual Making Exhibit for Dutch Design Week this year he became inspired by, "A machine's perception."
With 3d scanning equipment and 3d printing he showed that machines do indeed percieve and are less perfect than we imagine them to be. He experimented with different resolutions and printed out the results. From very fine reproductions to low resolution models you can see how machines percieve and be entertained by interesting shapes that will seem cartoon-y at times as well as all to familiar to 3d modelers out there.
Look at the difference in the above ashtrays from realistic to angular. Or the jars to the right that range from a close copy of the original to something out of Scanner Darkly.
I hope that Peli, at least for a while, sticks to 3d printing and can not wait to see the results.
As you might know Shapeways currently has an exhibit at Dutch Design Week.
We're a part of Virtual Making, a showcase of the possibilities of rapid manufacturing.TNO a dutch research institute that does a lot of research and consulting in 3d printing is one of our partners. Another partner is Free Form Fab, an initiative to create a fab lab in the cities of Eindhoven and Tilburg.
A fab lab is a place where people can come to in order to use machinery such as a lasercutters, CNC machines, milling machines and 3d printers to make their own inventions, creations and products(something that we definately are excited about at Shapeways!).
The virtual making stand is made up of large styrofoam blocks and houses a 3d printer, a lot of awesome designs and a bank of computers where lectures and workshops are given. 25,000 people came to Dutch Design Week last year and we're enjoying talking to all the visitors this year.
It is of course hard man a stand for a week for us but when talking to all the designers, students and other visitors out there it is definately worthwhile. We've really found that a lot of people love the idea of the Creator and hope to entice some very talented designers to come to Shapeways.
A lot of people are amazed at how our Dutch Design Week contest winner Peter Hermans' Punnik 2.0 Waistband feels so organic and fabric-like. People also like a last minute adition to our stand, HeadSpace bowl. This design by Bryan Vaccaro was quite the challenge to print but the face within a bowl is arresting. We'll keep you updated on all the goings on!
Dr. Michael Shaw is an acclaimed sculptor whith many solo and group exhibitions to his name. As well as having won prizes for his work he has a PHD in sculpture and makes inspiring and thought provoking work. He is currently an AHRC research fellow at Loughborough University where he is exploring rapid manufacturing and digital design. Loughborough University by the way may not sound familiar to you now, but they do cutting edge work in rapid manufacturing and as far as we are concerned is one of the most relevant and exciting places to be right now. You can check out Michael's website and work here, his 3D printed work here or his faculty page here.
Suffice it to say that we are very proud that Michael, or rather Dr. Michael Shaw, is a Shapeways member and one of our best customers to boot. We're also glad he took the time to answer some questions we had for him.
Why do you use Maya?
Maya, despite being horrendously
complicated, is quite user friendly because the basic means for
changing geometry are easily visible and there is a simple logic to
things like the attributes editor and the history capability.
However, I wouldn’t like to have to learn it again, that’s not to
say I’m anyway near mastering it, but that I have no desire to go
right back to the beginning! It is in some ways like Pandora’s box,
once you open it all sorts of stuff comes out; for example how
animation and particle systems can be used to modulate geometry. So
it’s is an incredibly rich tool, but at the end of the day it’s
just a tool; a really complicated pencil. What’s key is the
geometry you develop with it, and without any kind of real world
underlying philosophy it’s likely to be quite vacuous.