Friday, June 29, 2007


Nice to hear this sweet news from Greetje. On the RCA summer show: Design Products graduate Greetje van Helmond has created a range of jewellery using sugar crystals, which she “grows” directly onto cord suspended in sugary solution. Called Unsustainable, the project deals with issues of durability and resource consumption, deliberately using a basic material to create precious, but extremely fragile, objects.

Below is van Helmond’s statement about the project:

"In present day life we can say that we consume a lot. Durable materials are often used for the production of goods that are typically replaced or thrown away quickly.

Contrary to this I use everyday, basic materials to create products that appear valuable and sustainable. Because of the materials I use, the products won’t last long, but long enough to stay “new”.

In one project, I create jewellery out of sugar. Sugar has the quality of growing into crystals under special circumstances. By controlling the process I allow crystals to grow around strings to form accessories.

In a second project I create a set of accessories from quilted paper. With a lot of time and effort I believe one can make apparently banal and cheap materials into something beautiful."

We want more where that came form. All the best!

via dezeen

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Thursday, June 21, 2007


The "Living Systems" installation is the result of a series of experiments with organic plastics developed by Seymour and is now for display at the vitra design museum. Seymour began the experiments some time ago in his home town of Berlin, and the latest products of his researches are now on display.

The plastic is produced by extracting the starch from potato, mixing it with milk and heating it to make it liquid. The material, which is biodegradable, hardens on a bed of sand and forms the material base for a range of furnishings. When dyed with food colouring the material can be turned into children's chairs or daybeds, which look as if they have been cast in brightly coloured icing.

However, what at first looks like a playful experiment is based on a very serious idea. How is it possible today for people to live an autonomous life and take care of their own needs? Seymour, who grew up in Canada, looks for answers at a design level.
After many years of experience as a designer of objects in plastic, which were partly produced with complex moulds, Seymour, who clearly attaches a great deal of importance to freedom, asked himself the question of how designers can free themselves from the restrictions imposed by production. With his do-it-yourself experiments he has released himself from production processes which are becoming ever more complex and opaque, reflecting afterwards on the design autonomy which this provides.

Food for Design as we may speak. We did some more research and bumped into the following recipe/process.

Recipe :
-1900 g Potato or potato skins
-6000 g water
-580 g milk
-1400 g (potato) starch
-140 g whey protein

The potato skins are dry chopped to 1 mm pieces in an industrial blender. The heated water/milk blend (heated to 65 DEG C) is then added to the potato skins and blended in the industrial blender. The potato starch is mixed in to the water/milk/skins solution. Finally, the whey protein concentrate is added to the mix and thoroughly blended in the blender.

[+ website]
via dezeen

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Susana Soares studied bees and in particular the way they can be trained to use their smell and detect pretty anything including bombs and landmines.

Bees are trained using Pavlov’s reflex to target a specific odour and their range of detection includes pheromones, toxins and disease diagnosis. Not only can they roam large distances in search of what you want them to sniff out, it takes only a few minutes to train them, unlike dogs whose training can last up to one year.

Their behaviour can be conditioned by rewards such as sugar-water. They are placed in straw-like containers and made to smell a combination of, say sugar with tiny residues of TNT. That's it! The bees' keen sense of smell will then associate the odour of explosives with food.

In her BEE’S project, Susana would use the insects as biosensors, harnessing their extroadinary sense of smell to detect diseases such as lung cancer, skin cancer and tuberculosis. Besides they could spot the problem at a very early stage much better than machines. They could even detect if a woman is pregnant which i find much more appealing and elegant than the usual method that involves peeing on a piece of plastic.

The designer visited the London Beekeepers Association and used chewing gum in her tests with the bees. She then located a glass master and had glass objects blown.

People would breathe in the glass diagnosis tools where bees are kept for the short period of time necessary for them to detect general health and fertility cycles. To ensure that the mouth never gets in contact with the insect, there are two different spheres, the bee's smell being strong enough to sniff out what you breathe through glass. Bess would rush into the tubes that lead closer to the breath when they detect any disease they associate with food.

[+ more]
via wemakemoneynotart

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Thursday, June 14, 2007


Espace Pur is an air ionizer that uses dust as pixels and that displays patterns thanks to it, in a very slow motion way. It cleans and purifies the air in architectural spaces. It increases the level of oxygen’s negative ions contained in the ambient air. Once installed, the air’s oxygenation becomes nearly the same as in the mountains. The more there are negative ions, the more the air is purified.
As a matter of fact, excessive dust is dangerous for health. Nevertheless, no dust at all decreases our immunity. That's why the system is regulated by the saturation of dust. Once filled with dust, the display is deactivated, and dust can be cleaned on the floor.
The installation of the "anti-dust screen" can take place in flats, hospitals, offices, and everywhere where air needs to be cleaned.
The aim of the project is therefore to capture dust and organize it on wall panels in order to build pictures that will gently appear on the wall. The panels are displaying compositions of weed that are on the one hand harmful plants but on the second hand have beneficial aspect on the health.

[+ video]
via ECAL

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Imagine; you sitting at a table in the middle of the kitchen of the chef, with candles, fine food and wine and while you're eating a dozin of chefs are preparing for you the most fabulous food. This unforgetable experience is something you can experience at Kasteel Withof. The chef in charge is Peter Coucquyt, one of the leading chefs in Belgium. So if you ever have the opportunity to eat at this place, ask for the table in the kitchen. An experience that you will never forget

[+ website]
[+ flickr]

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Friday, June 08, 2007


Behold BoxFish, Mercedes’ bionic concept car. Despite its boxy, cube-shaped body, this tropical fish is in fact outstandingly streamlined and therefore represents an aerodynamic ideal. With an accurately constructed model of the boxfish the engineers in Stuttgart were able to achieve a wind drag coefficient of just 0.06 in the wind tunnel.

In addition to superb aerodynamics and a lightweight construction concept derived from nature, the 103 kW/140-hp diesel engine and innovative SCR technology greatly contribute to fuel economy and a further reduction in exhaust emissions.

"AdBlue" is an aqueous urea solution which is sprayed into the exhaust system in precisely metered quantities, depending on the engine operating status. This converts the nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water. The reservoir for this service fluid is located in the spare wheel recess of the concept car, and its capacity is sufficient for a mileage corresponding to the service interval for a current Mercedes diesel model.

The boxfish is also a prime example of rigidity and light weight. Its skin consists of numerous hexagonal, bony plates which provide maximum strength with minimal weight and effectively protect the animal from injury.

[+ more]
via moreinspiration

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007


SuperBot is a new type of robots that are modular, multifunctional, and easily reconfigurable. Its modules can be dynamically configured into different robots to fit the user's needs. For example, it can crawl, walk, roll, climb, carry, fetch, or survey. The reconfiguration and module exchanges are easy and do not require any special knowledge or training. Such robots are economic because a single robot can provide diverse behaviors and can be changed frequently. This is ideal for home campanions, search and rescue, security, surveillance, and so on.

A step further is that we produce these modules on nano scale and create nanorobots. Since nanorobots would be microscopic in size, it would probably be necessary for very large numbers of them to work together to perform macroscopic tasks.In such plans, future medical nanotechnology has been posited to employ nanorobots injected into the patient to perform treatment on a cellular level.

Far-fetched? The processed-food giant Kraft and a group of research laboratories are busy working towards 'programmable food'. One product they are working on is a colourless, tasteless drink that you, the consumer, will design after you've bought it. You'll decide what colour and flavour you'd like the drink to be, and what nutrients it will have in it, once you get home. You'll zap the product with a correctly-tuned microwave transmitter - presumably Kraft will sell you that, too.

[+ superbot]
[+ wiki]
[+ nanofood]

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Mike Kuniavsky is a writer, researcher and designer exploring the intersections of high technology and everyday life. People around the world use Mike’s 2003 book, 'Observing the User Experience,' to understand the relationship between people and products.

His talk was a somewhat speculative presentation tracing some of the history of appliance design and how ubiquitous computing may change that. In his talk, he presents the history of blender controls as an example of the encapsulation of knowledge into our tools. He then showed several examples of how networked kitchen devices may (or may not) present a fundamental shift in the nature of how we relate to our kitchen tools:

"Imagine that every time you used this [networked, barcode-reading microwave], it quietly told a database somewhere--say, in your iPod--how many calories you just ate. Then your iPod could query your shoes about how much you had run the previous day. The next time you went for a run, your iPod would pick songs with a different tempo to encourage you burn off that Mac and Cheese. Now that’s starting to get interesting. It is now possible for our tools to automatically encapsulate knowledge and share it with each other."

[+ presentation]
[+ orangecone]
[+ taste3]

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Monday, June 04, 2007


Moto Restaurant's 21-year-old Pastry Chef Ben Roche demonstrates the unique dining experience at Moto with his version of Carrot Cake, Nachos and Wine and Food Pairing.

Twenty-two year old, Ben Roche discovered a fascination with science after creating Alka Seltzer “bombs” as a young boy in his best friend’s kitchen in Beaufort, South Carolina. So it seems fitting that this young, aspiring pastry chef now finds himself working alongside Postmodern culinary star, Chef Homaro Cantu. At Moto where the kitchen resembles a lab with tanks of nitrogen gas, helium and liquid nitrogen being used daily in cooking techniques, Roche’s love of science and his Johnson & Wales culinary degree are in perfect harmony.

[+ moto]
[+ taste3]

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