Thursday, May 31, 2007


The vessel in which a liquid potion is able to be contained, takes on the initial form of a thin white disc of plastic. This disc comprises of memory polymer that embodies an intricate structure of cylindrically knitted SMA wire, arranged in a flat circular format. This embedded shape memory alloy wire network acts in synergy with its polymer covering, to enable a subsequent change of form an d transparency to take place on the application of heat.

The reaction occurs when a liquid, heated to 70 °C, is gracefully poured onto the flat form; intantaneously triggering a transformation. At the moment the liquid makes contact with the disc, the edges of the disc lift themselves off of the table surface, the opacity of the plastic begins to lessen, and, as the vessel becoms fully deformed, the wire structure becomes visible through the plastic material. The object has adopted an entirely new shape and appearance, that of a transparent potion vessel.

Once it reaches room temperature again, the vessel gently lies down and becomes a nondescript circular mat. Concept: Carl De Smet.

[+ website]

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Quiet simple test but inspirational. The clue is that sulphur hexafluoride is much denser than air and therefore light things can float on it, which is obvious. So... lets make those floating dishes!

[+ wiki]

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Friday, May 25, 2007


Max Lamb’s chair designs suggest an aggressiveness that is characteristic of the atavistic spirit in design today. In stark contrast to recent ethereal and romanticised design, or designs that transfer directly from computer to machine manufacture without human intervention, Lamb laboriously chisels, buries, grows and smelts materials into rugged and bold forms. Combining industrial production with handcraftsmanship while fusing high and low technologies, the effect is both raw and intense. Whether carving polystyrene, casting luxurious pewter into crude sand formations on a South Cornish beach for his Pewter Stool, combining lost-wax and sophisticated electro-deposition methods for his Copper stools, or extruding biodegradable materials for his Starch stools, Lamb creates visually arresting pieces that have materials and process at their core. It represents a traditional modernist approach to design – technically rigorous with an appreciation of innovative and appropriate materials and production processes – that suggests a need for realism and honesty in the products around us. In a primitive casting technique,molten pewter is poured into a sand mould sculpted by hand on the beach.

[+ website]
via designmuseum

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


What do ice wedge networks, meandering rivers, sorted patterned ground, beach cusps, sand dunes, and humans have in common?

Emergence is the process of complex pattern formation from more basic constituent parts. Emergent structures are patterns not created by a single event or rule. Nothing commands the system to form a pattern. Instead, the interaction of each part with its immediate surroundings causes a complex chain of processes leading to some order. One might conclude that emergent structures are more than the sum of their parts because the emergent order will not arise if the various parts are simply coexisting; the interaction of these parts is central. Emergent structures can be found in many natural phenomena, from the physical to the biological domain. For example, the shape of weather phenomena such as hurricanes are emergent structures.

It is useful to distinguish three forms of emergence structures. First-order emergence structures occurs as a result of shape interactions (for example, hydrogen bonds in water molecules lead to surface tension). Second-order emergence structures involves shape interactions played out sequentially over time (for example, changing atmospheric conditions as a snowflake falls to the ground build upon and alter its form). Finally, third-order emergence structures is a consequence of shape, time, and heritable instructions. For example, an organism's genetic code sets boundary conditions on the interaction of biological systems in space and time.

[+ wiki]
[+ image 01]
[+ image 02]

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007


The Evil Mad Scientist crew couldn't stop at toast--they took it up a notch and conquered the realm of 3-D (sugar) printing (it was a tad bit mysterious before) using a hot air gun and a relatively low-cost technology called selective hot air sintering and melting.

"Our design goals were (1) a low cost design leveraging recycled components (2) large printable volume emphasized over high resolution, and (3) ability to use low-cost printing media including granulated sugar. We are extremely pleased to be able to report that it has been a success: Our three dimensional fabricator is now fully operational and we have used it to print several large, low-resolution, objects out of pure sugar."

[+ more]

via boingboing

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This is a translation of the recipes in an article by Jean Pierre Gabriel for Le vif express where Sang Hoon Degeimbre (the chef of L’air du temps) and Bernard Lahousse (food for design) had a discussion on food pairing. The combination of oyster and kiwi is a food pairing by Sang Hoon. The 2 others where inspired by Heston Blumenthal (mango/pine and pineapple/blue cheese). For more info on foodpairing look to our earlier posts on this topic.

Included some recipes by Sang Hoon Degeimbre


description : Ravioli filled with mango mousse, beads of yoghurt and pine (for 4 persons)

   - 1 ripe mango

   - 200 g mango puree

   - 3,5 g gelatine

   - 2 shoots of a young pine (the very tender, fresh leaves)

   - 3,5 g of methylcellulose

   - Lemon juice

   - Rose leaves

For the yoghurt beads:

   - 200 g yoghurt

   - 90 g double cream

   - 30 g sugar

   - 2 drops of pine extract

For the alginate bath:

   - 1 liter water

   - 5 g alginate


Cut the mango into fine (maximum 1mm) sheets.

Mix the mango puree with the shoots of the pine (cut into fine pieces).

Divide the mango puree into two parts. The first part is heated to 40°C and mixed with the gelatine. The second part is kept cool and mixed with the methylcellulose. Beat the 2 parts together into a light foam.

For the yoghurt beads; mix all the ingredients. Make an alginate bath (reverse spherification) by mixing the water with the alginate. Fill syringes with the yoghurt mixtures. Inject the mixture into the alginate bath so you get beads (2 cm diameter). Leave the beads into the bath for 2 minutes. Rinse in water and leave into the water until use.

Fold the mango sheets into 4 to form like little cornets. Fill the cornets with the mango foam.

Dress the cornets on a plate together with the yoghurt beads, some mango coulis, leaves of roses and shoots of pine


description : Kiwître (for 4 persons)

   - 4 oysters

   - 2 kiwis

   - 100 g coconut puree

   - 1 spoon lemon juice

   - 50 g fresh sepia ink

   - 1 tea spoon wasabi powder

   - 1 g tara gum

   - 0,5 g methylcellulose


Mix the coconut with the tara gum. Sieve. Keep fresh during 1 hour.

Mix the sepia ink with the methylcellulose. Keep in the fridge

Peel the kiwi. Cut into small pieces (5mm) but discard the white parts. Mix the wasabi together with the kiwi pieces.

Open the oysters.

On a plate put a spoon of kiwi pieces. On top the kiwi. Put a drop of sepia ink and a spoon of coconut next to the oyster.


Description : Fourme d’Ambert on a jelly of pineapple, fennel, apple and sirop de Liège (for 4 persons)

   - 200 g pineapple

   - 40 g Fourme d’Ambert

   - 20 g granny smith (cut into julienne)

   - 20 g fennel (cut into julienne)

   - 30 g sirop de Liège

   - Powder sugar

   - Lemon juice

   - 1,5 g agar agar

   - Oil of grilled pistachio nuts

   - 3 g harissa


Cut 4 fine round pieces out of the pineapple. Place on a silpat, cover with powder sugar, dry into an oven of 110°C during 50 minutes. When ready and still hot roll the pineapple into cylinders.

Make juice out of the rest of the pineapple. Add lemon juice and agar agar. Heat to solve the agar agar, pour in the liquid into a rectangular shape and cool to solidify. Cut into pieces of 5 cm to 1,5 cm.

Cut the cheese in the similar size. Put on top of the pineapple.

Mix the sirop de Liège with the harissa.

Put the apple and fennel julienne on top of the cheese. Decorate with the pineapple cylinder. Add the sauce of sirop de Liège.

[+ article]

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Monday, May 14, 2007


The Lightable by Too Many Designers (AKA Julian Appelius and Fabien Dumas) has embedded LEDs along the entire inner perimeter, sending light through the glass tabletop at a 54 degree angle. As long as the surface remains clear of objects, the light path is invisible to the eye. As soon as a placed object interrupts the path, it becomes beautifully illuminated as the light continues to pass through.

[+ website]
via core77

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Friday, May 11, 2007


Japanese sake (alcoholic content: 14.3%) was heated to an appropriate temperature and filled in a glass vessel for storage while it was kept under reduced pressure. The pressure in the vessel at this time was 0.74 kg/cm². The vessel containing the "sake" was cooled in a home freezer.

The cooling curve obtained at this time is shown above

The sake contained in the vessel is present in the liquid state until the temperature reached point A in the curve. At the temperature corresponding to point A, the "sake" starts to freeze, and the primary freezing is completed at the temperature corresponding to point B in the curve. That is, the temperature at point A is defined as the starting temperature of freezing. At the temperature corresponding to point C near point A in the curve, the vessel containing the "sake" is taken out from the freezer to serve for drinking.

When the "sake" thus supercooled was poured into a glass which had been cooled in readiness, the poured "sake" was frozen in the glass, resulting in a sherbet-like "sake".

[+ wiki]

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Thursday, May 10, 2007


Tara Donovan (b. 1969) is an installation artist who uses materials such as scotch tape, styrofoam cups, and drinking straws to create large scale sculptures that often have a biomorphic feel. All of her work must be assembled and disassembled, sometimes an extremely tedious process. Her work was featured in the 2000 Whitney Biennal and the All Soviet Exhibition and in a recent edition of Art News magazine. She is also the recipient of the Alexander Calder Award and a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. Most recently her work was featured in a solo exhibition in the Pace Gallery in New York.

[+ acegallery]
[+ wiki]

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Chilean industrial designer J.C. Karich (currently working in France) began experimenting with curved surface shapes from plastic bottles, which ultimately resulted in his elegant fork and spoon Flat Salad set design. The design has recently been picked up by Milan-based disposable/sustainable cutlery and table accessories company Pandora Design.

[+ website]
via mocoloco

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Sunday, May 06, 2007


A fluorocarbon-based ferrofluid is placed within a glass Hele-Shaw cell of 1.1-mm gap. Magnetic fields are applied that have in-plane clockwise rotating and dc axial magnetic fields. The ferrofluid is surrounded by a 50/50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and deionized water, which prevents ferrofluid wetting of the glass plates.

The first experiment uses a 50-µl drop of ferrofluid. The ferrofluid drop is circular before the magnetic field is applied. When the dc magnetic field is applied, the ferrofluid drop forms a spiking labyrinth pattern. Then the clockwise rotating field is applied, and the spikes begin to curl in on themselves, forming a smooth spiral pattern after some of the spikes are absorbed into the larger structure. The smooth spirals form from viscous shear as the clockwise rotating magnetic field causes counterclockwise flow on the outside ferrofluid surfaces, which return on the inside surfaces.

The second experiment uses a 200-µl drop of ferrofluid. First, the clockwise rotating field is applied, which causes a counterclockwise flow that holds the circular fluid drop together without spikes. Then a 100-G dc axial field is gradually applied. This results in the ferrofluid drop appearing to expand before a phaselike transition at a critical dc magnetic field strength around 100 G. Careful observations show that the pattern forms at slightly less than 100-G dc field under a thin ferrofluid coating on the top glass plate, which then abruptly peels away at slightly increased dc axial magnetic field. The magnetic field is then increased from 100 to 200 G to form an intricate internal pattern surrounded by a circle of ferrofluid with spiraled arms. The second experiment is repeated again three more times under essentially identical conditions, with common features but it appears that the fine features are different each time.

[+ wiki]
via youtube

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Friday, May 04, 2007


While the aesthetics and symmetry of Fibonacci spiral patterns has often attracted scientists, a mathematical or physical explanation for their common occurrence in nature is yet to be discovered. Recently, scientists have successfully produced Fibonacci spiral patterns in the lab, and found that an elastically mismatched bi-layer structure may cause stress patterns that give rise to Fibonacci spirals. The discovery may explain the widespread existence of the pattern in plants.

Fibonacci number patterns and triangular patterns with intrinsic defects occur frequently on nonplanar surfaces in nature, particularly in plants. By controlling the geometry and the stress upon cooling, these patterns can be reproduced on the surface of microstructures about 10 micrometers in diameter. Spherules of the Ag core/SiOx shell structure, possessing markedly uniform size and shape, self-assembled into the Fibonacci number patterns (5 by 8 and 13 by 21) or the triangular pattern, depending on the geometry of the primary supporting surface. Under proper geometrical constraints, the patterns developed through self-assembly in order to minimize the total strain energy. This demonstrates that highly ordered microstructures can be prepared simultaneously across large areas by stress engineering.

[+ more]
via physorg

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