Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Materialise MGX

MGX in Milan

Materialise was founded in the early 90's and was and remains a front runner in utilizing digital technology and rapid prototyping. Materialise began by making medical equipment but in recent years has developed the MGX division which focuses on consumer goods/ objects such as home decor, furniture and lighting. They're goal is that of a "new era of mass custom design". Materialise sets out to create whatever their clients can dream up.

In 2007, MGX asked several designers to develop an object based on the theme "Private". Objects ranged from fingerprint pendant lamps by Dan Yeffet which looks at the loss of privacy, to the "Shaman" pendants of Arik Levy, where the wearer can carry something secret and spiritual in their own "micro personal universe."

(A few)Designers:
Bathsheba Grossman
Grossman's designs are driven by science (particularly astronomy) and geometry. She has degrees in both mathematics and art and is primarily a sculptor. She designed a lamp of repeating starfish for MGX. She states that her work is about "life in three dimensions, symmetry and balance and always finding the beauty in geometry." She has designed many other works including a line of laser etched glass sculptures of proteins and galaxies.

She has a pretty fantastic
Luc Merx
Merx is responsible for the "Damned Lamp" the idea of the fall of the damned. Merx pictures this lamp hanging above a dining table, where it can disturb the diners with age old questions of morality and guilt. (Frankly, not what I care to get out of my dining experience.) More interesting are some of the other ideas behind the lamp: that of the 18th century virtuosity, only now that virtuosity is created by a computer (is it still the same?). Merx also challenges three taboos set on 20th Century design: the figurative, the ornamental and the narrative. "Damned Lampshade" is certainly all three, proving that ornamental isn't necessary pretty.

Assa Ashuach
Ashuach feels that design should be "a strategy for questioning and modifying tradition." He is concerned with the visual and the physical and the relationship between them. He seeks to push the use of material by using the minimal amount and achieving maximum strength through form.

Read more about Assa Ashuach's design philosophy at:
Ross Lovegrove
Lovegrove sees himself as "evolutionary biologist" and not a designer. He is concerned with "organic essentialism" and the thought that "form grows where you need it" like nature. He is concerned with the earth, time, evolution, systems and transitions. Read more about his design philosophy


"Everything around us can be represented and understood by numbers"
Leonardo Pisano Fibonacci

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."
Anais Nin

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to see."
Robertson Davis

"objects can now be a range of objects like in a family or a species. We can breed objects like we breed rabbits."
Lars Spuybroek (designer)

I think this work is pretty amazing, it's very fun to look at but many of the pieces like they were created in a 3D modeling program and printed by a rapid prototyping machine, which they were. I can't tell if they look that way to me because I knew that's how they were made before I saw them, or if that really is just the way they look. I love how the designers don't really think of themselves as designers by as scientists, evolutionary biologists (although I would like an evolutionary biologist's take on that) explorers, adventurers and mathematicians. They don't sound like artists, they sound like nerds and computer geeks, which I think is great. I love the repetition of natural forms, I love the science speak, I love the idea of a "micro personal universe". MGX just goes to show how it really is all about art and science and the two are not mutually exclusive. They're pretty much the same thing. I do wonder why most of their objects are lighting (unless it said somewhere and I missed it, which is entirely possible.)I'm sure I'll come us wiht more later, but right now my brain is grinding to a hault.

This would make a cool print.

Color Pics (Round III)

I'm really getting into all the shades of white.

I'm amazed that nature can produce all these colors at once and that berries can even be these colors.

Purple Yarn

An interesting combination. I would like to see these two colors blended together.

Metallic Sage Green Ink

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Crocodile Man

Check out my brother's web comic "Everyone Laughs at the Crocodile Man". There's a link to it under Other Links.

Color Pics (Round II)

A great green.

Oxidizing copper.

I'm really beginning to love all the subtleties of gray.

My apron patches have great colors.

An intriguing combination. I can't decide if I like it or not.

A pretty scarf.

A nice combination.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Color Pics (Round I)

I'm really into this shade of blue right n. This pic doesn't really do it justice.

Shifting purple

A popular color scheme


Metallice Silver Gray

the perfect blend of reds and greens

a clear and perfect blue

A many layered, subtle green

Halloween Fun

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Social Issue: Sugar Ethenol

The sugar cane farmers of this contry are worried because in the next year there is oging to be a large influx in sugar imports from Mexico. They view ethenol made from sugar as a way to save the industry. Brazil has been making sugar ethenol for nearly 20 years, but according to the artcile in the Times, sugar prices are too high in the US for us to do the same. There are also high tariffs imposed on ethenol from Brazil.
I'm not sure why we're importing so much sugar from Mexico (something to do with NAFTA, maybe?) I don't understand why we need to import some good that we produce. Ok, maybe we don't produce enough, but why don't we import just what we need. We shouldn't be eating that much sugar anyways. And ok, say we do have a surplus, why don't we use it to make fuel? Or use it to expand on ethenol technology?
If Brazil has been making fuel from sugar since the 1980's, why haven't we? Or if not from sugar, then something else?
Why don't we do things in this country that make sense? Did I miss that Social Studies lesson or something? Maybe they should get rid of Social Studies and teach Forethought.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Social Issue: Vodka Snorting

I saw a this on the local news this past week and I thought I would blog about it because it relates to Amy's social issue. Vodka snorting is when you literally inhale or snort vaoka up your nose. It apparently started in Eastern Europe and is making its way to the US. YouTube has a bunch of videos of people snorting vodka, staggering around and screaming.
Honestly, is this not the dumbest thing you've ever heard? Why go thought excruciating pain to get drunk? Who was dumb enought to come up with such a thing? It's so moronic, it boggles my mind.
Now the news was playing the role of warning parents what your kids maybe doing, but they talked to the TU heath center, and I believe Shepard Pratt, both of which have no reported cases of vodka snorting, which leads me to believe it is not as epidemic as the news would have you believe. But I also wonder how many kids were watching that news report and decided that they should try this new way of getting drunk? Is the news adding to the problem or preventing it? Am I adding to the problem merely by blogging on the issue? I felt the same way when the news or maybe it was a TV show that had the pill parties. I just knew that some kid was going to go and try that. But is there anyway to combat that kind of behavior? If we shut off the TV would it still happen. It probably would.
I'm pretty disgusted by the whole thing. People are pretty stupid.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cool Plant Photos

I don't know this guy, but his pics are amazing! Check out his flickr site:

Cool Stuff on etsy

ilee paper goods



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Laura Crow Miller

I found this on Flickr, but she has an etsy site and a blog. I have some other cool pics, but none of them are up loading for some reason.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog for the Enviroment

So today is "blog for the enviroment day" and since most of my projects/posts deal with the enviroment, I felt I ought to contribute even though I'm not on the offical sign up list. So here goes: Do your part to save the enviroment. For real. And although I agree with the late Kurt Vonnegut that humans are a virus and the earth is doing its best to get rid of us, I would like to stick around just a little longer. Seriously, there's a movie coming out in December that I really want to see. . .

Critical Thinking

So I've been thinking about what the opposing view point might be to sustainable materials or what could be the possible downside. I think it all comes down to money. Using sustainable materials and safer processes is likly to make the product more expensive, at least for a while, until the world catches up. More expensive goods means that some people just won't be able to afford them, while others might not be will to pay more for the same product that was made sustainably. Which, will allow all the bad mass production oging on in the world today to continue.
Also, I can see animal rights activists getting upset over using leather and fur, even though these can be produced in a sustainable, cruelty-free manner(ie: wild caught fur instead of fur farming).

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nude No More


Social Issue: Armenian Geonocide

I didn't realize this Armenian Geonocide issue was a big deal until I started hearing about it everywhere (NPR, NYT). From what I understand, we (the US of A) had a House vote classifiying the killings of 1.5 Armenians in WWI, by the Ottoman Empire as geonocide. Turkey, (which used to be the Ottoman Empire) is argry with the US over this and is threatening to withdraw its militay support for the Iraq war.
Does this make any sense? We're arguing over something that happened almost 100 years ago. How many people alive during WWI are still alive today and how many even remember the Armenian geonocide? Why are we voting about what to classify this event as genocide? Does is matter? Call it ethnic cleansing if you want. It was a terrible event no matter what you call it? Don't we as a country have anything else to worry about that rewriting a nation's history for it?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Don't Eat Hazmat Crickets

So the words I chose for my next project are 'taxonomy" and "catechism". Taxonomy is the study of the classification of organisms (Think Linneaus). A "catechism" is "a summary or exposition of doctrine, traditionally used in Christian religious teaching from New Testament times to the present Catechisms are doctrinal manuals often in the form of questions followed by answers to be memorized."
Taxonomy involves the naming of organisms with the hierarchy: Kingdon, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, which is sort my own personal catechism. Also repeating the names of the 5 Kingdoms: Animalia, Plantea, Fungi, Monera and Protista. Running through these in my head sort of grounds me in crazy times. I can hold on to these things I know as being true. I also take comfort in the naming of things and knowing the scientific names of things. I like knowing how things are classified in this system.

What is the Phylum of sponges?: Porifera
What is the largest order upon the earth? : Coeleoptera
What was Class Insecta is now Hexapoda and will remain so for some time.

Wear the Cause

Go Here! NOW!:

This company produces shirts that represent a cause, and anyone is free to submit work. They highlight several social issues on their website. What I think is interesting is that they specifically ask for work dealing with one sided issues, which makes sense if you think about it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Social Issue: Malaria Nets

Malaria is still a big problem in many parts of the world, which seems pretty ridiculous to me. But what I find even more rediculous is that people are arguing over the best way to distribute mosquito nets ( a known method of combating malaria). The two sidesof the case are: handing out nets for free, vs, subsidising nets and selling the at a low cost ($1).
On the one hand, socially marketing the nets is good because poor people apparently place more value on "brand-name goods the pay for than the handsouts they get for free." Also, the selling of subsidised nets can create some amount of entrepreneship.
But on the other hand, people aren't getting the nets they need. A world health organization set the goal that by 2005, 60% of children in Africa would be sleeping under nets, but in reality, only 3% were.
There's a large article in National Geographic this month about how animals spread disease to humans and how big a potential problem it is. It's interesting but also scary. If we can't even combat malaria, something there is preventative measures and a cure for, what are we going to do when something much worse comes along, that we don't know how to fight?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

AAR Droog Project

- adapted the Droog design philosophy
- interactive aspect
- good words

- should have related project to my own work
- craftsmanship
- should have completed project in a few weeks and moved on
- should have worn various word brooches around and gotten feed back from many different sources
- should have been in love with the idea enough to see it through

What ifs:
- I feel like the idea was there and that the project was a good prototype for something Droog could actually make. If Droog had their manufacturers behind this, I should it would be much better.
- I also should have related this to my own work in a better way. I'm not exactly sure how, since Droog's design mindset, while interesting, is different than my own. I felt like this project was really disparate from what I want to work on, and I know I should have fixed that, I'm just not sure how I could have done that and have it still be Droog.

10 Words


Baltimore Free Store

I was listening to NPR the other day and they did a piece on the Baltimore Free Store. The Free Store is like a flea market, only everything is donated and everything is free. It's run completly by volunteers and was started by Towson Students! "The concept for the Baltimore Free Store grew out of the work of a number of social justice organizations centered in Towson, MD. Students from Towson University, Goucher College, and area high schools worked together on issues of Fair Trade, labor rights, anti-war, animal rights, and other pro community related issues. From fighting for a Living Wage for workers on university campuses to opposing corporate globalization, the students and the community worked together to make great strides towards achieving social and economic justice. "
Unfortunatly I don't think they're having anymore events this year.

Monday, October 8, 2007