Designers and consumers have an urgent challenge to confront in the current discussion around sustainability. How can we distinguish between goods which seem eco-friendly, but actually contribute to a culture of waste, and those that are truly green? Designer Danielle Trofe had to challenge herself to look at every aspect
A lot of the chemicals we use in woodworking, especially in finishing, are toxic. Now there is toxic and TOXIC. There is long term exposure toxicity and one-whiff-drop-dead toxicity. If you want to work safely, you need to know. Not only do woodworkers need to know, everyone needs to know.
We first encountered the work of SWINE at the RCA graduate show Paradise for a Better Future in 2012 where their first work, the Sea Chair, was on show in Milan. A peculiar looking stool crafted from salvaged marine plastics, the project looked towards a future where fishermen would trawl
Brass and walnut are two great tastes that taste great together. But I've never seen the two materials integrated in such a beautiful way as this: That's the Nola Dining Table by Brooklyn-based Wüd Furniture Design. The description states that the table is constructed from "bronze encased in resin," and
We're already familiar with Danielle Trofe's Mush-Lume lighting collection and the concept of growing objects with mushroom mycelium. So why am I revisiting such a familiar process? Thanks to Trofe and Ecovative Design, I was able to learn the mushroom mycelium growth process myself. Here's what happened:
A San-Francisco-based company called MycoWorks has made an incredible advance in materials: They can now grow leather from the mycelium in mushrooms, using a process that's renewable, CO2-negative and customizable. That latter part means they can predetermine what the leather looks like--cow, elephant skin, snakeskin--and most intriguingly, can grow it
If you tuned in to the Olympics, you might have learned about cupping, blood doping, or any of the numerous techniques employed to give athletes that much sought after edge on the competition. But what if I told you that the next big thing to help athletes increase speed, agility
I'm building a tool cabinet right now for the final semester project at my Hand Tool School. I was going through a stack of rough sawn Cherry, matching color and grain and assigning each piece to a part of my build. I came across a 10? by 50? board that
Seeking new materials for current or future projects? ActiveMATTER places the materials you need to know about directly in your hands. This valuable resource consists of 15 cutting-edge materials, material trends and manufacturer contacts delivered directly on a quarterly basis, four times a year.
As part of her "Salt" series, Israeli artist Sigalit Landau suspends objects within the Dead Sea for set periods of time. Because the Dead Sea has a salinity level of 34.2%, making it nearly 10 times as salty as typical ocean water, it has an interesting effect on said objects.
Adhesives and tapes come in a variety of forms—the selection process can be overwhelming and quite honestly, confusing. Sometimes, you may not even realize you could be using adhesive-based products to bond your work instead of rivets and screws. Here, 3M gives us seven things to consider before selecting the
I have no idea what made him think of this, but a fellow named John Heisz decided to remove his table saw blade, and replace it with a circle he cut out of paper. Here's what happened:
This video's title, "Redneck Drives a Duct Tape Car Off a Cliff" is a bit misleading, but perhaps there's no other way to describe it in 10 words or less. The folks behind FiberFix, a super-tape allegedly 100 times stronger than duct tape, put together this nutty demonstration of its
Safety razors are far from new. Created by Frenchman Jean-Jacques Perrett who found inspiration in hand-plane construction in the late 1700s, the safety razor has seen countless iterations—most of these under Gillette. In 1901, Wisconsin-native King Camp Gillette filed a patent for the first disposable razor blades. Between 1903 and
If you've been following the elections in any way this year, you, too, might have found yourself ruminating on the apocalypse, and any number of routes that might take us as a society toward our inevitable demise. I know I sure have. From the wrong man getting his tiny, grubby
The Costume Institute's exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology explores how fashion designers are finding innovative ways of reconciling the dichotomy between hand (manus) and machine (machine). Rather than posit the two poles against each other, the show presents compelling
If I had to pick a favorite material, it would be aluminum foil—hands down. Great for everything from perfectly packaging a slice of leftover pizza to creating impenetrable hats and even keeping aliens from reading your brain waves, the malleable, silver material is pretty fantastic. Chris Shanck agrees. In
When you need to get a complicated pattern onto a 3D surface, dip coating is a good way to go, provided your object is submersible. You can do some pretty complicated shapes, even those with undercuts. And in our "Texture Mapping in Real Life" post, we saw a rather stunning
It might not occur to you that a deep-sea fishing trawler can simply dump their old, worn-out fishnets over the side. After all, no one is watching them out there. And as those nets sink, they can continue to trap ocean life and stay on the ocean floor for centuries,
There are a lot of spots in life where adhesive is helpful, and Fixate is adding a bit more brawn to the normal sticky options. These reusable adhesive pads are designed to adhere to a wide range of surfaces and hold objects up to a few pounds. This opens up
One of the lessons I remember well from ID school was delivered by then-professor Bruce Hannah. Hannah was discussing the intelligent implementation of materials, using the bicycle wheel as an example. He pointed out that the wire spokes are relatively inexpensive and individually quite weak, such that anyone in the
Following the Tools & Craft reference to Burning Man, I rewatched this time-lapse videos shot there a few years ago: I remember finding this video pretty when I first viewed it, but something about it bothered me this time around. The perfect semicircle of the "town" taking shape atop the
As I've said before, I freaking hate the design of the martini glass. It is the dumbest, least-ergonomic form factor for quaffing gin that I can think of. The top-heavy form makes them easy to topple over and break (particularly the stupid-wide ones that every bar started stocking after "Sex
The Sea Me collection is an attractive attempt to reconcile the bounty and ecological vulnerability of the ocean. Designer Nienke Hoogvliet has researched the design applications of recycled and naturally produced sea materials for over two years, and her findings are both surprising and attractive. She has found a
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