Reclaimed wood is frequently touted as a resourceful way to reduce waste by reusing existing materials. What’s often missing from that conversation is how the reuse of these materials can also reclaim a piece of history, salvaging remnants of what came before and offering them a new meaning. That was
Blending wood with resin can create pleasing-looking tabletops, as we've seen from MTH Woodworking and Michaelsaurus. But Mr. Demcka, the guy behind Dema's Woodshop, blends the two materials on a much smaller scale. By chopping a common polyethylene cutting board into a box-like mold, mixing Alumilite resin with pigment, and
Elora Hardy runs Ibuku, a Bali-based design/build company that works primarily in bamboo and uses local skilled labor. "We believe in bamboo," the company writes. "Its strength, beauty, flexibility, 4-year growth cycle, and carbon sequestration capacity make it the most environmentally conscientious building material conceivable." On top of that, "If
Marjan van Aubel began her love affair with energy-harvesting technologies while studying product design at London's Royal College of Art in 2012. During her studies, the Dutch designer created a collection of solar glassware that collects energy and stores it in a cabinet, as well as a table made up
Scotty Lewis describes bending wood as "one of the most exciting and magical things a woodworker will ever experience," and the lure is easy to see: The ability to shape Mother Nature's product to our design indicates a mastery of material and allows for unusual shapes. We've looked at plenty
In guest writer Rob Wilkey's excellent series on Wood Species, he ran down nine popular breeds that any designer working with wood ought to know. One of those species was of course mahogany, and you can click here to read about its qualities and what it's best used for. Sadly,
Ventura Lambrate is always a treat during Milan Design Week. The neighborhood unfolds into a variety of spaces that become home to the lighting, furniture, fashion and conceptual products (and much more). Currently in its 6th year, Ventura Lambrate strives to give a platform for up and coming designers as
What at first glance looks like preparation for the most epic furniture-themed party ever—shiny, reflective chairs and tables resembling inflated Mylar balloons—is, in fact, Zieta Prozessdesign's FiDU collection, constructed entirely of steel. The series, which consists of chairs, stools, tables, accessories and artwork, first made its debut back in 2008,
When Toshio Tokunaga needs irons for his selection of kanna (handplanes and spokeshaves), he turns to Master Smith Yasuhiko Ohara to have them made from scratch, the traditional Japanese way. Which as it turns out, is quite the pain in the ass—because Japan doesn't have any iron mines. With no
Of the number of designers who claim the title designer/maker or even designer/maker/artist, few compare to the work of London-based Max Lamb. On view at the Garage San Remo in Milan, visitors are welcome to explore the breadth of Lamb's material inquiry through the lens of design's favorite archetype—the chair.
The "living hinge" you see molded into clamshell packaging has always been the domain of plastic; metal and wood don't like the repetitive stress of bending. But Bavarian fabrication firm Ackermann has worked out a way to do a living hinge in plywood. The trick is to laminate a sheet
What if the machines that manufacture our objects could feel? And what if those feelings would effect the final outcome of the objects created? At Spazio Rossana Orlandi, a bastion of experimental and emerging talent, an ongoing collaboration between Sander Wassink and Olivier van Herpt explores that territory with 3D
Game of Thrones starts up again this Sunday, so we swung over to Tony Swatton's website. We last looked in on Swatton, the California-based master blacksmith, when he was making Thor's hammer; more recently he's turned his attention to producing some GoT weapons, like the tiny Arya Stark's diminutive sword.
To bend wood, you need steam. The typical way to do this is to build a steam box that fits your part-to-be-bent inside. But there are three drawbacks to this method: The box must be sized to fit your piece; when you remove your piece from the box and transport
Welcome to the age of active furniture. MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is debuting a prototype for the first self-transforming table. A collaboration with the material manufacturer Wood-Skin, the table reconfigures itself from flat-pack to full-functionality without the need for human or machine assembly. An embedded pre-stressed textile allows the table to
I don't know what's more impressive, that Ronda Batchelor is a stay-at-home mother of six, or that she's got some serious finishing skills. When looking into a marble countertop for her home, she was discouraged by the prices: For Carrara marble it would have cost $650 and for another light
Of mankind's many scientific endeavors--space travel, materials science, weather control--perhaps no undertaking is as important as the science of pouring lava onto stuff. Unless we can understand what happens when molten lava meets a can of Spam, or Coca-Cola or Chef Boyardee Ravioli, we will not be able to unlock
The folks over at eyeglasses manufacturer Shwood have managed to turn newspaper into veneer. It's more of a manufacturing exercise than a practical way to recycle, but what's interesting is the way they've done it: They started out by essentially reversing the process used to create veneer for plywood, whereby
When your average consumer watches any of Apple's "how it's made" videos, they likely have no idea what they're seeing. But even first-year ID students, when shown a cutting head pivoting precisely around material, understand that this machine is not controlled by a guy named Joe turning a bunch of
To some, four years of design school sounds like a long time. But in the story of "The Accidental Designer," we learned that Tom Sullivan became a successful designer/builder after spending eight years as a shipbuilder's apprentice. Shipbuilding is something like woodworking or furniture design on a massive scale. The
Maker Peter Brown wanted a plastic mallet, but rather than buy one, decided to make one himself—using whatever he had lying around, no plastic-handling equipment in sight. Which means, maniac that Brown is, he used a toaster oven to melt down milk jugs to get that delicious, creamy HDPE into
Looking around your home or office—or anywhere, really—it's extraordinarily likely that you posses something constructed of a plastic polymer. This item was most likely pumped out by the hundreds of thousands in a factory overseas, along with billions of other mundane objects that have come to completely surround us in
Material ConneXion boasts the world’s biggest library of materials and publishes reports on their monthly findings. To get a cutting edge material-hound’s view of where connected tech is heading, we spoke with Dr. Andrew Dent, Material ConneXion’s Vice President and materials researcher.
"In design, there are merchants and pastors," explains Hella Jongerius. "I'm a design pastor. Today I step out of the closet to fight for new industrial values." In Jongerius' stirring presentation at Design Indaba 2015, the Dutch design icon explained that designers fall under two
With the woodchipper fired up, the men began tossing $1 million worth of brand-new sneakers into it. Nike, Adidas, Vans, Converse, it didn't matter what it said on the label; all 150,000 pairs were counterfeits,
Mornings in New York: The taste of hot coffee, the din of traffic, the aroma of fresh urine. If you have the bad luck to pass anywhere a drunken bar-goer might have the night before, as most of us do, chances are you'll pass some building nook with a suspicious
Plastic bottles are made by blow-molding, a beautiful, elegant process that can create a full-bodied shape with a narrow little neck. But how the heck do they make scuba tanks, fire extinguishers and gas canisters, which have similarly narrow necks, but are of course made of non-blow-moldable metal?
"Sustainability" is a popular buzzword, but I think we should also consider "longevity." When a company has sustainable practices but you must re-buy their products every few years, it seems obvious that we should be leaning more towards longevity. This is Patagonia's Men's Better Sweater Hoody, which I purchased three
It was two years ago that we first showed you Tom Sachs' "Love Letter to Plywood" video, and we didn't realize he'd since updated it. The video is part of his "Energies & Skills" series on studio practices, which are "required viewing for Tom Sachs' studio:" They comprise guides to
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The project began after Bocci's creative director coerced a pilot friend into showing him his airplane. “My friend is showing me the engine and there’s this fabric bag," Omer Arbel says. "It struck me immediately. It was pristinely white in this engine of all gray or black pieces.”
Over the last few months, the hot topic of conversation among myself and my female startup friends (and a number of male friends too) has switched from the usual suspects of Shinola, YikYak, Casper etc to an unlikely pick: the New York-based underwear company Dear Kate. Dear Kate's marketing campaign...
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