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FutureFactories -- Creepers.mgx

Lionel Theodore Dean is a independent designer based in the UK. In 2002 he created FutureFactories, a project exploring digital manufacturing using rapid prototyping technologies adapted to end-use manufacture. At the Milan Fair this month he showed Creepers, designed for Materialise.mgx.

Creepers is a complex pattern of fine, light catching leaves made of laser sintered nylon. Clipping an array of Creeper stems on floor-to-ceiling cables creates floating clouds of light that divide interior spaces. Intertwined leaves sprout from the stem in a seemingly random disorder: collectively these surfaces cover a pre-ordained reflector area. Each leaf follows the same structural rules but with considerable scope for individual variance. Material is used as structurally required. Thicknesses taper from the main stem to reflectors thin enough to be semi-translucent. The stems contain LEDs that project light onto the leaves.

According to Lionel, designers are only now beginning to scratch the surface of digital manufacturing technology. "Our conceptual thinking is rooted in design for manufacture, I am trying to get away from the notion that perfection is allied to rationality. I see the designers' role as managing complexity."

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Date Posted: April 26, 2005
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