WoodSkin is a fascinating new composite material created by the Milan design studio Mamma Fotogramma that looks like lovely patterned wood, but moves with the flexibility of a sheet blowing in the breeze. Its plastic nature allows it to function as a stylish, organic-looking skin for projects that might otherwise be built with standard, flat materials.
The creation started as an entry to the open-source design competition Autoprogettazione 2.0 in 2012, and came to fruition in Montreal later that year as Mamma Fotogramma’s Giulio Masotti and Gianluca Lo Presti used it to design part of the lobby interior of Allez Up, an indoor rock climbing gym near the border of the Lachine Canal. For two months the team lived and worked in Montreal next to the sugar silos where the gym was to be installed and invented the entire process to make WoodSkin. Since the undertaking of combining a rigid substance like wood with a malleable textile was completely new to them, they even created three-meter long wheeled presses to experiment with hybrid materials that would be flexible yet sturdy. (via Design Firm Creates a Composite Wooden Material That Flexes Like Skin | Wired Design | Wired.com)
Just a little op-ed on black market knock-offs and the fluid nature of technology:
“More than half the workers of the world do business in the informal, or shadow, economy—selling legal products in a quasi-legal way, or, like the owner of that New York liquor store, selling quasi-legal products in a legal way—and their work is worth more than USD 10 trillion each year. For much of the planet, the global informal economy has become a dynamic and mobile network of ingenuity involving every type of business; from street merchants to mega-corporations…This chain also includes a technological feedback loop. For instance, Chinese firms have started producing phones that fit two SIM cards simultaneously because African customers ask for them.”
an interesting read on the adaptation of technology and economy.
Thanks for the submission Michael
“For more than 2,000 years, philosophers, mathematicians and artists have marveled at the unique properties of the “golden rectangle”: subtract a square from a golden rectangle, and what remains is another golden rectangle, and so on and so on — an infinite spiral. These so-called magical proportions (about 5 by 8) are common in the shapes of books, television sets and credit cards, and they provide the underlying structure for some of the most beloved designs in history: the facades of the Parthenon and Notre Dame, the face of the “Mona Lisa,” the Stradivarius violin and the original iPod.”
New flexible classroom design breaks out of rigid row-column design
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a classroom design that gives instructors increased flexibility in how to teach their courses and improves accessibility for students, while slashing administrative costs.
The new flexible approach acknowledges the fact that students are now bringing their own laptops to class. The classrooms also include mobile infrastructure, where whiteboards, desks and tables can be reconfigured according to the needs of students and instructors.
“These classrooms work really well in terms of engaging students, particularly in regard to helping students bridge the gap between in-class instruction and out-of-classroom assignments,” says Dr. Susan Miller-Cochran, an associate professor of English and director of the First-Year Writing Program at NC State and lead author of a paper on the flexible classroom design.
The flexible design also improves access for students with special needs.
This approach could also lead to more creativity and active involvement by students, replacing the centuries-old, mind-numbing passive lecture format. Would this also improve some working environments? — Editor (via New flexible classroom design breaks out of rigid row-column design | KurzweilAI)
AUGMENTED REALITY (AR) has been integrated into other technologies for decades now, but is still perceived as a relatively new and innovative software concept due to its still largely unexplored potential.
Using a live view of a physical, real-world environment that is augmented via computer generated sensory input, AR allows virtual 3D renderings to be manipulated by hand and thus aid development across a variety of design industries.
3D technology firm Inition - which specialises in augmented and virtual reality, gestural interaction and 3D printing - invited us on a tour around its studio in East London this week and we got to see some of the firm’s innovative 3D technologies in action.
The concept demonstrated relies on the use of special patterned markers that tell the software what 3D images to project onto the screen so virtual objects can be dissected and explored with related information in a way not possible in real life.