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Ben van Berkel of UNStudio answers Despoke’s Questions

Image:PCT stand at 100% Design 2011

1. What has been your favourite project this year ?
I don’t have one specific favourite project, but we particularly enjoy designing exhibitions and pavilions because they afford us the opportunity to try out new ideas. These designs can work as prototypes for spatial, organisational and material possibilities in our larger
projects. But exhibitions and pavilions also generate really nice moments for public communication and interaction over a short period of time, as so many people visit these events.

Sometimes you can design a building that you are very proud of but often – especially if this is not a public building – not so many people will truly get to experience it. So pavilions provide a wonderful opportunity for the design to truly be consumed.

2. UNStudio has been producing chairs/ furniture do you think its important for architects to investigate other creative disciplines?

We have always liked to test and investigate other areas of the discipline, but I never actually think in terms of scale. We like the idea of the non-existence of a proper scale and this is very much related to the way we combine ideas. I have never considered architecture and design to be mutually exclusive. In the same way as I sometimes like to think that art and architecture are not so different from one another.

Sometimes I will see a piece of furniture as architecture; as containing a variety of cultural references. Conversely a building can be seen as a product. We like to test these boundaries.
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Tattoo Electronics

A few years ago we produced a marketing campaign for a company that grew artificial skin, a brilliant product that was created from a sample of your own cells and cultivated in the lab to help patients with severe burns and skin ulcers that wouldn’t heal. Ever since then I have a had a fascination with integrating design and technology into the human body.

This particular product caught my eye, Ultra-thin electronic circuitry that can be applied as a process of tattooing to the human body.
John Rogers of the university of Illinois and yonggang huang of northwestern university in America have headed up an R&D team to develop this product that could be used in application of human-machine interfaces and gaming, medical diagnostics and communications.
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Armourcoat at 100percent Design 2011

lille museum of modern art (c) vincent fillon rd
Image:Lille museum of modern art (c) Vincent Fillon

Ground-breaking new products and finishes will be presented by Armourcoat at 100% Design London. Armourcoat will introduce Ductal® Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) – a first for the show.
Developed by Lafarge, Ductal® presents a genuine revolution in the concrete sector. The material possesses a unique combination of superior properties including strength, ductility, durability and enhanced aesthetics. This enables designers to develop and realize new sculptural approaches to concrete forms.
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UNStudio to collaborate with Premier Composite Technologies at 100% Design London 2011

PCT Standat100Design
Following last year’s launch at 100% Design London with a Snohetta-designed stand, Premier Composites Technologies (PCT) is pleased to confirm this year’s collaboration with UNStudio.

Award winning architects UNStudio will design the PCT stand at 100% Design London (Stand No. E130). The collaboration will highlight the growing trend for the use of advanced composites in architecture today and will demonstrate the benefits of working with composites over conventional structural materials.
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Chris Lefteri Meets Bare Conductive for 100% Design

Chris Lefteri from 100% Materials meets with Bibi Nelson from Bare Conductive to find out all about their smart paint, whether skin-safe conductive or interactive. Bibi also demonstrates paint that detects proximity.

LED-embedded wall panels will emit light and absorb sound

Dutch Royal Philips Electronics last week announced a partnership with Danish Kvadrat Soft Cells to create wall coverings that not only absorb sound but emit light as well.

Kvadrat Soft Cells is already known for its acoustic panels that control sound absorption, but the new partnership will use Philips’ expertise in ambient lighting to take such efforts even further. By integrating Philips’ addressable and multicolored LEDs into Kvadrat’s panels — which are constructed from fabric stretched over an aluminum frame — the two will give architects, interior designers and lighting specialists a world of new plug-and-play capabilities. Targeted particularly at retail and hospitality providers, the resulting “luminous textiles” will create a “mood wall” or series of panels that can not only absorb sound but enhance any ambiance through the display of light and dynamic visual content. Soft, diffused light will create an almost “dreamlike” quality suitable for settings ranging from reception areas and restaurants to hotels and airport lounges, Philips says, and users can either draw from the technology’s standard content portfolio or choose branded or other content of their own.

VIDEO: Printable Foldable Solar Cells

A team of researchers at MIT has developed a means of printing highly resilient, functioning solar cells on ordinary paper, cloth, and other materials, which can be folded and laminated without any appreciable loss in performance. The team is led by professors Karen Gleason and Vladimir Bulovi? and graduate student Miles Barr.

More Information and Images over at :designboom

Zero-energy DIY house showcases sustainable design

The E-Cube : conceived and developed at Ghent University, Belgium ,has the principal aim of creating “an affordable zero energy house” bringing a DIY aspect to home-building whilst being simultaneously energy neutral.

In their own words, the “E-cube” is a “do-it- yourself building kit for a solar-powered house that is pre-engineered, factory-built, and easily assembled without special skills.”
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Beautiful: Sanomagic Wooden Bicycles

A ninth-generation shipwright, Sueshiro Sano has been making bikes constructed entirely of mahogany, including frame, fork, seat, seat post, handlebars/stem combination and even rims since 2008.

Using mahogany lends flex and responsiveness in a way no metal frame can, which in turn gives riders an elevated sense of control and increases pacing possibilities. Sano has handcrafted 11 of these fully wooden bicycles, making improvements that shave the average weight of his full builds down from 11 kilograms to around eight.

For more images and information visit CoolHunting

“TRON designs CORIAN®” a movie-inspired design show by Disney® and DuPontT Corian®

Creativity and innovation meet design, Disney® meets DuPontT Corian® at 2011 Milan week of design: the result is “TRON designs CORIAN®”, a design exhibition inspired by the film “TRON: Legacy” from Walt Disney Studios, which will take place at Padiglione Visconti, via Tortona 58, Milano.

The “TRON designs CORIAN®” exhibition is an original design project which will be art directed by DuPont and Disney and created using DuPontT Corian® high-tech surface.
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Kitmen Keung Creates ‘Dual Cut’ For sixinch

Dual Cut for sixinch (1)

Renowned designer Kitmen Keung has designed a split rectangular block to form a multi-use piece of furniture for foamcoated specialists, sixinch.

Dual Cut is split with only two L-shaped cut lines, employing the simplest production process to minimise production wastage. It features two ergonomically comfortable seat back angle options of 6° and 23° and the multi-formation ability to form a one seater with a side table, a chaise lounge or a corner table.

It is available in Light Grey and Dark Grey and is coated with sixinch’s unique four layer system FlexPlus coating making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
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Horn from HI-MACS

This new hand-made piece from HI-MACS, called ‘Horn,’ has been designed by Korean architect Shi-hyung Jeon, of Jeon Associates, who worked together with the HI-MACS team at LG Hausys.

This speaker dock stands 50 inches high and features a 30-pin iPod connector. Aesthetically appealing, its design still generates a full spectrum of sound, providing a pure listening experience with minimal diffraction. The inspiration behind the interesting shape of the podium has been described by its designers as reinterpreting the sleeve lines of traditional Korean garments the “Han-bok” and “Beo-seon” into a contemporary shape.

VIDEO: The Green Wall

The Green Wall from Stephanie Brothers on Vimeo.

Follow Tracey Williams as she creates The Green Wall at The Green Building. This unique garden will open your eyes to new approaches for urban spaces. Situated at The Green Building in Louisville, Kentucky this painting of plants also cleans the air. “Painted” by Tracey Williams, the Garden Designer that collaborated with (fer) studio, The Green Wall gives visitors a different perspective of plants and their wonderful details.

“Livroche” Stone Book Stand David Fleishman

“With its simple architectural form, the Livroche bookstand from designer David Fleishman functions both as a display for books and as a stand-alone sculpture. Handcarved from natural stone, the weight is approximately 10 lbs.”

“TRON designs CORIAN®” A movie-inspired design show by Disney® and DuPont™ Corian®

image:copyright © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

A must-see at 2011 Milan week of design (11-17 April, 2011)
Creativity and innovation meet design, Disney meets DuPont™ Corian®.

The “TRON designs CORIAN®” exhibition is an original project which will be art directed by DuPont and Disney and created using DuPont™ Corian® advanced surface for the overall lay-out and for a surprising scenography. In addition, under the guidance of Disney and DuPont, a series of leading and cutting edge companies, architects and designers will create fascinating interior design solutions and architectural forms, taking inspiration from “TRON: Legacy” and exploiting the versatility of DuPont™ Corian®.

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