Reversacol : Photochromic Dye

March 23rd, 2005 | Filed under: Design, Fabrication Tech, Materials, Products | No Comments »

Reversacol, the latest in photochromic dyes comes from James Robinson, offering a line of vibrant colors and possible combinations with other sensitive dyes such as thermochromics.

Corrugated Cardboard Mania

March 2nd, 2005 | Filed under: Building Tech, Fabrication Tech, Materials, Products, Sustainability | 1 Comment »

Recycling cardboard is so 90’s. Reuse it! Make some furniture, a boat, a robot or a house!

Cardboard Folders | Designboom’s cardboard folding chairs competition

Recycle Robot
| Dan Paluska’s 90% recycled cardboard robot.

Box Doodle | Cardboard art

[retur] Design Sweden | cardboard furniture

The Cardboard House | A $35,000 house by Stutchbury + Pape and Col James

Paper Loghouse |
Shigeru Ban’s cardboard emergency shelter (more on Shigeru Ban)

Everything Corrugated
| A collection of links to more cardboard projects.

more »

Material Exploring

February 26th, 2005 | Filed under: Architecture, Design, Materials, Sustainability | No Comments »

Here are some great resources on the internet for designers and architects to find fabrication materials.

Material Explorer
| Materia’s detailed material spec + search site.

Ecospecifier | Product search according to sustainability type.

Design Insite | Browse product and material cross references.

Material Connexion | Innovative material online database and showroom locations.

demi | Sustainable materials.

indes | Sustainable materials.

via Worldchanging

Elephant Poop = Paper

February 22nd, 2005 | Filed under: Materials, Products, Sustainability, Technology | 12 Comments »

Elephant Dung Paper has a small selection of paper products made out of 100% dung. The low-tech ultra-sustainable process begins with collecting the dung, consisting of mostly fiber, then some thorough washing, add some color, sift, dry, sand, cut, done. There’s no bleaching or additive, just pure elephant dung. mm. mmmm…

via core77

Chicken Feather Composites

February 22nd, 2005 | Filed under: Fabrication Tech, Materials, Products, Sustainability | No Comments »

Richard Wool, at the University of Delaware, has a proposal to use the yearly 5 billion pounds of wasted chicken feathers in the United States to make an assortment of commercial materials from circuit boards to light weight carbon fiber.

The Forest Products Laboratory is also looking into using chicken feathers as an alternative to MDF (medium density fiberboard), which is currently made by a process of mixing wood fiber (wood cells), resin, and heat. (EcoComp report pdf)

via Washington Post | Wired

more »

Foldable Plywood

February 10th, 2005 | Filed under: Design, Fabrication Tech, Materials | No Comments »

Foldex is a combination of 3-10mm thick plywood and a linen-like material sandwiched in between. The result is much like scored cardboard. This fabrication technique integrates a cnc cutting mechanism so all cuts are accurate, repeatable and customizable, offering the potential to build an entire line of custom foldable furniture. Depending on the thickness of the plywood, the folds can produce curved surfaces out of single sheets, as they have demonstrated in a furniture piece they made for a competition in 2001. Using this basic method of flexible material embedded in rigid sheets, the possibilities seem endless. We may soon see more furniture and perhaps larger structures built using this method.

via Transmaterial | 100% Design

Breeding Spaces in Vitro

February 8th, 2005 | Filed under: Architecture, Building Tech, Materials, Nanotech | 1 Comment »

The Breeding Spaces project, by Zbigniew Oksiuta aims to create a system of biological appropriation of energy and material into a self-organizing space. Much like a growing organism, these spaces would grow in a neutrally buoyant sterile environment as stimulants are added in a controlled manner to sculpt the growth of the space. This project, like much of Oksiuta’s work, merges the boundaries of biology, art and architecture. The collaborators on Breeding Spaces include some major institutions such as, the Institute of Physical Chemistry at Koln University and the German Aerospace Agency.

more »

Grancrete : Spray-Form Building

February 7th, 2005 | Filed under: Architecture, Building Tech, Fabrication Tech, Materials | 229 Comments »

Grancrete (pdf) by Argonne offers a step up from the spray-forming concrete products like Shotcrete available today. The ceramic composite of locally available, biodegradable ingredients is stronger than concrete. Since the material is sprayed onto a simple frame made of Styrofoam or locally woven fibers, we know the process offers a wide architectural formal vocabulary, allowing multiple translations of the material into its specific local customs. The material is currently going through its final testing prior to worldwide distribution for cheap housing.

via World Science : World changing