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The Mataerial Printer

Researchers Saša Jokić and Petr Vovikov from Barcelona’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) have created a gravity-defying 3D printer.

The Mataerial printer uses plastic made from thermosetting polymers, which solidify instantly, allowing it to draw freeform shapes in the air extending from any surface. The process, which the designers call “anti-gravity object modelling”, is a form of extrusion that instantly creates chunky three-dimensional rods, rather than slowly building up two-dimensional layers like a standard 3D printer. Users can customise the colour of the plastic and the width of the tube to their exact specifications.

(Source: dezeen.com)

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Ideo’s Future Packaging Concepts

International design firm and innovation consultancy IDEO has launched a collection of future-facing packaging concepts that explore how packaging design can assume a more guiding role in a product’s final consumption.

Published under Designs On – IDEO’s internal innovation platform that presents provocations around pertinent topics, such as food and global warming – the pamphlet presents 18 unexpected packaging designs for products, tools, scents and environments.

Taking inspiration from the billions of discarded cigarette butts that litter the UK’s streets, Ben Forman designed Cigg Seed – a biodegradable cigarette butt that’s embedded with wildflower seeds, which sprout and blossom into wildflower meadows when flicked and discarded. Chopsticks by Gregory Perez and Guoning Hu highlights the resources expended to manufacture disposable wooden chopsticks – housing the chopsticks inside a twig provides an inherent reminder of their environmental impact. Expired by the designers Kuen Chang and Jin Ko repackages medication in bottles that ‘ripen’ with brown spots, like a banana, to indicate the pill’s freshness.

For more innovative packaging concepts, see Ecologically Wrapped and The Disappearing Package

(Source: designs-on.com)

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Edios: Enhancing the Senses

A group of students at London’s Royal College of Art have designed two experimental masks that allow wearers to selectively enhance their hearing and vision. The Eidos masks are designed to enhance sensory perception by tuning in to selective sights and sounds around the wearer and applying effects to amplify particular senses.

The Eidos Vision mask lets wearers control the way they see motion. The device uses a head-mounted camera, which transmits imagery to a computer to apply effects before sending it back for the viewer to watch in real time.

Eidos Audio allows wearers to hear sounds more selectively, using a directional microphone and audio processors to neutralise background noise. The sound is transmitted straight to the inner ear via bone vibrations.

(Source: dezeen.com)

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The Glowing Plant Project

A group of students from California-based institutions Stanford University and Singularity University are using synthetic biology to design glow-in-the-dark plants, which they hope will be the first step in using plants to replace conventional streetlights.

The students will use software from Genome Compiler – a programme for designing DNA code – to inject bioluminescent genes into Arabidopsis plants (a member of the mustard family). Inspired by fireflies and luminescence in aquatic creatures, the team hopes to develop a strand of plants as the first step towards creating a natural, sustainable light source.

The project needs $65,000 in funding from Kickstarter donations to purchase and print the genes identified on the Genome Compiler. In return, backers are offered kits to create their own glowing plant at home.

(Source: kickstarter.com)

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Austerity

In response to growing fears surrounding global climate change, designers are exploring the roles that design could play in the apocalyptic landscape of the future. Design studio Lanzavecchia + Wai has created a comestible furniture collection that’s designed to be consumed in times of crisis.

The four conceptual objects use basic nutrients – such as carbohydrates, proteins, sugar and chocolate – as food reserves. These nutrients enhance the finish of the objects and cover the collection’s core metal structures. Over time the organic elements erode, which exposes the elemental nature of the piece and encourages the user to embrace a new era of austerity.

The fundamental structure of the Chocolate Chair is an iron stool, which is embellished with white chocolate legs and backrest. Hard Candy Table boast three iron legs and a tabletop made from shocking pink sugar.

(Source: lanzavecchia-wai.com)

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Ecologically Wrapped

Swedish research company Innventia and designers Anna Glansén and Hanna Billqvist from design agency Tomorrow Machine have created Sustainable Expanding Bowl – a re-usable food packaging that is completely sustainable.

The packaging – created to hold freeze-dried food – instantly expands into a serving bowl when hot water is added. The concept comes in a compressed state, which saves on space and cost, and is made from a bio-based and biodegradable material.

Responding to the strain on the world’s natural resources and the harmful impact of manufacturing, designers are exploring environmentally friendly materials that can be recycled or composted. With every piece of plastic ever made still with us, we need ecological alternatives.

(Source: lsnglobal.com)

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Perfumery Tools

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Industrial designer Andrea Strata has created a set of instruments to aid the selling of perfumes.

Perfumery Tools includes Le Petit Orgue, which allows customers to smell essential oils commonly used in fragrances to see which scent they like the most. Les Plis is a cone-shaped sampling strip that’s designed to fit around the nose, and Les Cloches is a glass concave that allows the consumer to smell a silk square sprayed with the perfume. “The base, the silk square and even the glass can be customised to communicate the essence of the brand,” says Strata.

L’Helice is a handheld fan designed to help customers experience what people around them will smell when wearing the perfume. The last tool is called Le Flaire – a ceramic tool that enables users to discover what the perfume smells like on the skin.

Strata’s project turns the act of selling perfume into a poetic and engaging experience for the user. See Scent-ogaphy by Amy Radcliffe, which also aims to redefine how consumers interact with smell on a daily basis.

(Source: andreastrata.com)

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Milan 2013: Cloud Boxes

Netherlands-based Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters has created a series of storage boxes that block out everyday noise.

The Cloud Boxes are made from semi-transparent latex and available in small, medium and large. Inspired by the hazy glow from a cloudy sky, the containers are designed to mute audio and visual noise, creating a softer aesthetic.

Consumers are looking to escape today’s digital barrage, and are yearning for products and experiences that offer them downtime or a moment of quiet. See Ingrid Hulskamp’s project Daily Poetry – a collection of spinning tops that encourage adults to slow down and enjoy a thoughtful moment in time.

For more from Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters, see Waterloop.

(Source: maartenkolk-guuskusters)

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Milan 2013: Scent-ography

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Central Saint Martins student Amy Radcliffe has created Madeline – a simple device, which enables users to capture scents as a way of preserving memories and nostalgic fragrances.

Madeline pumps air from a fragrance source through a glass trap, allowing the scent molecules to be absorbed into a resin-based filter. A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry machine then processes the sample to detect the scent’s chemical make-up and turn it into a liquid that replicates the smell.

“If an amateur-friendly system of odour capture and synthesis could be developed, we could see a profound change in the way we regard the use and effect of smells in our daily lives,” says Radcliffe. “Our olfactory sense could take on a much more conscious role in the way we consume and record the world.”

For more on scented sensations, see The Heinz Beanz Flavour Experience and Scent Tailoring.

(Source: amyradcliffe.co.uk)

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Sweet Remedy

New York-based chocolatier Red R. Thalhammer is the brainchild behind Antidote – a new range of chocolate bars marketed as a superfood rather than a snack.

The chocolate is available in a range of sophisticated and mouth-watering flavours, including rose salt and lemon, ginger and goldenberry and banana and cayenne pepper. Thalhammer claims it’s the ultimate pick-me-up.

With ever-increasing consumer demand for foods with health properties, traditionally fat-filled snacks are being supercharged with nutritious additives to entice affluent, health-conscious consumers. For more functional food goodness, check out Chia: A Real Super-Seed.

(Source: antidotechoco.com)

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