Science in Design /// Closing Tabs

A perennial problem on my computer is that dreaded point where I can no longer see the icons in my browser tabs. There are just too many.

I’ve decided that, instead of leaving them there and fretting that I’ll one day need that tab listing German prefixes, or that tab with photos of cats, or that tab about some city-turned-construction-site – instead of that I’ll post them to my blog with some thoughtful reflections.

The first instance is a set of tabs that exemplify something I’ve been encountering more and more lately – Science inspired design.

Jólan van der Wiel creates spiky shoes for Iris van Herpen using magnets 

Blog - jolan van der wiel 1

(photo by Yannis Vlamos)

This article shows a set of shoes designed by Jólan van der Wiel, which were made using a resin mixture containing iron filings. Before setting, the mixture was placed near strong magnets which pulled the mixture into spikey shapes. The designer is known for this technique and has made other products with it (ex. stools)


Studio Swine’s Meteorite Shoes simulate space debris

Blog - Studio Swine

(Photos by Petr Krejci)

More shoes. These ones were created by London-based Studio Swine using aluminium foam. Dezeen magazine quotes the designers on the technique: “Whilst the metal is in a molten state, gassing agents are injected creating a pumice-like material full of thousands of irregular cells,” said the designers. “It’s an example of how industry and natural forces can merge to create a beautiful material.” The designers have used the material before to create a set of cabinets.


Copper ID: Topaz

(Photo from Domus Magazine)

From the current Milan Salone 2015  furniture fair, comes this design from Australian industrial design studio Copper ID. From the Domus blog, these lamps are said to, “pay homage to the exquisite geometric chaos that are Nature’s mineral crystallisations.”


Wine Snobs Are Right: Glass Shape Does Affect Flavor

More science of design, Kohji Mitsubayashi and colleagues at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University used a colour-changing mesh to measure the concentration of alcohol leaving through the top of a wine glass. More details about the experimental setup are in the article, but immediately one can see the connection between glass geometry and the experience and enjoyment of wine.


Biothing: Repository of Computation Design

(Photo by Alisa Andrasek)

Biothing is an interdisciplinary laboratory, “that focuses on the generative potential of computational systems for design.” It’s headed by Alisa Andrasek, an architect and designer. The Lab has engages with computational approaches to architecture and design and interfaces between algorithm and material.

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