Monday, February 22, 2010

Design Revolution Panel Discussion + Book Party

Thursday, March 11 Events

Design Revolution: Join the Debate Panel Discussion
6:30pm | Falvey Hall

Exploring Materials: Creative Design for Everyday Objects, Book Party
Leidy Atrium and Falvey Hall, Brown Center, MICA, 1301 Mt. Royal Ave 21217

Design Revolution: Join the Debate Panel Discussion
6:30pm | Falvey Hall

This free panel is a part of the Design Revolution Road Show, an exhibition installed inside a 1972 Airstream trailer that presents products from Pilloton’s new book Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People, written by Pilloton.

Panelists: Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller of Project H Design, a non-profit dedicated to bringing product design to those who need it most; John Bielenberg, founderof Project M, an immersion program that inspires young designers, writers, and photographers to do work that can make a difference; and Julie Lasky, editor of Design Observer’s Change Observer section, which covers socially aware design. Moderator: Architecture/design writer Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson.

Exploring Materials: Creative Design for Everyday Objects, Book Party
Ina Alesina and Ellen Lupton

Here are few words about the Book:
Exploring Materials focuses on how product designers can use physical forms and materials in a direct, active, hands-on way. Sketching ideas with a pencil or rendering them with computer software are useful experiences, but there is no substitute for confronting physical materials in the flesh. Foam, mesh, wood, plastic, and wire each have behaviors and properties that suggest different types of structure, surface, and connection. In place of the abstraction of pure volumes or the whimsy of “virtual” objects, this book encourages designers to make and test real objects in a studio environment.

Materials are like words. The richer your design vocabulary, the more solutions you can see and express. There are no good or bad materials. Each one has its place, consequences, and cost. Understanding materials is essential to design. Some designers come to the profession with a commonsense knowledge of materials, while others have only thought about their decorative properties. Use this book to begin looking at materials with new eyes. Ignore what you already know, and find out how you can coax cardboard, foam, cloth, metal, or rope into surprising structures with valuable functions.

At the core of the book is a visual glossary of thirty-four materials, organized both to inspire and to inform. Although most of these materials are commonplace (rather than “smart” substances or exotic mutants), each is packed with potential ideas. This section presents everyday uses of the materials, pointing out the special ways each one functions as a structure, surface, fastener, and more. Also featured are experimental uses of these forms and substances, showing how designers from around the world have exploited their characteristics in inventive ways. The book concludes with a section on making it real, moving beyond the prototype to create a product that can be manufactured and marketed.

Exploring Materials speaks to a cultural shift in the design world. Many designers are thinking critically and creatively about materials—about where they come from, how they function, and where they end up at the end of a product’s life cycle. There is growing interest across society in physically making things and thus directly engaging with objects and the environment. The revitalization of craft has helped revitalize design. Exploring Materials embraces this new wave of thinking and making.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I came across something you all might want to look at:

1. Amy Tavern's Flickr galleries. -- ones you might find especially interesting: wood, felt, paper

2. Abigail Williams -felt pieces

A Fabric Place

I found a fabric store that is local to the Towson/Baltimore area! It's owned by a cute little old man and they have a giant selection of fabrics, threads and buttons. It's located at 6324 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD, 21209. They have great hours: Mon and Thurs: 10am-9pm, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat: 10am-5pm.

If you're looking for faux fur or faux leather, this place isn't for you. However, they had just about everything else.

here's to hoping everyone is more prepared for class next week,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ingeo Biopolymer - It's cool!

Here's a material you all might be interested in...Ingeo Biopolymer! It can be ordered through suppliers, via the old-fashioned method of calling in and placing an order with a real human being. Archaic, right?

But the company claims it has engineered a polymer that can stand against the more hazardous, barely biodegradable versions that have been commonly used in the past. There are clear and opaque versions, both of which are availible for sale as pellets for melting. The melted polymer must then be used with an injection mold.

Though I haven't used this material myself, it may interest others in the class. The site does give samples of products already on the market that use their polymer.

Enjoy! The link is below.


Monday, February 15, 2010


Here are some images of the work of Jennifer Trask. She has an interesting way of looking at natural materials. There is alot more at her website. She is very prolific.

Here are some site to jog your brains about minerals. As you peruse, what strikes you? what do you notice? What attracts your attention? Where does your mind go? Make notes, keep sketches.
Here's an intro from our friends at Wikipedia.
B and L Minerals has some good definitions and pictures.
Moh's Scale of Hardness ranks the hardness of materials from talc to diamonds. The steps between materials are not equal!

Rock versus Mineral
Where do pigments come from?
How are pigments used?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Exhibition Opp

Many of you are considering the social/sustainable aspects of your is a call for entries that seems pretty accessible.

Enter with new work or previously made work but ENTER!

"Do you create artwork that promotes social change? Is your artwork made with recycled goods? Do you create artwork that addresses a social issue for which you feel strongly? Does your work encourage community activism?contact ".

Event: Call for Entries: Social Change Exhibition
What: Exhibit
Start Time: 01 March at 01:00
End Time: 01 March at 23:00
Where: Towson ARTS Collective 406 York Rd. Lower Level

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below: