Tag Archives: Technology

Six Industry Innovators Share Their Inspirations from the Lunar Landing

When the Apollo 11 came to rest in the lunar Sea of Tranquility on July 20th, 1969 and began transmitting back to Earth grainy black-and-white images of a spider-legged ship, pale figures within shiny helmets, and, a bit later, magisterial photographs of Earth itself against the black void of space, the human race’s conception of itself changed forever. The voyage inspired political realignments and countless scientific breakthroughs; it also inspired the look and feel of a number of cultural masterpieces, from Brian Eno’s 1983 ambient classic Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks to Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1971 stark sci-fi epic Solaris.

Architecture and design took that giant leap for mankind along with Neil Armstrong. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing, we spoke to innovators in the industry about their own lunar inspirations.

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Perilune by Suzanne Tick for Luum Textiles. Photography courtesy of Luum Textiles.

Suzanne Tick, creative director, Luum Textiles

As a child, the textile designer Suzanne Tick watched the landing from her home in Bloomington, Illinois. “What was riveting to me was the sound of someone on the moon and his buoyancy,” Tick says. “I had this realization that a person can be on the moon while I’m sitting at home and he could also be floating!” Since then, the moon has been an important force in her life. “I’ve lived by the MoMA Moon Charts and they have played a large part in my consciousness. A poignant time in my life was 2009, 2010, and 2011 which coincided with the last three years of my father’s life, my marriage, and my son living with me. For this reason, I wove a triptych of each of these years and sewed them together as a reminder of that shift in my life.” This design became Perilune, a printed polyurethane which was introduced through Luum.

Long Dock Park in Beacon, New York by Gary R. Hilderbrand. Photography by James Ewing.

Gary R. Hilderbrand, FASLA FAAR; principal, Reed Hilderbrand; Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor in Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Design

“Because my Aunt and grandmother had a large color TV, anything momentous like this we watched in their living room,” says Gary Hilderbrand. “All gathered ‘round for the moon landing. It’s singed on my brain.” The landscape architect would go on to transform a brownfield in Beacon, New York, into a waterfront parkland with site-specific work by artist George Trakas and two buildings by ARO. “Apollo amplified my instincts about knowing our place in the world and a sense that we somehow had technological knowledge to improve it,” he says. “Seeing these missions orbiting around the other side of the moon, and then exploring its surface, gave me hope that we could right our own environmental mess and craft a smarter, saner landscape. That way of seeing the Earth descended directly from the Apollo 8 ‘earthrise’ photograph. Who would not be affected by that image?!”

SiriusXM’s New York Headquarters and Broadcast Center by Michael Kostow. Photography by Adrian Wilson.

Michael Kostow, founding principal, Kostow Greenwood Architects

Satellite radio wouldn’t exist without the technological breakthroughs of the Apollo mission, so it made perfect sense to have a space fan design the headquarters for one of its largest players, SiriusXM. “I watched the moon landing as a youngster and even had early aspirations of becoming an astronaut,” says Michael Kostow. “I later wanted to design space vehicles for NASA, would build and fly multi-stage model rockets, and even as an architecture graduate student had an early morning ‘party’ to drink Tang and watch the first launch of the space station with my classmates.” The compact efficiency of the capsules influenced his plan for the satellite broadcasting company: “We wanted to invoke simplicity and timelessness,” he says, “and allow the empty space to be an active player in setting the mood.” Mission accomplished.

Aerial and Half-Moon by Kelly Harris Smith for Skyline Design. Photography courtesy of Skyline Design.

Kelly Harris Smith, designer and creative director, Kelly Harris Smith

“I’ve never been on a rocket ship,” says designer Kelly Harris Smith, “but I have flown on an airplane and to this day I always request a window seat so I can peek out over the landscape.” The designer was born after the moon landing but carries the legacy of an aerial point of view into a collection for Chicago’s Skyline Design of glass panels with systems of micro-patterns within shapes and gradations of color over larger repeats. “It’s rooted in looking at the familiar in a new way,” she says, “which I have to imagine is what all astronauts experience looking back at Earth.”

Draper, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Photography by Mark Flannery.

Elizabeth Lowrey, principal, Elkus Manfredi Architects

“Watching the moon landing, even at such a young age, I was awed by the realization that anything is possible,” says Elizabeth Lowrey—even growing up to design a new home for Draper, a not-for-profit engineering firm that created software for Apollo 11. “I remember, as we stepped into Draper’s lobby, the first thing we saw was a space shuttle model.  Even more thrilling was the opportunity to meet Margaret Hamilton, the pioneering software engineer who had made the moon landing possible!” A glass and steel structure forms the roof of the Draper atrium, which is rung with seven floors of offices and laboratories connected by blue glass vertical and horizontal stairways, green walls, and “the Cloud,” a polished steel polyhedron that is truly out of this world.

On the Water/Palisade Bay, New York City. Photography courtesy of ARO.

Adam Yarinsky, FAIA LEED AP, principal, Architecture Research Office

“I was seven, I remember watching the feed of the moonwalk,” says ARO co-founder Adam Yarinksy. “And if you were a kid that was into building models, you had the plastic model kit that was black and white with USA in red on the side. I built a model of the Saturn V and the lunar and command and service modules. The purposefulness of the vehicle had a kind of directness when you compare it to technology today. The control panels were just rows and rows of switches that all looked the same. There was a kind of Dieter Rams quality to it.” But it was politics, not aesthetics, that really inspired Yarinsky’s work with ARO, including this vision of the upper harbor of New York and New Jersey which proposes archipelago and wetlands to mitigate rising sea levels and storm surges. “The finite nature of the planet we’re on reinforces the notion that architecture is part of this web of relationships,” he says. “The best architecture tries to modify and transform, but it’s not an autonomous thing. It’s linked. That sense of connection is the legacy.”

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Call For Proposals: IDS Conference

Experts, designers, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, futurists – showcase your original approach and engaging ideas among the decision makers of design.

IDS is Canada’s largest design show bringing together the industry’s foremost minds and luminaries. Our Conference symposium is a unique opportunity to bring your case studies, teachings, predictions and never-before seen approaches to an engaged audience of over 14,000 professionals looking to learn, spend and be inspired.

We are examining design through a broad, multidisciplinary lens, and encourage sessions which bring new approaches to audience participation and knowledge sharing, from panel discussions and solo presentations to workshops, interactive design labs and more. In our second application cycle we will now be accepting content discussing The Future of Living and Technology.

AyA Kitchens in partnership with U31 Design and Cleaf addressed The Future of Canadian Living in 2018 through several pod-like treehouses that displayed innovative uses of texture, height, and space.

The Future of Living – How will our public and private spaces shape our future: personal, social and environmental? How do we design with empathy for both humanity and our fragile planet? Are modern needs forming or fracturing our communities? Are you designing for a world that no longer exists? This stream will uncover new ways of living and challenge the processes and policies we work within.

Powered by Microsoft HoloLens,Harrison Fae Design reimagined the idea of your inner child in 2019 their space PLAY.

Technology – Technology is evolving every industry, and designers must expertly navigate this world where change is a constant. How do you create client trust in technology? How do you seamlessly – and appropriately – integrate technology into a space? How, when and where is technology best utilized? And how do you sustainably leverage new techniques to future proof your business and career, no matter what new norms emerge?

Speakers, seminars, panels and workshops will be selected based on varying criteria including: relevancy, timeliness, originality, speaker experience and cohesion with the seminar program. We thank all applicants for their interest.

Take a look at some of the engaging speakers that inspired and educated visitors at IDS19. Join us as a speaker for IDS20. Applications close August 15th.

Apply Now.

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Human-centered design is the secret sauce for open-plan success

Michael J. Berens

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

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Human-centered design is the secret sauce for open-plan success

Open-plan workspaces have been given quite a thrashing in recent years. The more ubiquitous they become, the more employees and critics complain about how awful they are to work in. Pull back the curtain on the controversy, though, and what you find is that some open-plan spaces do function better than others.

What makes the difference? Designers will not be surprised to learn that, according to recent research, the major factor is the quality of the interior design.

Drawing on what is now an extensive body of research, most workspaces now are designed to promote certain kinds of employee behaviors found to be linked to important business goals, such as more rapid innovation and increased productivity.

Yet, some studies have shown that even with this evidence-based approach these environments do not always produce the intended results. In some cases, post-occupancy evaluations have found performance actually declined after employees were moved from more traditional to so-called high-performance open-plan spaces.

As reported in the most recent issue of the journal Buildings, a team of Australian researchers, led by Christhina Candido of the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney, reviewed a database of research studies on employee dissatisfaction in open-plan environments and noticed they tended to treat them all as the same without giving attention to the individual physical configuration and conditions of each space. They wondered whether differences in the interior design features of the space would affect the level of employee dissatisfaction differently.

To dig deeper, the researchers conducted post-occupancy surveys of employees in 61 offices in Australia, resulting in a dataset of 8,827 responses. The survey questionnaire was designed to gather employee perceptions of their work environment as it pertained to productivity, health and comfort. In addition to the survey data, which included in-depth analysis of 18 high-performance work environments, the researchers also conducted site visits of each office and collected floor plans and fit-out specific information.

What the researchers found was that across all three areas of inquiry interior design elements ranked among the top factors affecting whether employees were satisfied or not with their working conditions. Work area aesthetics, comfort of furnishings, and the degree of freedom to adapt and personalize one’s usual work area were key drivers of worker satisfaction in both regular and high-performance open-plan environments.

Spatial comfort was another key consideration. Employees in work environments that provided various zones for different types of activities — collaboration, individual work, socialization — had overall higher levels of satisfaction.

This finding correlates with the results of investigations presented in a recent Steelcase report, “New Work. New Rules.” The authors contend that most offices are still designed for linear work and don’t enable the workflow, activities and behaviors required for today’s “hyper-collaborative” work environment. The best workplaces, they find, support the activities of the team while nurturing the needs of individuals.

As with the Australian study, the Steelcase researchers found that employees feel a lack of control over their environment and want more freedom to adapt their work area to fit various types of activities they engage in throughout their day.

Similarly, a review of research on both individual and group perceptions of their office design experience, conducted by Christina Bodin Danielsson of the School of Architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, concludes that personal control is a key factor for high employee satisfaction and can be addressed through a number of design solutions. Danielsson argues that office design needs to be more holistic, taking into account the combined contextual effect of the physical characteristics of the environment and the functional feature of office work.

What all three studies share is a decided emphasis on the critical component of human-centered design. For open-plan and high-performance spaces to succeed, these studies indicate, they must support the kinds and varieties of activities that today’s workers are engaged in.

Moreover, they must respond to employee’s basic needs for comfort, control and wellness. When employees feel good about their work environment, then they deliver the results businesses are expecting. That places proper interior design at the top of the priority list as a “must-have” not just a “nice-to-have.”

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About the Author

Michael J. Berens

Michael J. Berens is a freelance researcher and writer with more than 30 years of experience in association communication and management. He can be reached at

Continue reading Human-centered design is the secret sauce for open-plan success

Move over, exposed brick. Plaster is now the wall finish of choice

Other wall finishes are so two thousand-and-late

Plaster has been a go-to construction material since, at least, the time of the ancient Egyptians. In more modern times, it featured prominently in residential construction in the United States before World War II. Its popularity across human history has been driven by how easy it is to manipulate—and its incredible durability. Plaster produced perfectly flat, uniform walls before the dimensions of lumber were standardized in 1924.

As the saying goes, everything old is new again: Plaster wall finishes have quietly become the preferred choice for high-end home renovations, replacing other options like paint, wallpaper, or exposed brick.

Plaster wall finishes have popped up lately in projects by influential designers and architects across the country, and we’ve seen homeowners showing off their newly renovated plaster wall finishes on Instagram. The plaster finishes in the renovated Pennsylvania farmhouse recently featured in Curbed’s House Calls column give the walls a coarse texture that matches its rustic feel. We sought to find out what’s driving this trend.

With technology advances and experimentation giving plaster color palette and texture options as broad as paint, plaster is helping designers and architects break the dull uniformity of walls—the thing that plaster made possible in the first place.

“What’s attracting people to plaster today is the ability to have a little bit of surface variation, to have more character in this otherwise flat surface,” said Los Angeles architect Emily Farnham. “It’s one of the things that I think people have a hard time with in new construction; the whole cold, clean regularity of all of the surfaces.”

Plaster is typically made from limestone (calcium carbonate) or gypsum (calcium sulfate). It’s mined, cooked, and ground into a powder. Different additives, like sand or marble, are added to the powder to give the resulting plaster different textures and colors. After mixing the powder with water, it’s coated onto a wall or board using a trowel.

Because it’s so durable, designers and architects can use a plaster finish on interior andexterior walls, giving a home a strong connection to the outdoors and a cohesive and holistic look throughout.

There’s also an artistic quality to a plaster wall finish: It is hand-applied by an artisan, which can leave traces of brush strokes and variation in textures. Venetian plaster, which is a polished-plaster mixed with marble dust, gives a wall the illusion of depth on a flat surface.

“With Venetian plaster, there’s a method of painting where you get a much more rich finish throughout your whole place,” says Saoli Chu, lead designer at Block Renovation. “You can add more pigments and different sheens to get an overall look. The people who go for it often times do enjoy the more artisanal experience.”

Plaster is also an eco-friendly product that doesn’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are bad for air quality, like some paints do. It can’t support the growth of mold, and it has no impact on a landfill. The underlying material of plaster is naturally occurring limestone and gypsum, so a plaster wall finish is, quite literally, a coating of earth for your walls.

Plaster wall finishes generally last longer than paint jobs or wallpaper do; after plaster dries, it hardens, stone-like, similar to its original form as raw limestone or gypsum. In addition to wall finishes, plaster today is often used to construct surfaces that need to be hard, such as a squash court. It’s also used in curvilinear design and for ornamental moldings. If a building needs to be quiet, like a library, architects might use acoustical plaster walls because they absorb sound.

“It’s a healthy interior environment,” said Foster Reeve, whose company, Foster Reeve and Associates, does plaster wall finishes and moldings, among other things. “There’s no mold. Installed properly, it is forever. If I put a molding up … it won’t move. It can’t move. It’s stone.”

Heidis Bridge

Before World War II, most homes had interior walls made of plaster, constructed using the now obsolete scratch-and-lath method, where coats of plaster are applied to a board made of horizontal strips of wood. Because they comprised layers of dense plaster, pre-war buildings tend to have rock-hard walls, as anyone in New York City who’s tried to hang art or a mirror in one can attest.

But building a plaster wall or applying a plaster wall finish is a labor-intensive process, and when World War II started, labor was scarce. At the same time, the invention of dimensional lumber led to the arrival of wall paneling—first button board and later drywall, a panel of gypsum covered in paper. When the post-war home construction boom hit, builders chose drywall; it was quicker, easier, and cheaper to install. Walls made of plaster became a feature exclusive to older buildings..

What was gained in the speed of construction was sacrificed in quality. Drywall is flimsy enough that you could punch through it with your hand. Trying that on a plaster wall would shatter someone’s hand. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, The Atlantic noted that the city’s historic Pitot House remained almost entirely unscathed; among other factors, its walls are made of plaster.

The plaster walls in today’s newly renovated homes aren’t many inches thick, as in the days of scratch-and-lath, but the product’s time-tested durability remains. This durability takes patience: Where painting a wall may take 30 minutes, a plaster wall finish might require multiple coats that take up to four times longer, not to mention the time it takes to wait for each coat to dry before applying the next one—as long as 10 hours. Plaster wall finishes are also messy, as they require water onsite to mix the powdered plaster.

The additional labor means additional cost, so in residential use plaster finishes tend to be limited to high-end renovations for wealthy customers.

But as plaster has become a more popular choice for wall finishes, new companies have sprouted it up to meet the demand by offering a variety of new finishes and applications. Chu, who works primarily on bathrooms and kitchens, uses a plaster called Tadelakt from Morocco because it’s thicker and more water-resistant than a standard plaster finish.

Browsing through the different finishes on the websites of companies like Texston and TerraBriosa can be confusing and intimidating, as names like “Frascatti Artisian plaster” and “Marmorino lime” are more word salad than clear and intuitive naming device.

Leigh Herzig, an interior designer based in Los Angeles, says consumers should ignore the names, choose one on the basis of its aesthetic, and then let the architect or designer tell you if your chosen option will function properly in the room.

“There are other plasters out there, but 90 percent of the market is based on the lime plaster,” she says. “The plaster that we’ve been using for centuries is lime plaster. Whatever is added to it is what distinguishes it.”

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How Technology is Humanizing Office, Retail and Healthcare Design


By Cheryl S. Durst

In the past 20 years, commercial interiors, workplaces and even our own homes have been enhanced and augmented by a variety of technologies. Whether it’s charging stations in your organization’s conference room or a robot in your living room that tells you the weather (and maybe listens to all of your conversations), there’s no question that the fully integrated tech realm we fantasized for the future has become a reality.

But despite a growing fear that technology is making us less empathetic, more impatient, less polite and, overall, less human, technology in our interior spaces can actually help us instead enhance our humanity in surprising ways.


By assisting with our needs, wants and work patterns, successful tech integration within workplace interiors means happier, healthier and more productive employees. These interventions can be as small as including accessibility-configured outlets at every workstation, or as big-picture as virtual meetings or artificial intelligence (AI)  automated lighting, temperature and window-tinting systems.

Smart workplace technology means customization, whether through equipping offices with reliable video conferencing and real-time communication platforms for remote employees or adding adjustable furniture or nutrition-sensitive kitchen models to offices.


Today’s consumers are uninspired by traditional brick-and-mortar storefront models. With online shopping abundant and convenient, retailers have to come up with inventive solutions to get customers back inside a physical space. Creating memorable in-store experiences ultimately has more to do with understanding a shopper’s humanity — his or her needs, concerns and desires — and smart technology plays a critical role in that process.


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Tech-driven store models allow consumers the power to create personalized shopping experiences and make their lives a little easier. Take for example Nike’s latest location in West L.A., which links its interior to the new Nike app. Using a shopper’s browsing and purchase history, the app designs the shopping experience, with personalized suggestions, on-the-spot checkout and product scanning features.

Last year, U.S. grocery chain Kroger unveiled the “Kroger Edge” digital price tag technology displaying pricing and nutrition information for products, making it easy for customers to select and understand the food they are buying. This digitization of price tags also uses renewable energy and allows for Kroger to use less in-store electricity, making it a green solution to an age-old retail feature.


Hospitals and clinics can be intimidating places, but technology is helping us create more intuitive, empathetic and dynamic healthcare environments. Rather than diminish the human touch, technology within healthcare design may actually help improve patient and provider experience. 

The Cedars-Sinai, Playa Vista Physician Office and Urgent Care in Playa Vista, CA, for example, was designed by ZGF Architects to provide high-quality, patient-centered services to the community in Silicon Valley by seamlessly integrating smart technology, planning and aesthetics. The location offers patients and staff advanced audiovisual systems, digital signage, kiosks and nurse call systems, all within one three-story interior whose design allows for adaption to future tech upgrades without putting the architecture in jeopardy.

Other healthcare providers have begun utilizing tech advancements like smartphone apps and virtual visits to enhance patient experience and access to appointments. Telemedicine services like evisit let patients contact their doctors remotely on smartphones or other devices to discuss health concerns, making it easier and less stressful to schedule one-off appointments or conversations.

Technology continues to change the way we shop, work, play and live. When effectively and thoughtfully used, it allows us to inventively integrate the human touch back into systems and networks dictating daily life.

Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, is the executive vice president and CEO of IIDA. She’s committed to achieving broad recognition for the value of design and its
significant role in our society.

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Continue reading How Technology is Humanizing Office, Retail and Healthcare Design

Impact of Design Series, Vol. 5


StudioIDS is the new self-designed home of the Minneapolis office of international architecture and design firm Perkins+Will. The studio challenges what an office is and can be. Strategically located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, the office focuses on landscape architecture, planning, architecture, and interiors in the areas of healthcare, corporate + commercial + civic, higher education, urban design, and science + technology.



ASID 2019 Outcome of Design Awards (Category: Culture)

Project Type:

Corporate Office (Workplace)




9,800 SF

Case Brief By:

The Design Challenge

The new studio design needed to support Perkins+Will’s local purpose of design excellence, sustainable stewardship, and social responsibility, in addition to becoming a model mobile and agile work environment. P+W sought to challenge conventional workplace models using less to offer more opportunity for choice, creativity, and collaboration.


The Design Solution

  • Participatory Design Approach that included all employees in the design process. The design team’s goal, as a living laboratory, was to measure pre- and post-occupancy to understand successes and areas for improvement.
  • Free Address System enabling users to adapt, define, and self-organize their workspace as needed. With this inherent flexibility and the use of non-precious materials, the space acts as a living laboratory for workplace strategies and innovation.
  • Restrained Material Palette using five core materials that are rapidly renewable and have toxin-free qualities: Aspen plywood, ceramic marker boards, homasote tackable surface, glass, and carpet.
  • Salvaged Materials from the previous office were used to make adjustable shelving in the gallery wall and large harvest tabletops in the cafe, and millwork was reused in the print and model shop rooms.
  • Social Cohesion was established through a partnership with a Minneapolis based furniture maker and by specifying a custom area rug from Arzu, a company that employs women and provides healthcare and education to them and their families in developing areas in Afghanistan.
  • Perkins+Will reduced their square footage in half from 391 s.f./person to 130 s.f./person.
  • Employees reported a 40 percent increase in their ability to concentrate and a 43 percent increase in their ability to collaborate.
  • Sense of community increased by 61 percent in the new space and the sense of energy/buzz increased by 62 percent.
  • The project reused 16 percent of construction materials and 68 percent of furniture ($100,000 savings).
  • Fifty-five percent of materials were manufactured within 500 miles and 97 percent of new wood used was FSC certified.
  • The project had a lighting power reduction of 57 percent over the LEED code baseline.
  • With the use of low-flow fixtures, the project had a 77 percent reduction of water use.
  • Design: March-July 2015
  • Construction/Approval: September 2015–February 2016
  • Project Completion: February 2016
  • Design & Research: Perkins+Will
  • MEP Engineer: Dunham Associates
  • General Contractor: Gardner Builders

Continue reading Impact of Design Series, Vol. 5

5 Product Highlights From EuroCucina 2018

Technology and flexibility were the buzzwords at EuroCucina’s biennial exhibition dedicated to kitchens. Including the category FTK–Technology For the Kitchen, the 22nd edition showcased products from over 100 companies—several drawing hungry crowds with live cooking demonstrations. From voice-activated water to a highly compact system to a kitchen island that solves an age-old problem, here are five of our favorite finds.

1. Ratio Kitchen by Vincent Van Duysen for Dada

Ratio kitchen by Vincent Van Dusyen for Dada. Photography courtesy of Molteni & C.


Snacking at a kitchen island often means banging your knees. The multitasking Ratio kitchen island by Vincent Van Dusyen for Molteni & C brand Dada keeps practicality in mind, with a handy built-in table for bruise-free dining.

2. AM 01 Kitchen by Atelier Mendini for Sanwa Company

AM 01 kitchen by Atelier Mendini for Sanwa Company. Photography courtesy of Sanwa Company.

Small in size but big on design, the AM 01 Kitchen by Atelier Mendini for Japanese manufacturer Sanwa Company is a compact yet stylish solution to a dwelling short on space.

3. Connected Kitchen by Sieger Design for Dornbracht

Connected kitchen by Sieger Design for Dornbracht. Photography by Thomas Popinger/courtesy of Dornbracht.


With voice- or foot-activation, water is conveniently hands-free in Sieger Design’s Connected kitchen for Dornbract. The system also meets that chef challenge of precise volume and temperature with a digital tool.

4. K7 Kitchen Island by Kai Stania for Team 7 Natürlich Wohnen

K7 Kitchen Island by Kai Stania for Team 7 Natürlich Wohnen. Photography courtesy of Team 7 Natürlich Wohnen.


With the height-adjustable K7 Kitchen Island by Kai Stania for Team 7 Natürlich Wohnen, even Goldilocks is happy, thanks to a unique lift mechanism that raises the island from 29 inches to 45 inches, so it can then be used as table, bar, or work surface.

5. SEI Kitchen by Marc Sadler for Euromobil

SEI kitchen by Marc Sadler for Euromobil. Photography courtesy of Euromobil.

“The surfaces are as thin as your phone,” says designer Marc Sadlerof Euromobil’s SEI kitchen, which is light in weight with tops, side panels, and accessories less than 1/3 of an inch thick.

Continue reading 5 Product Highlights From EuroCucina 2018

Multigenerational teams: Creating ageless collaboration

No matter what your age or generation you identify with, if you work in a creative field like design or architecture, you are part of a team. It doesn’t matter if all your team members are working under one roof or if they belong to different companies or disciplines. Design is a team sport.

Continue reading Multigenerational teams: Creating ageless collaboration

ASID 2018 Outlook and State of the Industry Report

The American Society of Interior Designers’ (ASID) 2018 Outlook and State of the Industry (OSI) report provides a scan of the essential knowledge interior designers and the interior design industry require to thrive and remain competitive in 2018 and beyond. The 80-page ASID OSI explores the status of the U.S. economy as a whole and offers an in-depth look at the interior design and construction industries specifically; discusses current trends in design and their implications for the profession moving forward; and concludes with a look at the societal and technological advancements that will influence the interior design industry into the future.

Continue reading ASID 2018 Outlook and State of the Industry Report

8 Ways Technology Is Disrupting the Design Industry

Disruptive innovation comes in every dimension–3-D printing is just the start. 

1. RISE Pavilion by DeFacto

5,000 biodegradable polymer blocks make up RISE Pavilion by DeFacto. Photography by Hanep Studio.

A wunderkind of 3-D printing, Leandro Rolon led his firm, DeFacto, in a successful attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the largest 3-D printed structure. His 13-by-36-foot RISE Pavilion—a collaboration with RISE, a Beijing institution that teaches English to children—was composed of almost 5,000 biodegradable polymer blocks. After it was dis-assembled, each student received a block to further explore its upcycling potential. Suggested uses: planter or lampshade.

2. Casa d’Espanya by Gould Turner Group

Casa d’Espanya, an installation by Gould Turner Group. Photography courtesy of Gould Turner Group.

A trip to Spain’s Alhambra inspired Casa d’Espanya, an installation by Gould Turner Group that debuted at Nashville’s Cheekwood botanical garden as part of its “International Playhouse” exhibition last spring. Moorish-inflected motifs appeared in porcelain mosaic on the outer structure. Inside it stood a 3-D printed open-cell thermoplastic sculpture—which is now making a second appearance at suburban Franklin’s O’More College of Design. Qué bueno.

3. “3-D Printing: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful” at National Centre for Craft & Design

Lynne MacLachlan’s Gego bangles appear in “3-D Printing” The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful” exhibition. Photography courtesy of Lynne MacLachlan.

Complex questions are often raised by new technologies, and 3-D printing is no different, with concerns ranging from authorship to environmental impact. “3-D Printing: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful,” at the National Centre for Craft & Design in Sleaford, U.K., through April 23, explores these issues through dozens of objects, from wall tile to jewelry. Lynne MacLachlan’s nylon Gego bangles, for example, appear in the “beautiful” category.

4. Lace LED by Margot Krasojevic

Lace LED by Margot Krasojevic is made of polymers from food containers and offcuts from 3-D printers. Photography courtesy of Margot Krasojevic Architects.

Working on such conceptual projects as a hydroelectric-powered floating prison, Margot Krasojevic is clearly committed to sustainability. A recent recycling effort is more real-world. Polymers from food containers and offcuts from 3-D printers became the raw materials for another round of 3-D printing, which yielded a lacy form interwoven with optical fibers. The resulting Lace LED pendant fixture, printed at different scales, will be available on the Margot Krasojevic Architects website in May.

5. Parque de Castilla–La Mancha: Bridge by Barcelona’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

Designers from Barcelona’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia 3-D printed a pedestrian bridge in micro-reinforced concrete. Photography courtesy of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

No, you’re not seeing things. That really and truly is a 3-D printed pedestrian bridge. Spanning a pond at Madrid’s Parque de Castilla–La Mancha, the 39-foot-long structure is micro-reinforced concrete. The designers hail not from the capital but from Barcelona’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

6. DuoSkin by Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao

A DuoSkin flame changes colors in response to certain emotions. Photography by Jimmy Day.
Silvery squares serve as a mouse pad. Photography by Jimmy Day.

Want your tattoo to do more than just look cool? Massachusetts Institute of Technology student Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao is on it. With the MIT Media Lab and Microsoft Research, the PhD candidate has developed DuoSkin, functional interfaces that adhere to human skin. A flame changes colors in response to certain emotions, or silvery squares serve as a mouse pad.

7. Love Turntable by Fuseproject

Fuseproject used money from a Kickstarter campaign to produce the Love Turntable. Photography courtesy of Fuseproject.
A linear tracking system spins on top of a vinyl record set on a stationary base. Photography courtesy of Fuseproject.
Music is streamed via Bluetooth and WiFi to speakers or headphones. Photography courtesy of Fuseproject.

Old-school meets new with Fuseproject’s Love Turntable. Inspired by the sculptural forms of musical instruments, a component with a linear tracking system spins on top of a vinyl record set on a stationary base, and the music is then streamed via Bluetooth and WiFi to speakers or headphones. A Kickstarter campaign raised more than $850,000 to produce the smartphone-controlled device, slated to be released this year.

8. “Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine” at the Vitra Design Museum

Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Photography by Thomas Dix/Vitra Design Museum.
Vitra Design Museum interior. Photography by Mark Niedermann.
Yumi, a human-size robot by ABB. Photography courtesy of ABB.
3-D printed cocktail dress with sensors that respond to outside stimuli by Anouk Wipprecht. Photography by Jason Perry/Anouk Wipprecht.

It’s a party. And it’s taking place at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, through May 14. Luckily, the guests don’t need to sleep. “Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine” is a gathering where Anouk Wipprecht’s 3-D printed cocktail dress, with its sensors and movable arms that respond to outside stimuli, might engage in a stimulating conceptual conversation with ABB’s human-size robot, Yumi.

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