Monthly Archives: October 2007

The “Green” Apple


E² is a new and on-going television series on PBS that focuses on sustainable designs and being environmentally conscious. The episodes are shot in high-definition with cinematic lenses to create a visually stunning method to solve pressing ecological challenges. The series interviews experts, policymakers, and pioneers to offer a firsthand account of the environmental challenges we are facing today. In this specific video, E² shows the philosophy of affordable housing and sustainable skyscrapers in NYC by developer Jonathan Rose and the crusade of Ed Mazria who is trying to convince the building sector to cut carbon-emissions in half by 2030. The series also captures a multitude of different cities such as Ladakh, India and Bogota, Colombia.

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Designer’s “Vision”

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Torsten Valeur, a designer for industrial design firm Bang & Olufsen, has recently collaborated with Samsung to design a new high-end cell phone. However, there was a disagreement between the designers’ vision of  d’art and the direction of the company. So who triumphs? Following industry standards, Samsung changed the screen of the phone to 2.0 in. from Valeur’s intended 2.1 in. Valeur’s reaction: he’s ready to lose 2 million dollars and throw out the design for one-tenth of an inch. B&O is notorious for handing the reigns to their decisions and supporting the decisions of the designers. Rather than involving themselves in marketing and the wants of the consumers, B&O has built their empire from their “genius designers”. But how far can a company grow when they no longer consider the standards and needs of consumers?

Futuristic Transportation

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The 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, running from Oct. 26 to Nov. 11 recently exhibited an innovative mobility ‘solution’ to our traffic and commuting problems; the i-Real by Toyota. The i-Real has been noted to look like a cross between ET and a car seat, with two wheels in the front, one in the back. Although certain elements such as the wheelbase have been designed for better maneuverability and performance, reviewers are still skeptical about the safety of the design. Toyota reassures that the i-Real employs safety equipment such as proximity sensors that will warn the driver by emitting a noise and vibrating when it predicts a collision. However, critics were still skeptical about the design and thought it to be dangerous and unrealistic to have the i-Real weaving through rush-hour traffic.

Dancing with Lights

Hussein Chalayan

Hussein Chalayan’s collection for the Swarovski Spring 2008 show ended with a roar of applause and a standing ovation. To express the change of seasons, Chalayan created airborne drama with clouds of steam and an outlet that produced volcanic eruptions. The designer collaborated with Nick Knight from SHOWStudio to create monumental pieces that displayed a truly magnificent interplay of light. Initially, the lasers point towards the Swarvoski crystals to glow like lava and later shoot outwards to become laser prisms and interact with surrounding mirrors. It was a fine moment for both Swarovski and Hussein Chalayan.

Future by Design Trailer

Directed by William Gazecki

This video explores the mind of Jacque Fresco. Fresco is an industrial engineer, architectural designer, social engineer and futurist. He utilizes his optimistic views to create designs that benefits for the greatest number of people. Through implementation of a resource-based economy in “Future By Design”, Fresco predicts that it will greatly reduce crime, poverty, hunger, homelessness and many other pressing problems that surround us everyday.  Today, he lectures extensively on holistic design of sustainable cities, energy efficiency, natural resource management and advanced automation. This documentary won at the Australian International Film Festival in 2006 for the Best Documentary and at the India World Peace Film & Music Festival 2006 for Special Mention.

http://www.futurebydesignthemovie.com/

http://www.myspace.com/jacquefresco

Sustainable Luxury

Tom Dixon for Lacoste

With over 1,800 exhibitors in China, many of the big names flock to Interstoff Asia, one of the largest international textile fair events in the industry. In 2006, Interstoff held 52,000 visitors, there to witness trend forecasts along with informative tips for the upcoming year. So what dominated the racks of Interstoff Asia for this season? Rising trends of eco-friendly fabrics appears to have influenced our neighbors in the East, as many of the exhibitors displayed high-performance fabrics that were comprised of environmentally friendly fibers and dyes. Several fabrics highlighted include bamboo knits from Taiwan, organic cotton and flax from South Korea, and fabrics dyed with oolong tea and persimmon from Japanese firm, Tsuyakin Kogyo. Although innovative and exciting, a shirt made from recycled plastic bottles may not be a preference for luxury consumers. With the buzz of ‘eco-friendly’ rising and beginning to dominate the fabric industry, one wonders if Chanel bamboo suits and Armani tea stained shirts are on the horizon, or is eco-friendly and luxury a contradiction? Featured below, ECO POLO made from organic materials by Tom Dixon for Lacoste special edition. NATALIA


Innovative Sight, Visionary Design

The Next-Generation Sunglasses, DigInfo

Imagine watching television or your desktop in the lens of your glasses while walking around. Citizen Technology Center recently introduced a prototype of their new LCD sunglasses. The design of the sunglasses uses plastic film to interpose liquid crystals on the lens portion where glass is normally used. This drastically reduces the weight of the glasses along with the width of the lens to under 400um. Touch sensors on the side of the glasses allow the wearer to change the tint of the lens. Although there are some kinks in need of review, these new glasses will definitely released with high expectations. NATALIA