Printing 3D sand: strength and design freedom in concrete

August 20, 2018

Researchers in Switzerland have fabricated a lightweight 80-square-meter concrete slab ceiling that uses 3D sand printing for its formwork. The ceiling consists of 11 segments of Smart Slab, which is 20 millimeters at its thinnest point and is reported to be less than half the weight of a conventional concrete ceiling, although even at half …

Giant space blanket serves a communal purpose

August 6, 2018

Moscow-based designer Alex Shtanuk will be contributing a piece of space travel nostalgia to the 2018 Burning Man gathering later this summer in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, while giving festival attendees a place to escape the desert heat. A giant “space blanket” will provide a casual place for festival goers to find a …

Functioning QR codes are woven into a jacket

July 23, 2018

Artist Julie Helles Ericksen has created a jacket with QR codes woven into it that can access digital information as the wearer shares it. According to Ericksen, “We communicate to others through what we wear, what we post on social media and what we choose to hide. We curate ourselves to present different versions.” Ericksen …

Wearable controller tracks hand and finger gestures

July 10, 2018

A hand-wearable device called Kai enables the wearer to control any digital device by tracking hand and finger gestures. Human augmentation start-up Vicara has created the device, a smart band that fits over the hand, that’s meant to increase productivity. Kai features gesture-based computer interaction technology that is compatible with any bluetooth-enabled device, including laptops, …

Facial recognition technology used in adidas display

June 25, 2018

Adidas has commissioned designer Behnaz Farahi to create a display case with the ability to “read” facial expressions and respond to them. According to the designer, the emotive display called “Mesolite” was designed to showcase an adidas concept shoe. The name is a reference to Mesolite crystals, which it closely resembles in its appearance. The project is …

Textile art pays homage

June 19, 2018

Textile artist Tamara Kostianovsky’s latest creations, a series called Tree Stumps, uses strips of fabric gleaned from her late father’s clothing. The intricately layered detailed forms are an allusion to her father’s body returning to the environment after his passing. Kostianovsky was inspired by Andean people who believe that Mother Earth is embodied in the surrounding …

Fabric has user-controlled color and pattern function

June 11, 2018

The College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) announces that it has produced a fabric that allows the user to change the color or pattern of the fabric via smartphone. According to the university, CREOL’s ChroMorphous technology can be applied to large, woven fabrics and cut-and-sewn textile products. Each …

Snake skins used in tribology study at Drexel University

A Drexel University professor is studying snakes and their skins to better understand traction and to help engineers improve the design of textured surfaces such as engine cylinder liners, prosthetic joints and even footwear. Hisham Abdel-Aal, Ph.D, an associate teaching professor in Drexel University’s College of Engineering, believes that snakes offer an excellent means to study …

Paradiddle: a 3D-printed drumming prosthesis

June 6, 2018

An open-source 3D-printed upper-extremity prosthesis gives drummers who have lost a hand or arm a new way to play. Working with renowned drummer Greg Anton, who lost his left hand, “Paradiddle” designer Dominic Siguang Ma developed unique features that allow the drummer to play intuitively and comfortably. One of Siguang Ma’s main challenges was to design a mechanism that can …

Fabric sculpture purifies the air

May 7, 2018

A giant, air-purifying sculpture is not just art; it has the ability to absorb emissions from 90,000 cars per year, its creators say. “Breath/ng” by Kengo Kuma, initially on display during Milan’s 2018 Design Week, is composed of 120 hand-folded panels inspired by Japanese origami and made of an innovative fabric called The Breath®. Italian …