As new technologies are introduced into the awareness of the creative community, they create new opportunities for fresh aesthetic exploration. New manufacturing methods can completely redefine entire product categories (look how injection molding changed televisions from large furniture-like wooden consoles to compact plastic cubes). New technologies like lighting and LCD displays offer new stylistic elements to add to our toolbox, often replacing older versions (blue LEDs have almost entirely replaced the older versions of red and green). The challenge is to incorporate these elements in ways that improve the experience or evolve the aesthetic, not just add tech for tech’s sake.


The art of paper-folding originated in China and Japan hundreds of years ago, and has evolved into a masterful artistic genre. This simple method of turning a two-dimensional pattern into a three-dimensional form has been (for us Westerners) a delightful source of little paper swans, jumping frogs, boats, and tiny...

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Rapid prototyping has been a tool used by the design, engineering, and architecture fields since the advent of computer-controlled fabrication systems in the 1990’s. The basic methods have been either additive (stereolithgraphy, 3D printing) or subtractive (CNC machining). Additive methods slowly “grow” the part within a build chamber out of...

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One of the most exciting endeavors for designers in any category is the chance to work with a completely new medium. By exploring the unique nature of a novel material, or employing a new manufacturing process to an existing material, new materials and processes bring the potential of incredibly unique...

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When it comes to accommodating the dynamics of the human form, it is critical that the tools and structures around us have a resilient capacity to flex, yield, and flow. This has long been the domain of specialized materials: from spongy cushions and fabrics that afford sitting, to rubber grips...

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Lighting has been a persistent element of modern consumer electronics design since the early 20th century: early radios, vacuums, and ovens glowed with incandescent readouts. Little changed until the LED was introduced in the 1980s into consumer products, which revolutionized the ability of designers to add light both as a...

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