This post is also available in: Italiano
The Milan Design Week 2018 proved to be an event of strong international appeal with a perceptible growth in the number of visitors both at the Salone del Mobile and at the events scheduled at the Fuorisalone districts. We were there and we offer you some of the creative and technological ideas that emerged during the most dynamic week of the year.
COMMON GOAL: CUSTOMIZATION
The need to customize a product, both in terms of its characteristics and the client’s wishes, is becoming a real staple in corporate marketing and communication strategies. The showrooms and flagship stores of the main furniture brands showed off their latest cutting-edge 3D configurators. Many immersive experiences were on display, including installations in virtual reality and applications in augmented reality that were spread out throughout the city
The icons of design cannot escape from the “mandate” of customization. A case in point is MINI, Inspired by Origins. Next to the futuristic Mini Vision Next 100 concept, BMW has chosen to revive some great classics in a limited version offer, like the Mini Paul Smith, to coincide with the launch of its custom accessories line for current models.
In the halls of the Milan Triennale Martinelli Luce proposed 23 variations of a great classic of its collection: the Cobra lamp. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the original model by Elio Martinelli has been reinterpreted by famous designers like Karim Rashid, Alessandro Mendini and Marc Sadler. Cobra Texture is the initiative to launch the contest for designers Under 35: Cobra Re-Loaded, which allows everyone to download the 3D model of the lamp and customize it with their own texture. The first prize offered by the Lucca-based company is the inclusion in the catalog, including royalties; an opportunity not to be missed by designers looking for visibility.
The use of patterns is another option to customize furniture and design solutions. The use of graphic patterns was one of the main protagonists of the proposal by LAGO which relied on the staging by Italianism and on the creative inspiration of no less than 41 visual artists. After all, patterns are also a way to visually tell a story.
3D PRINTING? YES, EVEN FOR ARCHITECTURE
The use of 3D printing for design prototypes is now becoming a common practice and the most prevailing procedure given the increasing availability of materials and technologies. The idea on which we want to focus concerns the larger scale, that of the building. 3D |Housing05 is the innovative concept of a house printed in 3D on site, based on a project by CLS Architects, in collaboration with Italcementi, Arup and Cybe. Beyond the dialectic expressed by the declared desire to “improve the quality of life through the technology revolution”, the five foundational points – Creativity, Sustainability, Flexibility, Low cost and Speed – take shape thanks to the action of a robotic arm, able to create, layer by layer, the entire building envelope.
This is not, as mistakenly reported by some media, the first house printed in 3D (WASP has been experimenting on the subject for many years, Ed.), but it is certainly an evolution of the concept of building thanks to the contribution of Robotics which, using a “practical” extruder, offers a concrete alternative to a 3D printer with a huge print area. The concept of flexible construction, while having great potential, is still far from being able to be used on a large scale. In particular, the limits that will have to be overcome are related to the automation of the robot and the durability of the materials. Today the robot is able to create each individual piece by numerical control, but it is not able to move following the coordinates that would allow it to autonomously construct the entire building. It is necessary to move it “manually” to the various parts to be made. The fully eco-sustainable intent provides for the use of a material that can be crumbled and reused in other contexts, to make new homes. It is a suggestive vision, but the first practical consideration in view of any practical implementation is that, in addition to marketing, more certainties will be needed. They will arrive, but it is clear that the times are not yet ripe for a massive diffusion of 3D printing for architecture.
In terms of formal expression, the results achieved are absolutely promising, as are the execution times, which see the construction of a single level home of about 100 square meters in less than a week. Now that the media machine has been turned off, all that remains is to await the next developments.
NEW FUNCTIONS, NEW FORMAL EXPRESSIONS, NEW 3D INSTRUMENTS
Every year the Design Week renews its appointment with experimentation. New functions and new forms obtainable thanks to the use of new 3D tools are increasingly featured both in the design and in the production of elements. This is the case of the installation made for Dassault Systemés by Kengo Kuma. Breath/ng is a spiral concept consisting of 120 origami panels created by Anemotech with a particular fabric that is able to capture the polluting molecules that are found in the atmosphere. The work of the Japanese starchitect was the main attraction of the Design in the Age of Experience event proposed by Dassault at Superstudio, historical location of the Tortona Design District.
Breath/ng, with its architectural suggestion, is the result of the combined use of many 3D technologies, from the design tools of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 printers, fundamental in the creation of dozens of joints that were all different from each other.
Oyster, the seating concept proposed by Arturo Tedeschi, uses traditional production via CNC milling but very innovative design tools. The prototype was designed with Rhinoceros thanks to the integration of the VR tool Mindesk VR, software developed by the homonymous Italian startup, currently located in San Francisco. Oyster is a concrete case of how today it is possible to design directly in Virtual Reality, as we saw in our recent article dedicated to VR Design Tools
Far from being able to offer a comprehensive review of the more than 4000 events that characterized the Design Week 2018, we hope to have offered you some ideas for investigation and reflection useful for your upcoming experiences in 3D. The appointment is already set for next year, for another week not to be missed under the banner of Design and Innovation.
This post is also available in: Italiano