Thursday, September 27, 2007

ETN Conference - Saturday 15th

Full day of stunning lectures. Some of the days most important messages were to use technology for what it is best for - precission and accuracy, to control the techniques and not be controlled by them and that Hand-made is the new luxury!

Janne Kyttanen spoke on the history and future of Rapid Prototyping (or Rapid Manufacturing as he prefers to call it). Products can be manufactured in any shape or size to a tollerence of .1mm, fully articulated and with integrated zips, buttons and buckles within its own packaging. The only drawbacks at the moment are the limited range of materials (nylon, ceramic and metal) and the imagination of commercial buyers. Janne spoke of a future where a customer will be able to walk into a store with an RM machine, having browsed their catalogue on line, call up the product they require, select its colour and size and have it printed on the spot. RM could be used for everything from cutlery to cushions, car parts to custom fitted football boots. Above is a picture of a piece of RM fully articulate metal 'fabric' draped over my finger.

Rachel Wingfield of design duo spoke of bridging the gap between the natural and digital worlds with environmentally responsive textiles.

Sonumbra is a five meter wide 'umbrella' which, in its ultimate form, will have a sun shade canopy with built in photovoltaic cells to collect power during the day, whilst offering shade from the sun, and use that power to light the underside, formed by a network of electro-luminescent wires, after darkness falls.

Sonumbra has been shown at several venues as a movement responsive piece. A 360 degree camera picks up movement and responds by triggering the lighting of strands EL wire, as people move around the structure so the light patterns change.
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