Materials Studio

This series of vessels made from eggshells by 2017 Color & Materials graduate, Roma Rupani began by looking at discarded food  ingredients  as a source for innovating surface, appearance and texture.   The project  led by Kelly Slank introduced the work of Laurence Humier, in her project Cooking Material.   By contrast Ying Zhang focussed on using a variety of Chinese food ingredients; peppers, shaved coconut and beans to create playful and interesting results, captured in resin with a range of gloss levels, she speculated possible applications.



Color and materials play key role in BMW’s MINI Vision Next 100 concept car

mini-concept-vehicle-bmw-transport-design-autonomous-driverless-technology-car-digital-intelligence-system-_dezeen_936_9Mini interior concept

The subject of vehicle sharing  and autonomy is close to heart and frequently the topic of collaborations between CMF designers and Transportation designers here at CCS.  MINI and the team at BMW are testing concepts where different configurations are built in to suit user’s preferences, treating the interior and exterior as a “blank canvas” for customer personalization.  Another question  that is on everyone’s minds is how to manage the materials aspect of shared ownership. Here is Mini’s approach recently reported by

” Sharing cars intensively would increase the general wear and tear of vehicles, so MINI has investigated the use hard-wearing materials for the interior.The vehicle’s floor, roof lining and side-panel trim would be made out of recycled plastic and aluminium.The storage net behind the steering wheel would made from lightweight basalt and the lower section of the seat would be finished in a recycled cellulose material similar to paper.

The novel use of materials included deliberately allows a patina to develop through use, ensuring they retain a long-lasting and sophisticated appearance,” said  MINI design chief Anders Warming.


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The first colour photographs of America

 July 4th – A celebration of color photographs (no red white and blue here).


Old State House, Court St, Boston

This article in yesterday’s UK Telegraph looks at the first color photographs of the United States. There are 23 more images in the read more tab.

In August at CCS as part of the 2016 IDSA International Conference: Making Things Happen conference in Detroit, we’ll be looking at color in the context of the city of Detroit in 2016. Fortunately there remain many sites, buildings and landmarks that retain their original color and materials. The Witness Detroit, Color Workshop invites participants to research Detroit, it’s culture and environment creating  and selecting colors that characterize Detroit and its values. It won’t be a retrospective but a “remix” of old and new, more on this later.

In the meantime, here’s an extract from the article in the Telegraph.

‘The following images show American cities, towns and attractions at the turn of the 20th century – and in colour. They were created using the Photochrom technique pioneered by Photoglob Zürich AG, which sees colour manually added to black-and-white negatives. The Swiss firm licensed the process to other companies such as the Detroit Photographic Company in the US and the Photochrom Company of London. The following images are among the most striking produced during the period…”

Mulberry Street, New York

Mulberry Street, New York




Wabash Ave north from Adams Street, Chicago. The Elevated Railroad, or 'L' (or El), in Downtown Chicago, better known as The Loop

Wabash Ave north from Adams Street, Chicago. The Elevated Railroad, or ‘L’ (or El), in Downtown Chicago, better known as The Loop




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Haworth Collection Showcase Craftsmanship at NeoCon 2016

At NeoCon 2016 this week Haworth brought their  Italian craftsmen from both Poltrona Frau and Cassina to Chicago where they demonstrated their techniques to the crowds in a series of windows. Sharing decades of experience with the audience.

The  Poltrona Frau ‘Chester’ is made from 95% natural materials. The nylon cord contributing to the 5%. The arms include approximately 31 pleats all meticulously hand folded.

Cassina’s “Superleggera”  No.699 chair designed by Gio Ponti in 1957 weights a mere 1.7 kilos or 3.75 pounds.

The Cane Seat is hand-woven, the bamboo is cut into strips, for the edges it needs to be soaked first, then knotted.







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