Landscape house; Endless Expo Space
(source: Universe Architecture)
TEDxMaastricht (October 13) brought to the stage a parade of interesting speakers. The most notable ones are within one of the following themes: exploitation, fashion, 3D printing, and science.
For the first theme – exploitation – I refer to my October 20 post “Shocking things said at TEDxMaastricht”. This post ended with the question: who pays the cost of fashion?
One answer to this question was given by Hasmik Matevosyan. She is critical about the textiles industry. For instance, several cotton farmers have died from pesticides. Garments are too often produced under inhumane and dangerous labor conditions. And finally, 30% of all cloths are never sold and another 40% is sold at high discounts.
Conversely, Matevosyan advocates good fashion: ethically, environmental friendly, profitable, and affordable and attractive for consumers. To realize this a paradigm shift in fashion is required. This starts with a design system that uses tools, such as social media, to take better into account the needs and desires of the consumer. Furthermore, it requires a different business model that provides better quality and real value. For example, a business model that promotes borrowing instead of buying – a library of cloths.
Within the theme ‘fashion’ there was a talk about wearable technology by Pauline van Dongen. She designs garments in which solar systems, which can charge mobile phones, are integrated.
Another Van Dongen creation is a 3D printed shoe, which brings me to next theme (for more of her creations I refer to www.paulinevandongen.nl).
The English artist Agi Haines explores ways to design human bodies. We already use a lot of enhancements, such as glasses, walking sticks, and tooth braces. But what about improving the human body as from birth? This leads to transfigurations of babies, who are potentially superhuman (check them out at www.agihaines.com). Haines – miss Frankenstein – suggests that another body improvement may come from 3D printed organs, such as kidneys.
This application of 3D printing is still something of the future, but other speakers gave more current examples. One of them is the entrepreneur Mick Walvisch, who places 3D printing in the context of the ‘Internet of Things’: in 2020, 37 billion things will be online.
Walvisch gave two example of 3D printing. With 3D printing he built his own windmill. And the first 3D printed car has been produced – it took no longer than 48 hours.
A remarkable application of 3D printing was developed by the designer Eric Klarenbeek. He uses organic waste that was inoculated with fungi. This mixture of biomass and mycelium is 3D printed, for example in the form of a chair or stool. This leads to unexplored connections: within a few weeks the 3D printed biomass mixture is bound into a massive form, the object is dried and is ready for use.
Want to know more? Visit www.ericklarenbeek.com.
The architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars provides a final example of 3D printing: a building. And not just a building, but one called the Endless Expo Space. The design was inspired by the Moebius ring: a structure that has only one surface and one edge. This mathematical figure, which can only exist in three dimensions, is an infinite loop and it gave Ruijssenaars a recipe for discovery.
In fact, the building still needs to be constructed. 3D printing is a major design method and it will be a production method for certain elements of the building (see artist impression).
When ready, the building will be perfect as a museum, a nice place to display a Rodin sculpture. Rodin said: “I take away what I don’t need.” In 3D printing it is the other way around: you make what you need.
For more information: www.universearchitecture.com.
In his talk, Ruijssenaars elaborated on his philosophy as an architect. As a child, he asked his father, who was also an architect: What binds all architects? The answer: gravity.
Later, he considered the four dimensions: x, y, z, and time. One dimension (x) stands for ‘idea’, two dimensions (2D) stand for ‘image’, 3D for ‘space’; and when time is added: ‘movement’.
Next, Ruijssenaars asked himself: what binds all ‘ideas’ (one dimension): nothing. And what binds all ‘images’ (two dimensions): light. ‘Spaces’ (3D objects) have matter in common. The most difficult question was: what binds all ‘movements’ (four dimensions)? Ruijssenaars’ answer: transformation.
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Han Dols Fotografie
3D printing in Brightlands
Earlier this year, an Additive Manufacturing Materials Center was established at Brightlands Chemelot Campus. This laboratory, which is part of Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs (CHILL), develops new 3D printing materials. 3D printing can be used for the manufacture of biological systems (cartilage, bone, organs), nanostructures, combinations of different materials (metal-plastic) and fiber-reinforced components.
The market for 3D printing (also called additive manufacturing) is growing rapidly, for instance, in the biomedical, aerospace and mechanical industries and in consumer products.
3D printing technology is a real game changer in many manufacturing industries.
The final theme – science – I will cover in next week’s blog post.
This blogpost was written at the occasion of TEDx Maastricht, October 13, 2014 (www.tedxmaastricht.nl).