Category Archives: 3d

Fashion without Trash

The fashion industry is the poster child for un-sustainable practices, as we’ve already seen from the myriad of social and environmental problems plaguing the cotton trade. Fashion designers share the responsibility, because they are so remote from the means of production – usually outsourced to Southeast Asia, Africa or South America – that their designs […]

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Lego Papercraft

Goro Motai pointed me to this collaboration between Muji and Lego to augment plastic building blocks with papercraft figures. Using a custom paper puncher, sheets of construction paper can be made to clip onto the plastic nubs on regular lego blocks. Although the construction paper is treated as a flat medium, this merging of 2D […]

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3D-Printed Clock

At the Ars Electronica / MIT Media Lab exhibit in Linz, Peter Schmitt presented his work on mechanical systems made by rapid prototyping machines – so-called 3-D printers. He makes the interesting argument that by producing these intricate mechanical devices using a single process, manufacturers could forgo the need for low-cost assembly and instead manufacture […]

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Electronic Pop-up Book

One of my favorite pieces at this year’s Ars Electronica / MIT Media Lab exhibit is an electronic pop-up book made by Leah Buechley’s student Jie Qi of the High-Low Tech research group. She has layered the traditional materials with copper films, conductive ink and lights and speakers to add a digital dimension to the […]

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Corrugated Cardboard Cubby

I saw this beautifully crafted electronic parts drawer cubby at Distance Lab the other day – a great example of upcycling old cardboard packaging into a very useful piece of furniture that feels and works much better than the cheap plastic alternative.

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paper windows

This is an old idea, but it remains relevant because of its elegance in treating the windows desktop as a physical space with paper windows: you can fold back the corners of any sheet to move items between various layers. It is a navigation technique called ‘Fold ‘n’ Drop;’ I saw Pierre Dragicevic present it […]

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steampunk servo

Fabricator extraordinaire Peter Schmitt designed this plywood servo from laser-cut plywood. The elaborate mechanism includes the circuitry to drive a motor to precise angles so it does double-duty as an object that teaches about physical fabrication and electronics. Instructions for the plywood servo can be found at the website of the Medialab class ‘Techniques for […]

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animal alphabet

Last time I visited Japan I came upon a fascinating book by Shiho Ishikawa called Alphapet – an alphabet made of animals that you cut and fold from the pages of the book. The richly illustrated pages are scored to provide for elaborate folds. The web site is rich with videos and instructions for folding; […]

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