TechnoCRAFT Exhibition Curated by Yves Béhar Opens in San Francisco.

TechnoCRAFT exhibition, San Francisco.

TechnoCRAFT is a new exhibition of more than 800 pieces by over 40 artists that explores that blurring boundary between designer and consumer, in which the consumer can take part in personalizing design. Curated by designer Yves Béhar of San Francisco-based Fuseproject, this exhibition features six sub-themes:

Crowdsourcing mines the collective talent of the community to develop new design solutions and puts the decision-making power in the hands of the masses. One participant in the exhibition, Threadless, is an online apparel store that solicits consumers to design and vote for new t-shirts each week.

t-shirts by threadless, technoCRAFT exhibition, San Francisco.

Platforms consist of designers creating open, software-based platforms that provide the tools for individuals to create and/or customize their own unique products. From shoes to t-shirts to fantastic creatures, Platforms make it easy for individuals of all skill levels to take on the role of designer. PUMA’s Mongolian Barbeque is an iconic example of this theme.

puma's mongolian barbeque, technoCRAFT exhibition, San Francisco.
Blueprints act as ideas that can be given away or sold, putting the power to create in the hands of the consumer. Rather than create and sell a finished product, designers sell or give away instructions so that anyone can create/recreate the design in their own way.

Hacks is a term that has moved far beyond the manipulation of computer software, extending into the public’s consciousness. Tables, iPhones and bikes are revised, modified and manipulated to achieve a new look or new functionality. The Eames Hack High Chair below by the team of McCandlish, Tom Reynolds, Jared Delorenzo, Alexandra Powell, Tim Peet, and Alie Thomer – students at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia – is a prime example of this.

Eames hack chair, TechnoCRAFT exhibition, San Francisco.

Incompletes intentionally leave room for creativity on the part of the user. The degree to which the end user is involved varies with each design, but all depend on the role of the user to provide input for a design to properly function. With Marijn van der Poll’s Do hit chair you can change the original form with a hammer or other tool into whatever you decide.

steel cube for the do hit chair.
Do Hit chair in Action, TechnoCRAFT exhibition, San Francisco.

Finally, Modules are individual components that come together to create customised creations. Intelligently designed modules allow for the user to develop an outcome that is driven in equal parts by ingenuity and budget. Designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s Clouds allows the user to arrange and re-arrange a variety of tiles to create installations and new designs.

Exhibit Information
TechnoCRAFT: Hackers, Modders, Fabbers, Tweakers, and Design in the Age of Individuality
July 10 – October 3, 2010: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), San Francisco

All photography taken courtesy of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

Press Preview Day in Milan, Zona Tortona.

Preview day here in Milan was a busy one. Here’s our round-up here at Zona Tortona:

Swarovski Crystal Palace

Sustainable design continues to be the theme for many here in Milan, starting with Yves Béhar’s “Amplify” for Swarovski Crystal Palace. This is a series of six paper lanterns in different shapes with light refracted from a real crystal with an LED source.

Amplify paper lanterns by Yves Béhar for Swarovski Crystal Palace

Tokujin Yoshioka brings his “Stellar” showcase with a suspended one-meter diameter globe in a smoke-filled space. Perhaps the picture doesn’t do the display justice, but I had thought the accompanying piece, which is a tank with natural crystals growing into a globe, was going to be contrasted with the suspended globe. Nevertheless this was still stunning to watch.

Stellar by Tokujin Yoshioka for Swarovski Crystal Palace

Superstudio Più’s Temporary Museum for New Design

Lighting by Flos at Superstudio Più

So much nothing to do display, Fatboy at Superstudio Più

Whether it’s lighting by Flos, or relaxation display by Dutch company Fatboy, Superstudio Più showcased a series of eye candy for those interested in design. I found pieces such as this Claesson Koivisto Rune W101 LED lamp from Swedish company Wästberg. The lamp itself is completely made of bio-degradable paper, specifically sandwiched sheets of DuraPulp, which is a mix of paper pulp and starch polymer. The lamp itself is surprisingly strong – actually at first glance one would never have guessed it’s made of paper! Very environmentally friendly indeed.

Claesson Koivisto Rune w101 LED lamp by Wästberg

This Koura arm chair from Finnish company Punkalive is made of a material called Kerto, which is laminated veneer lumber. The sustainable factor here is that the entire manufacturing process is made within the Finnish town of Punkaharju, and all raw materials were collected from within 100 kilometers of the mill.

Koura arm chair by Jukka Lommi for Punkalive


This California-based company Environment launched “e-pack”, which is a series of products including seating, planters, tables and stools, lighting and shelving that used recycled materials that also requires minimal packing – another sustainable series of products. The shelving in the photo below is made of recycled paper and honey comb cardboard. It is sturdy yet light. Other products such as bedding are made from recycled wood pieces from Brazil.

Shelving by Environment at Superstudio Più


Lavazza showcased the machines that brew the aromatic Italian espressos, with the creativity of its display beginning with the entrance to its showcase – a walkway made of coffee beans…

Coffee bean entry at Lavazza


Dutch company Linteloo also showcased some of its oversized-sofas that was very, very comfotable. I almost didn’t want to get up (perhaps it was the very tiring flight over to Milan).

Oversized sofa by Linteloo