rvtr: resonant chamber – origami architectural acoustic panels

designed for wall and ceiling paneling, the system responds dynamically to the soundscape of a space, opening and folding to optimize the acoustic signature of a location by exposing various surfaces that reflect, absorb, or amplify sound.

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tattooed poster by the chaos crew

‘… we interwove the most important events of 2011 into one huge tattoo. history was inked onto calfskin to promote the art of tattooing in its most authentic form – on real skin.’ – chaos crew


“The tattooed poster”


The massive inked piece is displayed between two panes of glass

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growing vase by mischer’traxler at milan design week

the slowly constructed wooden vessel is decorated by markers, the frequency and pattern of which are dependent upon the number of individuals witnessing the formation of the work.

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A New Desire

Lixil pictures the future in foam

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One of the fundamental components to various Asian ways of thinking is the idea of making opposites coexist in harmony. This philosophy has been applied for millennia and today is being reinvented in a new way by Lixil Corporation, a global leader in housing equipment and building materials. Based in Tokyo, Lixil presented a new bathtub concept during the recent Milan Design Week. The installation, A New Desire, showcased the innovative project—a synthesis of dry and wet areas in the home, blurring the lines between living room and bathroom and traditional bath and contemporary leisure activities at the same time.

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Lixil’s new tub has a sinuous, clean and almost spatial shape. A unique water control technology combines water and air and creates a constant stream of creamy foam, that’s at once incredibly soft and rich while retaining a somewhat firm consistency. The frothy water overflows over the sides of the tub and collects in a special attached drainage system that allows the tub to be installed virtually anywhere in the home.

Kenya Hara, Japanese designer and writer conceived the tub as part of a specialization in mixing object design with experiences. The art director at MUJI, Hara was also responsible for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Nagano Winter Olympic Games and Expo 2005 as a member of the advisory board.

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“Imagine time passing pleasantly,” says Nara. “You are enveloped in warm foam; you’re reading a book, watching a movie, feeling the air and the light on your skin. You’re bathing in creamy foam. More than a new style of bathing, this is something that will liberate a new horizon of human desire.” Though “A New Desire” was presented as a concept, Lilix envisions the foam technology as a new way of living and bathing the future. Keep an eye out for developments and future projects by visiting the website.

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Okolo Mollino

A paper-engineering tribute to Italian designer Carlo Mollino

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Okolo has long been a favorite destination for great finds in Eastern Europe. One of their latest projects caught our attention when we ran into them in Milan during Design Week—a simply bound, spine-less book on the life and work of Carlo Mollino. “Okolo Mollino” represents the publisher’s tribute to the 20th-century Italian renaissance man, whose interests and talent took him from notability in architecture and interior design to prominence as an acrobatic pilot and alpine skier. The book is divided into six chapters that explore his multidimensional character, and includes various paper cutouts that can be engineered to resemble Mollino’s own works, and it’s limited to a scarce 80 copies.

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The text primarily covers anecdotes from Mollino’s life, like the time he drove his Porsche all the way to Switzerland to obtain the first iteration of the Polaroid camera, which was unavailable in Italy at the time. He then furnished three luxurious residences to serve as spaces in which to photograph his women—mainly local Turin prostitutes—whose portraits gave him his name.

Mollino’s career as designer spanned from theater houses to race cars. In his foreword, Casa Mollino curator Fulvio Ferrari lends insight into the creation of the Bisiluro Damolnar race car. “One day, while flipping through a newspaper, Mollino found a photo of the Osca car owned by his friend Mario Damonte,” he says. “He immediately thought about how to improve its design and drew his visions straight on to the newspaper page. This is how Osca was transformed into Bisiluro: a revolutionary rocket-shaped car Mollino designed for the 24-hour Le Mans race a year later.”

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One of the paper models contained in the pages is of the Zlin 226 acrobatic airplane. The Czechoslovakian plane was one of Mollino’s prized possessions, decorated by the designer with distinctive yellow and black markings. The text itself is trilingual, each chapter printed in Italian, English and Czech. The 80-book run is equal parts history, paper engineering and tribute—a testament to the potential of print.

See more images of the book in our slideshow.

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Big Jambox

Jawbone introduces a big brother to their family of intelligent speakers

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Just released as a follow-up to the diminuitive Jambox speaker, Jawbone presents Big Jambox, a scaled-up version of the wireless speaker setup. In part a nod to the boombox speakers that gained popularity in the ’70s, the device delivers full sound in a portable package. The speaker pairs automatically with any bluetooth-enabled device, pumping out beats without the need for any additional cordage.

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The design language of Big Jambox is drawn from the original version by Yves Behar, marked by a solid perforated steel grill around the body and high grade rubber on the ends and feet. A few simple controls allow you to pause, skip and adjust volume, though most commands come externally. A clutch feature for any mobile device, a single charge of the lithium-ion battery provides a staggering 15 hours of continuous playback.

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While music may be the most apparent use for Big Jambox, the speaker also includes an echo-canceling microphone that can be utilized as a speakerphone through mobile phone calls as well as video conferencing clients like Skype, FaceTime and GoogleTalk. Jawbone is able to connect to two devices at once, and will remember the profiles of up to eight different devices.

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Big Jambox is being offered in “Red Dot”, “White Wave” and “Graphite Hex”—each colorway featuring a different embossed pattern. The speaker’s “Live Audio” feature takes advantage of binaural audio to create a 3D listening experience. The heft and solidity of Jambox reduces rattle and vibrations even when blasting at full volume, and a set of precision-tuned drivers and opposing dual passive bass radiators help to deliver fuller sound.

Big Jambox is available for $299 from the Jawbone online store.

Images by James Thorne

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Still & Sparkling by Nendo for Lasvit

Each of the five concepts presented at Superstudio in Milan explores a different, distinctive approach to glass achieved by the accomplished artisans in the Lasvit workshop in Nový Bor. For Lasvit’s Inhale Lamp, glass blowers form big air bubbles then inhale to produce an unusual shape with negative air pressure. X-Ray vases capitalize on transparency and reflection, two key characteristics of glass, to transform a series of domes within a larger mirrored dome, into a subtle, ever-changing optical effect. Press lamps in pendant and floor styles rely on light sources tucked into compressed glass tubes to produce soft, organic forms. Innerblow and Overflow tables deploy two techniques using metal forms and the flowing quality of molten glass to create smooth and water-like surfaces. Growing Vases are whimsical objects in which glass pipes give the illusion of vases blooming out of flowers.

Innerflow, Overflow, Inhale, Press (Smoke), X-Ray Vase, by Nendo, for Lasvit

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