Designers always seem to be on a constant quest for the next big material innovation. From the the first application of steam bending in the Thonet chair to things like Glass Snowboards, material exploration is forever married to object design. One of the materials making a minor resurgence in design projects is Tyvek—you know, the stuff you wrap around houses.
Made from polyethylene fibers, the synthetic sheet material is surprisingly strong and waterproof with a paper-like appearance. It would seem there are endless possibilities for what essentially acts like waterproof paper (such as Jiwon Choi’s Vases), but among an incredible number of wallets and envelopes there are few other notable products on the market that incorporate Tyvek. At risk of inciting a Tyvek revolution, one might question where are all of the great design projects that make use of Tyvek? One of the cooler applications in the last few years is from New Jersey-based Civic Duty Shoes in the form of Tyvek sneakers.
Civic Duty has been around since 2009, headed by Steven Weinreb. The Tyvek uppers are dyed a variety of colors, allowing a bit of visual distance from their close relatives, the FedEx envelope and disposable work suit. While durability of the Tyvek isn’t quite on par with traditional canvas or leather, they do offer extreme lightness and recyclability. While perhaps the perfect application would be a Tyvek portyanki—hard to deny that this is bold sneaker-vation.
The design of the shoes include a nod to classic high top, low top and slip-ons sneaker designs, but the material appeal of Tyvek might not extend too far beyond the design geek demographic. Either way, when you decide to invest in a new pair of kicks, remember that Converse high-tops don’t employ the same technology as the construction site down the road.
“CP+B just created the pizza boxes for Domino’s new Handmade Pan Pizza and we wanted to share the designs with you. The box’s design centers around Domino’s commitment to transparency, by exposing a “dirty little secret” of the pizza business; most of the pan pizzas that people are eating are made with frozen dough. Domino’s, however, uses fresh dough that’s never frozen. To highlight this, CP+B created the nearly all-black box as a visual reminder that the pizza inside was both handmade and baked directly in a pan, while the outside of the box is loaded with fun facts. Like how it took three whole years to develop, and how each is made with fresh.”
Back in 2011, we posted about artist Allister Lee, who was on a journey to collect and document all the black markers in the world. Being slightly obsessed with drawing myself, I’m also a little obsessed with markers and pens so I can relate to Allister’s desire to get a chance to use all of these markers. I’m sure many of you out there who love to draw or paint can also relate to the joy that new pens and art supplies can bring.
He has just launched BlackIsBeautiful.ca, a weekly-updated online resource that documents a growing collection of over 750 black markers and black marking devices. At the moment, the count is at 105. Featuring a searchable database by brand, a visual database of the markers, and even a section that “connects the dots between people and their interaction with black markers.”
From vintage glass-barrel Magic Markers, Wescosa Mini-Wides, metal-jacket Sakuras, to the contemporary Super Sharpie, this online resource shows a historical and international spectrum of black marker design appealing to black marker users worldwide.
Allister Lee’s drawing of black markers
The “Black is Beautiful 500 Marker Poster” (above) is an illustrated compilation of 500 unique black markers produced in an unlimited edition available direct via BlackIsBeautiful.ca.
Next month, Humans since 1982 unveils its latest installation “A million times” at Design Days Dubai, which will incorporate 300 interconnected analog clocks working together to form a singular installation that measures almost 3.5 meters wide. Each clock contains a motor for the minute hand and one for the…