Friday, 22 May 2009

Blow Balloon Blow

Nendo:' blown fabric' for tokyo fiber '09 senseware exhibition'

nendo created blown-fabric for tokyo fiber ‘09 senseware'.

‘Smash’ is a specialized long-fibre non-woven polyester that can be manipulated into different forms through hot press forming technology. as it is a thermoplastic, light and rip-proof, but still glows beautifully when light passes through it, nendo wanted to create lighting fixtures in the style of vernacular japanese chochin paper lanterns with it. the structure of standard chochin consists of thin strips of bamboo wrapped around a wood frame and strengthened with vertical stitching. japanese mulberry paper pasted over the frame completes the lamps, and gives them their characteristic glow.

They realized that smash’s particular properties would allow them to shape it like blown glass into a seamless one-piece lantern. it is impossible to completely control the process, so each fixture takes an unsual form as heat is added and pressurized air is blown into it. as in glass-blowing, they can intervene during the production of each piece, resulting in a collection of objects whose infinitely varied imperfections are reminiscent of the infinite formal mutations of viruses and bacteria in response to environmental changes, and a far cry from the standardized forms of industrial mass-production.

The fixtures are weighted at the base by the light source. this simple, straightforward contrasts with the careful selection of materials. smash changes form if the interior temperature rises above 80˚C, so they mounted low-heat led bulbs in machined aluminium sockets that double as a heat-sink to maintain a low interior temperature.

Blow me away.