'In the Stone Age, stone tools triggered human creativity,' says Kenya Hara, graphic designer and director of Tokyo Fiber '09: Senseware. 'Similarly, the medium of paper, particularly in combination with printing technology, made a massive body of knowledge available, stimulating further creative desire. Imagine how the new artificial fibers that have evolved through the application of high technology will spur humans to a new wave of creation.' Which is exactly what Senseware does.
From April 22 to 27, La Triennale di Milano in Milan will play host to an exploration of the future of design developed with Japanese synthetic fiber technology. One of the designs featured is these moldable lampshades (above and top) by Nendo, using a new 3D material called SMASH.
Organizers sought ideas from architects, designers of all kinds, car and electrical appliance manufacturers, media artists and even a flower artist. The brief was to visualize some of the domains that new fibers will open up. Another great design is a bench with knitted bundles of light, made from new plastic optical fiber ESKA (above), by Gwenael Nicolas.
The exhibition is a forum for ideas and a feast for the senses. 'Some of these fibers are as fine as individual cells,' adds Hara, 'some are more pliant than rubber, and some are electrically conductive like metals.'
Hara hopes that the fibers on display will fill the viewer with excitement for the future. If it's filled with designs like these, it no doubt will. Browse the website to get the full picture. RM
Images: Tokyo Fiber '09: Senseware