Games, Design & Game Design

Archive for the ‘Milan’ Category

Milan Buzz

In Design Practice, Links, Milan, Promo on April 13, 2011 at 4:55 am

We have pretty limited internet in the apartments, so I’m not really online much over the course of this week. But in brief: Milan is rad, there are a million billion designers and design shows here this week, and it’s a pretty amazing place to be right now. Our space (Spazio Rossana Orlandi) is wonderful (check out this Core77 overview with pics), and the reception to our show has been really positive so far. Someone from (leading Italian design+architecture) magazine Domus came by during our last day of install, and wrote us up already, which is pretty sweet. Link:

If we get any other coverage that I come across I’ll update this list. Last updated 7.17.11.



LOADED (it’s official!)

In Chicago, Design Practice, Links, Milan, Promo on March 18, 2011 at 10:03 am

Loaded Banner

(From the press release, links added by me)

Chicago, IL—Emerging designers from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) will present new work at Milan’s premier independent design showroom, Spazio Rossana Orlandi, during the Salone Internazionale del Mobile (International Furniture Fair), April 12 –17, 2011. Their exhibition, LOADED, is the result of an intense two-semester design studio directed by Helen Maria Nugent and Jim TerMeer, both professors in the department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO) at SAIC.

The provocative objects presented in LOADED exploit the history, physicality, and currency of two catalytic materials: iron and sugar. In addition to the exhibition’s 13 original designed objects (lighting, tableware, and jewelry), two of the projects—one in sugar, the other in iron—will be produced in multiples specifically for the show. Elements of the exhibition design also engage in this investigation, resulting in custom cast-iron display fixtures and sculptural sugar props.

LOADED explores the ways in which an object’s value is essentially fluid—continually shaped by our global systems of trade, by real or man-made states of scarcity and abundance, by cultural ideologies, and by human desires. Designers include: Brian Anderson, Amma Aning, Morgan Carter, Ryan Chorbagian, Valerie DeKeyser, Cecilia Gomez, Stephen Gulau, Lee Won Joon, Charlie McArthur, Jordan Morrell, Lauren Mosakowski, Nathan Paoletta, Ciara Taylor, Daniel Whiteneck, and Zhe Zhang. Iron projects are cast in collaboration with the Chicago Crucible, a boutique metal foundry operated by SAIC alumnus Lloyd Mandelbaum (BFA 2008).

High resolution press images from the project are available online at Project summaries, process images, and more information will soon be available at

Other presentations at Spazio Rossana Orlandi during the fair include projects by Naoto Fukasawa, Jasper Morrison, Jaime Hayon, Humberto and Fernando Campana, Muuto, Piet Hein Eek, and Raw Edges (Shay Alkalay + Yael Mer).

Milan Proceeding Apace

In Design Process, Milan, Product Design, Promo, Uncategorized on March 16, 2011 at 11:47 am

Unfortunately, my video capability for my last (and I think final) dripcast was hamstrung by a collection of old batteries, none of which were capable of providing more than a minute of video at a time. But, in short, my casting guy figured out a solution to the keying-in problem, enabling us to separate the coin metal from the iron die without any problems at all! I was, in the end, able to cast one bowl out of $20 worth of nickels, and one out of $20 of quarters. In addition, I brought some plastic consumer goods to try. The polypropylene bowls didn’t really melt (they just burn away), but we had astounding, and weird, success with a $20 spindle of blank DVDs.

Three Successful Bowls

Three successful bowls! Nickels, Quarters and DVDS (clockwise from left)

In addition, I cast $20 worth of sugar (which is a LOT of sugar, btw), and $20 worth of decorative candles (mmm, Fig+Patchouli).

Check out all the (many) pics after the jump!

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Milan Sneak Peak

In Design Process, Milan on March 12, 2011 at 9:00 am

We gave a fairly informal presentation for the Advisory Design Council here at SAIC. The goal was to get some fresh eyes on our plans for the exhibition space and graphic elements, and we definitely got some useful feedback! In addition, we had all of our pieces laid out in their various states of finish. Everything here is still in process, but having it all out really made it feel like our show is starting to come together!

(all images shown here are under the aegis of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, btw, and the work is technically property of the school. I’ll link to the show website once it is up.)

Milan "Loaded" Preview

Weird perspective shot during setup.

Milan Sneak Preview Detail

Closeup as we set up

Exhibition Display Concepts

Concept renders for our exhibition display.

LOADED Graphic Concepts

One set of concepts for the gallery guide/takeaway poster.

Milan Process – Failing Forward

In Design Practice, Design Process, Milan, Product Design on March 10, 2011 at 11:04 am


Things I Learned:

  • I brought twice as much material as I had estimated I’d need. It ended up being barely enough to make one piece. Later, I was told the rule of thumb is bring at least 4 times what you think you need; if you waste half your material twice, then at least you’ll get one thing out of it.
  • Molten metal behaves completely differently from any of my prototyping materials (wax, quick-setting plastic). It was really cute how I thought I could approximate it. It’s so much more dense and viscous even at it’s most molten (or at least it’s most molten we could achieve with the oxy-torch) that it didn’t flow the way I thought/hoped.
  • This experimental casting process is totally experimental. I had hoped to get finished pieces; I barely got one kinda-sorta-prototype out of it.
  • Not being able to actually do it myself is intensely frustrating, even when working with a really chill guy that is absolutely on board with making my crazy idea work.
  • Sandcasting is NOT the process to use to make a precision die. The flaws in the iron surface gave the currency material plenty of opportunity to key in, making it necessary to chisel the material off the die. Extremely not ideal.

Also, the prototype itself really doesn’t have the attractive quality that I had hoped for. So, the idea is expanding and changing a bit – instead of casting different kinds of change ($2 of pennies, $2 of nickels, etc), I’ll be assembling the same face value of various goods as well ($20 of plastic toys, $20 of fine chocolate, $20 of aluminum foil, etc) and casting those over the die. Dematerialization and Rematerialization of value, indeed.

Read on for pics!

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Process for Milan

In Design Practice, Design Process, Milan, Product Design on February 26, 2011 at 11:37 am

If all goes well, I should have final pieces within the week!

The project, called More Than It’s Worth, comes from consideration of the intangibility of currency in the modern digital networked world, and what other potential values of the physical totems of money we can find.

The final pieces will be the same amount ($2.00) worth of US currency, melted and drip-cast over a cast-iron die. Each bowl in the series is made of one type of coin (pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollar coins), demonstrating the curious relationships between face, melt and aesthetic value of each.

Some pics of the plastic prototypes (the making of which is show in the video up top):

More Than It's Worth Prototypes

Prototypes Closeup

More Than It's Worth Prototypes 2

Prototypes of "dollars" "dimes" and "nickels" Top View (from left-right)

More Than It's Worth Prototypes 3

Prototypes "dollars" "dimes" "nickels" (from left-right)