Archive for April, 2011

Press breakfast

Posted:  April 14th 2011

We hosted a breakfast prepared by Sofie Lachaert for our contacts, designers and interested members of the press this morning. Come back tomorrow from 10:00 – 12:00 for one more breakfast.


design for download

Posted:  April 14th 2011


design for download: watch the video

Posted:  April 14th 2011

Come by via Alserio 22 to see the video presentation about a new platform for downloadable design, followed by a showcase of products by EventArchitectuur and Minale-Maeda. You can try out the design tools to customize the designs for yourself.

Here’s the video:


Levittown: the suburban archetype

Posted:  April 14th 2011

Levittown gets its name from its builder, the firm of Levitt & Sons, Inc. founded by William Levitt, who built the district as a planned community between 1947 and 1951. William Levitt is considered the father of modern suburbia. Levittown was the first truly mass-produced suburb and is widely regarded as the archetype for postwar suburbs throughout the country (1). On Saturday, April 23rd eight homes will be transformed into businesses by the homeowners in collaboration with our design team.

More information and to RSVP.

(1) source


designer for download: interview with Mario Minale

Posted:  April 13th 2011

Rotterdam-based design duo, German-born Mario Minale and Japanese-born Kuniko Maeda began collaborating in 2005. As Minale-Maeda they are interested in perspectives on contemporary material culture. We spoke with Mario about their designs for download.

Can you tell us how you approached the brief?

Mario Minale: On the one hand we were interested in creating a furniture system based on downloadable design and on the other, we were interested in making a statement about the current state of culture and how that intercepts with technology. In both respects, we were curious how downloadable design makes something new possible.

Creating a downloadable furniture system was in line with our ambitions to make things that can be easily manufactured. Inside-out furniture is a very simple line of furniture in which the joinery is brought to the foreground. Seeing the structure helps with the simplicity of the piece and also helps with making it downloadable.

We also had ambitions to make a statement about people’s desire for objects today.

Vanity charms are 3D printed representations of what someone actually wants. They are symbols of the actual objects desired, playing with the question of whether or not symbols are enough. Someone can just like something, and can have it as a charm.

You also designed virtual flowers. Can you tell us about those?

MM: In the Virtual florist collection, we took defining characteristics of flowers and reversed them. Real flowers decay. With 3D printing you can freeze them. Real flowers are known for their colours. Virtual flowers are visually strong because of their absence of colour. Fresh flowers are flown all over the world. Since virtual flowers are distributed as information, they don’t have the constraint of location or season. You can have them anytime and anywhere without needing transportation. Real flowers and virtual flowers are perfect opposites of each other.

You have referenced Gerrit Rietveld designs in previous work such as Red blue Rietveld chair and Rietveld Lego Buffet. What was the influence in your downloadable furniture?

MM: We find the principles of Rietveld very relevant to the downloadable design platform. In his aim to make design accessible, he develops structures that are very sturdy and easy to make. His pieces work in many materials even with limited skills of the maker. The beauty of his work comes from the structure. The same principles drove our downloadable designs. The connections we developed for Inside-out furniture are 3D printed with custom dimensions so that they can match different sizes of wood. The only necessary intervention is to cut the wood to length and to drill the holes. No routing is necessary. Even without a CNC machine, someone can make our designs with a saw and a drill.

In our brief we asked you to imagine a business model for yourself. How do you see this?

MM: The big picture is to create an alternative to large scale productions. Downloadable design makes it possible to take production into a small—or, I would say, human—scale. Downloadable design makes many of the logistical issues—transportation, fuel, warehousing, complex machinery, materials, and so on no longer necessary. The whole industrial overhead becomes unnecessary.
In terms of own business model, one approach can be seen in the 3D connections we developed for Inside-out furniture. They can be adjusted to different dimensions of wood easily, they don’t need a mould to be produced, and they simplify the joining process. They are a proof of authenticity, a sort of signature, perhaps. The other parts can be sourced anywhere.

Are you not afraid that people will copy your blueprints?

MM: Downloadable design is like downloadable music. You buy the band t-shirt because you want to show that you like something and not because you have to. Paying for the signature shows your appreciation.

Pictured above is Inside-out furniture by Minale-Maeda.

Special thank you to 3D print lab i.materialise



Future open houses

Posted:  April 13th 2011

On Saturday, April 23rd, this living room will become the showroom for Future open houses. EFGH (Hayley Eber & Frank Gesualdi) working with Irina Chernyakova have explored the potential consequences of an Open house movement, with implications on suburban housing design, land use and regulations.

This is the living room at 21 Wood Lane in Levittown, NY (before). Stay tuned to see what happens on the 23rd.

This is Frank and Hayley of EFGH, an architectural design studio in New York.


Designers for download: Minale-Maeda

Posted:  April 12th 2011

At Design for download we will present furniture and accessories by Minale-Maeda. Stay tuned to see the results or come by.

Japanese born Kuniko Maeda graduated in science of design at Musashino Art University in Tokyo. Italian born, German raised Mario Minale graduated in Industrial Design at the University of Wuppertal. After receiving their IM Master degrees at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2005, they joined to establish Minale-Maeda in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Living in a melting pot with their intercultural backgrounds gives the duo a broad perspective on material culture. Their work for Droog includes the Red blue Lego chair, Rietveld Lego buffet, Touch wood and Chroma Key and the award-winning Dusk/dawn mirror.


New York’s service economy

Posted:  April 12th 2011

Open house, a Droog Lab project led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro started with a research trip in New York City, where the team met with all sorts of service providers, ranging from a dog walker to a luv coach and everything in between.

Thank you to the following service providers for sharing insights with us during our workshop:
Brian Mestre Dog Walking, Citymeals-on-Wheels,, Dr. Sofa, Extreme Achievers Team‎,  God’s Love We Deliver, InterExchangeIntuitive Readings with Derek Calibre, Joshua the PsychicKelima KMy Image Expert, North American Investigations, Inc.NY Wedding DancePaws In Chelsea‎Relaxation SuiteSanaVitaSunny Bates Associates‎The Image CircleThe Luv CoachTrain Daly‎Unique Chic



Designers for download: EventArchitectuur

Posted:  April 11th 2011

At Design for download we will present furniture and accessories by EventArchitectuur. Stay tuned to see the results or come by.

EventArchitectuur is an architectural design studio that tries not to define its style. It aims deliberately to make the outcome of projects a result of theinteraction of different participants in the design process. A design firm for time and experienced based architecture, EventArchitectuur communicates by redefining space—a three dimensional organization of light, sound and movement—whether in moments that last five minutes or 15 years, dependingon the assignment.

EventArchitetuur was founded in 1993 by Herman Verkerk, who was trained as an architect at the TUDelft and ETH Zürich from 1984-1990. In 2003, artist Paul Kuipers joined the studio, a graduate of thedepartment OK5 / Visual Arts and Public Space at ArtEZ, Institute of the Arts in Arnhem.

Tal Erez, trained as an industrial designer at the Holon Institute of Technology, Israel and honourgraduate of the IM Masters program of the Design Academy Eindhoven, began collaborating withEventArchitectuur in 2009.


Meet Ann of Open house #8

Posted:  April 11th 2011

Ann Torcivia has teamed up with Alex Schweder La with Jessica Rivera and Adam Bandler in the transformation of her home.

Ann is also the coordinator for all participating homeowners. She’s been instrumental in starting the Open house movement in Levittown. Thank you Ann!

Stay tuned to see Ann’s Open house, or join us on April 23rd for a tour.