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(Event) Bits 'n Pieces: A Dialogue Between the Analog and Digital Worlds

Bits ‘n Pieces is a traveling exhibition of work by international designers, architects, computer scientists, and material and technology...

Paloma M. Vazquez
Paloma M. Vazquez on November 6, 2009. @pmvazquez

Described as “a dialogue between the analog world and digital technologies within design in a post-digital era, Bits ‘n Pieces is a traveling exhibition of work by international designers, architects, computer scientists, and material and technology researchers.”  The collection is intended as an open dialogue on design in a post-digital world, and showcases tangible examples of how technology and design can work together to develop products that are warm, engaging and ultimately human.

We had an opportunity to attend the opening night at Material Connexion – a global materials consultancy built on the belief that Every Idea Has A Material Solution TM - located in the Gramercy section of NYC. We have collected some of the highlights from the exhibit below.

The Knitted Vase by Ilona Huvenaars and Willem Derks is designed as the ideal base for a bouquet of any size, it expands and contracts depending on the amount of flowers it holds – from a single rose or a dozen tulips.

Conversation Bits is a project by four students at the Fontys University for Applied Sciences in Eindhoven, Netherlands that combines traditional pen and paper with a dynamic table top. As visitors write down notes about the exhibits, the table’s surface simultaneously tracks and stores these analog scribbles, converting them to digital comments that automatically appear under the corresponding project on the Bits ‘n Pieces website. Conversation Bits was one  clearest (and most interactive) embodiments of how our physical and virtual worlds can merge.

Utanalog by Unfold strives to return the teapot to its roots as a humble piece of functional dish ware, while paying tribute to the Utah teapot’s status as an icon of the digital world. Next to the Utanalog, Unfold also presents an animation about the history of the Utah teapot.

The Utah teapot is a 3D model created in 1975 by Martin Newell and is the first complex 3d model ever created on a computer. It is a simple, round, partially concave mathematical model of an ordinary teapot. Since then, it has become a standard reference object in the computer graphics community and made several appearances as an in-joke in computer animated films like Toy Story or an episode of the Simpsons.

The work currently showcased is in various stages of development – some is purely conceptual or in pre-production, while other examples like furniture, jewelry, and graphic design are are already being produced. The collection will be on display at Material Connexion in NYC through December 4th, 2009, and is part of an evolving global tour that responds to feedback received at each location.

Thinking...