Exploring some ideas for flexible elements. This one was produced with three modules, bound together with dowel and rubber.

Composite Fastenings

This week we are working on structures that combine materials and component parts. Each should be assembled without tools or adhesives.

Designers Open

The Designers Open event showcased a variety of companies and schools working in the former Eastern states. Leipzig's convention center is a great place to spend a cold but sunny afternoon.

Final Fastenings

The current designs are for a much larger light fixture. They are much more complex than the others and employ CAD functions (duplicate / array) to create shapes that we otherwise could not imagine (or even draw).

Square Layups

These examples are made from three overlapping shapes. This allows one object to connect to plug into the other.

Square Fastenings

We want to be able to re-purpose existing materials with minimal processing. Therefore the next step in developing 'fastenings" that hold profiles cut down from discarded lumber. The goal is to combine materials with very few tools. The fastenings are all made with up-cycled materials and made locally. These are laser cut at the FabLab.

Social Startup Pitch

We now wanted to develop a brief to guide our design work this year. The Social Impact application was a great way to get our ideas down on paper and develop a "pitch" to explain why, we think, our design fit this category. The initiative offers support on launching socially responsible companies. You can find more info at:

Pylon B detail

In addition to the diffuse fastenings the vertical dowels are sheathed in fabric.

Pylon B

Although the plywood pylon creates dramatic shadows we wanted to enable light to pass through the object. This prompted us to use cutting and marking tools to laser cut plexiglass. The marking function scores the surface of the material, creating a fresnal lens effect that diffuses the light.

Pylon Detail A

Detail of lamp fastening

Pylon Lamp Prototype

The fastenings vary in diameter and can be used to hold the wooden dowel in tension. The structure is strong enough to accommodate the LED light source.


We've tapped into a supply of plywood and plexiglass. These two materials are going to be used to design a series of connectors. How could materials be re-purposed and re-assembled in ways that require minimal processing? These are some of the preliminary studies using laser cut plywood.

Planet Modulor

Once a tiny store, Planet Modulor has become the Home Depot of architectural model making. You can buy your entire office there and grab a cappucino while you have your 3D model fabricated for you. We think that's cheating but you should at least check out the website.

Kunst-Stoffe East

We are off in search of materials that can be re-purposed in our next experiments. Kunst-Stoffe is a depot for plastics, metals and wood along with the waste left over from trade shows and theater productions. They also build bikes in the basement! The self-composting toilet in the foreground is a recent addition.

Load Bearing Origami

These folds provide the paper with load bearing, qualities. Under compression, the weight is distributed through each fold. It's absorbs the weight. This will be tested with other fabrics, like felt.

Organic Origami

The CAD software generates repetitive forms in seconds but other forms can best be achieved by hand. We are trying to make forms that are exclusive to one or other of these processes.

CAD Generated Origami

The laser cutter uses vector graphics to cut, etch or mark the paper surface. These origami experiments use CAD functions, such as duplicate array, to create precise folds of increasing size.