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Let's Demystify 3-D Print Technology & How it Impacts the Design Build Community There is exciting news for all you design lovers out there. 3-D Printing is becoming more accessible, more affordable and faster than ever. Still not sure how the process works and can't seem to wrap your head around it? Check out this video above to give you a visual understand of the process. Let's start with the basics. 3-D Printing is a 35 year old additive (key word!) manufacturing process that builds material layer upon layer, and is controlled by a computer. Currently we can print material using wood, plastic, metal, glass and organic material (food and organs! Yes you heard that right!). This is technology that's going to impact our industry as much as the industrial revolution. A Rococo table, is being 3-D printed using contemporary materials and colors. A great way to make the old new again. 3-D Design and Printing is here and only getting bigger. In 1995, it was a $295 Million Dollar Industry. In 2014, it grew to a 4.1 Billion Dollar Industry. By 2020, it's projected to be a 21.3 Billion Dollar Industry. According to Ben Uglow of Morgan Standley These are number you can't ignore. There are some titans in the industry who are creating innovative pieces of furniture in a way that is forward thinking and environmentally conscious. Dirk van der Kooij is printing furniture that is Cradle to Cradle using 100% recycled plastic, printing locally and with less environmental impact. Check out more of his work here. Bram Geenen has streamlined the process to be more efficient using a thin expensive carbon fiber skin that is printed on top of 3-D material without waste. Check his work out here. Lilian van Daal is inspired by nature and Biomimicry. With her designs, she is changing the shape and feel of furniture being built with 3-D printing so that it's hard where it needs to be (legs for support) and soft in other areas (like the seat and back). There are Still Challenges This isn't a magic box. You need tools or you need help. Inexperienced designers will need education or an engineer to build the CAD models to then manipulate and customize designs in scale, proportion, material, etc. They haven't perfected the process of the conception to finished product. This is still expensive technology at this phase in the game. Printers run anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000. How Can You Design Your Own Line? What's exciting to me about all this is that there is NO barrier to entry. Currently, if a designer wants to develop their own collection of furniture, they have to work with existing powerful brands who hold the magic key. As 3-D printers become more accessible, designers can soon create their own line whenever they want, or print one-offs. It will be like a Kinko's for the design build industry. This is nearly impossible with expensive traditional manufacturing. When you design your own piece, it's highly customizable where you can easily change the color, dimension and entire concept. Now Watch This! If you printing furniture blew your mind, check out an entire HOUSE (above). This home was built in 24 hours and only cost $10,000! So Where Are We Going? To the moon, Alice! You heard me. Norman Foster + Partners has completed a project with robotic arms that will be sent to the moon to 3-D print homes made of moon dust! And now, the sexiest scientist I've ever seen, Neri Oxman. Neri is a material scientist at MIT and is printing wearable skin embedded with organisms to help humans survive in interplanetary travel. It's crazy! Check out her TED Talk here. Story of Provenance If you've read this far in my blog, that tells me you're interested. Great! So now you can participate in the conversation and join the community which is your opportunity to be a part of a new story. In printing your own designs, you can create an emotional connection and customization in your work to share with your clients about being at the forefront of the industry. That's quite impressive! Because of all this, I've joined the Board at Print the Future which will be the next wave of printing ideas on demand. We've set up a Pop-Up shop in NYC during the month of March 2017 so you can see the printer with your own eyes. I am incredibly inspired and can't wait to see what the future holds!
How many of us are guilty of sitting like this at work? Our design firm has a holistic approach to living and what we create in our environment, our bodies and our lifestyle. An office is no exception. If you think about it, most of us spend a huge amount of time sitting at a desk in front of a computer. We've been hearing it for years, that sitting stationary for hours at a time has negative effects on our health and that getting up periodically or adding stand up desks has impressive benefits to your health. Health Benefits of Standing at Your Desk 1. Reduced Chance of Obesity 2. Reduced Chance of Diabetes 3. Reduced Risk of Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure 4. Reduced Risk of Cancer 5. Lower Chance of Desk Small things we try to do in our office is take a mid-afternoon break for some exercises: Or other other simple exercises like these: Your posture should look like this while you're at your desk: Don't worry. Your desk can be a huge asset to you! We were first turned on to the best of the best in Sit-Stand Desks by one of our high tech clients, but not everyone has the option of purchasing a new desk and some may not have the budget for the Bugatti version. Here are a few options to help maximize your comfort and health benefits while at work: Flexi-Spot Sit-Stand Desktop Work Station This desk workstation is a simple way to give you the same benefits as a sit to stand desk. The Flexi-Spot is easy to adjust with handles on the sides and 12 height settings (adjustable to reach your individual height). It has a deep surface area for up to 2 monitors plus accessories, and a retractable keyboard tray. We've been testing this version awhile and it's been steady with solid construction, smooth and easy to operate. A cool design element is the built-in groove for a tablet or phone. Price: $269.99–$349.99 What we Love: You can place this on any surface to transform it into your own desk workspace. Built with environmentally friendly materials. What we Suggest: Set an alarm every hour to remind you to stand or sit. Sometimes you're so focused that you forget to move. Flexi-Spot has other products, including height adjustable desks, sit-stand-move options, and under desk bikes. Stir Kinetic We first learned about the Mac Daddy of all Sit-Stand desks from one of our awesome high tech clients. Not only does it have a sleek modern design with telescope legs and recessed ports for AC and USB outlets, but it's the technology that really sold us. The touchscreen interface is within the desk and tracks the usage, movement and data of each person who uses the desk. Whisperbreath is one of our favorite features. When it's time to move and get off your seat, the desk will slowly rise then lower 1 inch. This is a gentle reminder to take a deep breath and transition. Price: $2,990 - $4,990 What we Love: The technology, hands down, is the most impressive aspect of this desk. What we Suggest: The current models have a very modern design. We'd love to see more styles on the market. We want to encourage you to move, stand up and breathe, so no matter what your budget is, these desks and desk accessories are a great start living a healthier life.
Do you Love Wine and Want More of It? 3 Wine Coolers to the Rescue! Sr. Designer Sara Plaisted, on a recent Design and Wine Italian tour with Adam Japko (of Wine Zag), about to bring home cases filled with her favorite wines. As wine continues to increase in popularity and our tastes become more refined, it makes sense to want to save your favorite wine for a special occasion without it spoiling. Sorry to say, your regular refrigerator just won't cut it. But maybe you don't have the space in your home (or the budget!) to bring home cases of wine to store in your own wine cellar. Except this this lucky client who has a refrigerated whole room wine cellar: Lori Dennis Interior Design Project: Villa del Sur Construction: SoCal Contractor Before you start... Top 3 Things to Look For in a Wine Cooler 1. Single or Dual Temperature The ideal temperature to store sparkling wines, white and red wine is somewhere between 45º and 60º. Coolers are available in either single or dual temperature compartments to keep them in their own zone. Your regular home refrigerator is about 40º, which will be too cold for wine and will also dry up the cork. 2. Noise and Vibration Nobody wants to have a constant humming appliance in any room in the house. Another reason your refrigerator won't work for wine storage is because the vibration disrupts the maturation process of the wines. Think of your wine like a precious sleeping baby - it's best if she sleeps in a dark quiet room with nobody fussing with her. 3. Racks We all like a little flexibility. Having adjustable or removable shelves allows you to store big bottles along with regular size bottles. We also love the seamlessly smooth and fully extendable racks with separate slats that keep the bottles from rolling into each other. No room in your kitchen for a wine cooler? Just build a custom Armoire Bar! And Voila! Let's find you the best bang for your buck! In working with client's budgets big and small, we've compiled a quick list of our 3 favorite wine refrigerators (or wine coolers) for any size and any budget. 1. Whirlpool Undercounter Wine Cooler for a Modest Budget Surprise! You can store up to 51 bottles in this 24" wine cooler! Whirlpool offers sizes starting at 15" wide (storing up to 34 bottles) with a single temperature controlled zone - great for those of you who only love either red or white wine. Check out Whirlpool Wine Centers here. 2. Viking: Under Counter or Full Height Wine Cooler for a Mid to High Range Budget The Viking Pro Dual Cooling Wine Cellars come in sizes between the undercounter 15"-24" wide (storing between 25 and 40 bottles), or larger units at 30"wide full height which can store up to 150 bottles. With soft close hinges, heavy-gauge full extension and smooth glide shelf racks, and alarms when the door is left ajar, Viking offers high value with multiple options. Check out the many options of Viking Wine Cellars here. We added this compact 24" Viking undercounter wine cooler at the end of an island in our a small beach condo kitchen. These fit great in any lower cabinetry space, or as shown in the armoire above. Using 3 narrow wine coolers, we created this chic home bar in Hollywood Hills on Blue Jay Way. 3. Sub-Zero: Built In Full Height Wine Cooler for a Larger Budget The Big Daddy of Wine Coolers. It's a close race between the Viking and Sub-Zero wine refrigerators. However, Sub Zero was the first company to build a storage system for wine and are considered the top of the line in manufacturing of quality and durable products. These coolers also have two temperature control systems and low vibration, They also have undercounter sizes between 15 and 24 inches wide and full height coolers between 27 and 30 inches wide. See all Sub-Zero Wine Cooler options here. Works great in our modern kitchen design with stainless steel exposed finish. Or as a double unit with custom panel doors. Who needs milk when you have wine? Many thanks to our friends at Ferguson who specialize in all ranges of wine coolers, along with appliances, plumbing and lighting! Don't forget your wine glass! We've tested all the unbreakable wine glasses on the market and have found these to be the best. They're perfect to take on a picnic, camping or to have around the pool. Also great for all the clutzes out there who often break a glass simply by washing them in the sink. (You know who you are.) Purchase here. If you're interested in any of these wine coolers, we'd be happy to help you find the perfect fit for your home.