From the category archives:

Mind Over Matter

Grace Jeffers' love affair with materials began at nine years old, when the other students used paper doilies to decorate their Valentine’s Day project, she shingled hers in laminate.

The Importance of Specifying FSC-Certified Teak

This is where I beg you to proceed cautiously with your decision to specify teak. Today as much as one-third of the annual harvest of teak comes from the native forests of Burma. If you have heard of “Thai teak” it is actually Burmese teak that was logged by Thai loggers and hauled across the border.

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The Mayan Calendar Rug

My grandmother used to say “Money was invented round because it is supposed to roll.” Later in life I realized that clock faces are mostly round and thought perhaps that theory applies to time as well.

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Hurricane Lamp (of Choice)

Many people in the Northeastern U.S. could have used an “eternal flame” in the past couple weeks—a light that will burn bright despite power outages, superstorms, nor’easters and blizzards—a true hurricane lamp.  Even better if that dream lamp is not only a serviceable object, but well-designed, technologically modern and environmentally conscious too. The Alessilux line of portable, rechargeable LED lamps meet the criteria.

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Know Your Sheep (Breeds)!

We may think of engineered fibers as a relatively new phenomenon. But a good sheepherder knows that wool is actually the first “engineered” fiber. “How so?” you may ask. Because sheep breeds were refined and crossbred so the wool fibers would have specific performance properties.  

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Bendheim Architectural Glass Identifies Three Industry Trends

We reached out to Bendheim Architectural Glass to see what they are doing to innovate in the world of glass and the following are three current trends they've identified...

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The Vi-Spring Mattress Difference

"Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care" is a famous line from Macbeth  and indeed sleep is one of the best things you can do for your brain and your body.

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All that Glitters: Tinsel Painting and Shiny Materials

A pair of new exhibitions at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, “Foiled: Tinsel Painting in America” and “Ooh, Shiny”, started me thinking about metallic foils as a material.

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The Modern Mosaic: Textures with Depth!

Grace Jeffers discusses the Fusión Wood Panels collection from Architectural Systems, Inc.

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Faster Higher Stronger: The Materials of Sport at Material Connexion New York

In the wake of the Olympics there is always a surge of excitement about sports. We are all inspired by the athletes’ world-record-breaking performances and passion, their success at making their own marks on history. What we don’t often realize is how the clothing they wear, the equipment they use and the very stadium they compete in are contributing to their outstanding performances.

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Laminate in Design History

In 1998 I was lucky enough to be visiting the Wilsonart Laminate company in Temple, Texas. It was lunchtime and one of the executive assistants said “They are gutting the founders house today. You should take her over there. There’s lots of old laminate, it’s a real hoot!”...

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  • Mind Over Matter

    Grace Jeffers' love affair with materials began at nine years old, when the other students used paper doilies to decorate their Valentine’s Day project, she shingled hers in laminate.

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    The I&S editors’ blog will chronicle our adventures through the world of design and provide a behind-the-scenes look into the creation of the products and projects that inspire us day in and day out.

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