If you carefully observe designed objects around you, perhaps you may find the unspoken process of their birth. Their ingredients and parts should come from somewhere in this globe, and mixed and combined together in a factory of somewhere, through hands and ideas of somebodies.
An age of technology
“In the age of information and technology, material is the most mystic medium to convey the ideas that lie behind and bring it into the world”
In the age of information and technology, material is the most mystic medium to convey the ideas that lie behind and bring it into the world. For example, a curved windshield of the automobile seems to be a simple transparent product, but it is produced by numerous inventions such as pre-polishing of edges, water-repellent surface coating, glass lamination, improvement of de-molding agent, or self-weight-bending technology. The self-weight-bending technology of Central Glass Co., Ltd in Japan is the complicated technology when applied to the laminated glasses.
Because it is quite difficult to bend two sheets of glass simultaneously in the furnace, the micro-sized release agent is needed to let two sheets of glasses slip past each other. By the invention of this agent, layered glasses can then bend themselves according to the distribution of weight units set along their rims, which positions were carefully calculate to realize the ideal convex form. These technologies are totally unseen, but if we lack any of these, the windshield would never be made.
Another story I like is about the aluminum beer cans, which are produced by “deep draw and iron press” method. When the disks of aluminum get punched in the molding machine, their rims consequently stand and grow to form deep cylinders. The next thing is to cut the edge of the cylinder, to have the joint for the lid. It is good to know that the cylinder is made from the sheet, by employing the malleability of aluminum. This method was originally invented for the bullet cartridge, but now applied for softer metals, with more peaceful usage, with less power of the press.
When I see the continuous corner between the bottom and the side of the beer cans, I always remind of this unspoken process of production. Without it, we will need another joint for the bottom lid like steel cans.
“In that sense, material is a vehicle fulfilled with the “soul” of our contemporary technology”
If you carefully observe designed objects around you, perhaps you may hear the thud sound of the press of aluminum cans, or feel the bending forces of windshield glass in the red-hot furnace. That is why I like materials, which certainly exist in front of me, with the unspoken secrets of their birth. Their ingredients and parts should come from somewhere in this globe, and mixed and combined together in a factory of somewhere, through hands and ideas of somebodies. In that sense, material is a vehicle fulfilled with the “soul” of our contemporary technology.
If it was 10 years ago, we can conclude that this trend is for the adaptability or changeability, and the materials can be praised with their “capricious” behaviors. But it seems that the materials today are more “confident” for their reason of existence, and can quickly adjust themselves to the surrounding conditions with their ability of self-control. They are phenomena by themselves, and the chance to see their “true” states of being become less and less. That is why contemporary materials attract us, with their mystic characteristics.