Archive for September 3rd, 2007

Blaine Brownell

The new materials are coming to market, as they offer so much potential to change the way we build, make, or even feel within an environment. Remember Light Transmitting Concrete? The Energy Curtain? Thank goodness for Blaine Brownell. A Seattle based architect, he has been researching and logging the coolest new materials for the last five years. 200 of his finds have been compiled into a book, Transmaterial, which was just published in December.

Those who have been fans of Blaine for a while know that he has been writing about new materials regularly on his blog for some time now, keeping architects and designers excited about the possible applications for corrugated glass, or image-emitting plastic mesh. Typically high tech and often environmentally friendly, the materials that Blaine profiles are not merely trends, but are those which have the potential to transform structure, space, and surface alike.

Recently interviewed in Business Week, Blaine discussed the diverse material innovations that have occurred due to technology, necessity, and curiosity. This same curiosity for the wide range of available products, in contrast to their limited use, has propelled Blaine to keep on looking for and sharing new ideas.

In addition to his Transmaterial site, Blaine also keeps a blog reflecting on the possibilities for environmental, social, and economic change through design. We pretty much think he’s found an answer to a lot of our problems; it’s just up to us to do something about it.

Transmaterial website


CeeLite™ panels

CeeLite’s paper-thin, flexible light bulbs can go virtually anywhere: around a pillar, on the floor, even around Chad Smith’s drum set during the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ recent appearance on Saturday Night Live. The light-emitting capacitors (LECs) are essentially 1-mm-thick sheets of plastic. Inside is a layer of phosphor that when hit with an alternating current, shines bright white (not bluish like other electroluminescent light). The LECs illuminate surfaces evenly but can also be programmed to dim, fade or flash on contact.

CeeLite™ panels are offered in a variety of standard sizes in indoor, open space or outdoor portrait and landscape formats. The largest panel is 3′ x 6′ although larger sizes are under development. Custom sizes are available with minimum order quantities. The color temperature of CeeLite LEC panels range from 7,500 to 11,000 degrees Kelvin. New panels with additional color temperatures are under development. CeeLite’s panels also are available in various flexible film and glass packaging options. CeeLite panels typically consume very small quantities of electricity relative to incandescent, neon and fluorescent lighting.

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