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  1. How they make it

    Little Field of Flowers: Prototyping

    “We ordered the first prototypes in an embossed pattern,” explains Marquina, who works with several Indian manufacturing facilities. The Nanimarquina team instructed the manufacturers to use a...

    01.01.09

  2. How they make it

    Little Field of Flowers: Die Cutting

    As Boontje’s signature style is often associated with cutouts, Marquina’s solution was a good fit. Sheets of felt from Rajasthan go into a die cutter, which is essentially a combination of a waffle...

    01.01.09

  3. Little Field of Flowers: Weaving
    How they make it

    Little Field of Flowers: Weaving

    Depending on the size of the rug—they come in three sizes—one or two technicians at SPN operate the loom, which involves painstaking manual labor. “Every two or three lines,” Marquina explains, “we...

    01.01.09

  4. Mademoiselle Pillow
    How they make it

    Mademoiselle Pillow

    Looolo—When we think about products and their life cycles, textiles aren’t the first things that come to mind. But what went into your shirt?

    written by: Virginia Gardiner
    photos by: Jane Heller
    01.01.09

  5. How they make it

    Cut

    Organic merino wool arrives from Vermont, woven and mounted on rolls over a yard and a half wide. When asked what makes the wool organic, Notkin explains that the sheep grazed on pesticide-free...

    01.01.09

  6. How they make it

    Prep

    Zippers, buttons, and other add-ons are rendered unnecessary by Looolo’s pillowcase closure system, which uses a tried-and-true technique: overlapping flaps on the back. “Zippers and...

    01.01.09

  7. How they make it

    Pattern

    Notkin, who started her career making costume jewelry, has a knack for romantically contrasting hues and textures. In fact, her favorite part of the creative process comes before anything is made...

    01.01.09

  8. How they make it

    Stuff

    The fronts and backs are sewn to each other inside out and then turned right side out—“we just make sure the corners are nice,” says Notkin. Each pillowcase is hand-stuffed with a...

    01.01.09

  9. Skypephone
    How they make it

    Skypephone

    Last year saw the European launch of the world’s first mobile phone with integrated Skype, the Voice over IP software traditionally used via computer. This year, the phone arrives in the United...

    written by: Virginia Gardiner
    01.25.09

  10. How they make it

    Concept

    On every scale, from cottage industry to mass market, production starts with research. Johnstone begins by scouring the globe for team members who have the right skills and design sense to match a...

    01.01.09

  11. How they make it

    From 2-D to 3-D

    “Very aggressive” is how Johnstone describes the design schedule. They move quickly from a few rough sketches to a virtual 3-D model. AMOI and HWL take advantage of the time difference, working on...

    01.01.09

  12. How they make it

    Prototyping

    After the sketch-overlay and technical-design phases, AMOI provides a 3-D model. In the nine months that follow, the shape is subject to intensive prototyping before delivery to the factory line. ...

    01.01.09

  13. How they make it

    Finishing

    When finishes are chosen and every-one has signed off, the factory line begins to churn. “We do a short production run of about 500 phones,” says Johnstone, “and use them heavily to gather feedback...

    01.01.09

  14. The Pi Table
    How they make it

    The Pi Table

    Scrapile—Pull up a chair to one of Scrapile’s impossibly elegant dining tables and you’d never guess that the materials used to create it had once been destined for a landfill....

    written by: Mark Lamster
    photos by: Eirik Johnson
    01.25.09

  15. How they make it

    Dumpster Diving

    The first step in the Scrapile process is to acquire raw materials. Salgado and Bettencourt are beggars, not choosers: Any wood—from cherry to walnut—will do. With help from a local...

    01.01.09

  16. How they make it

    Building a Block

    With raw material in hand, they painstakingly assemble their scraps into a solid, ten-foot-long block that is eight inches square. To achieve the striated pattern of cascading bands that is...

    01.01.09

  17. A Design Emerges
    How they make it

    A Design Emerges

    All of Scrapile’s sharp modern forms come from the solid block of wood. The pieces have evolved from basic, boxy shapes to more complex lines as Salgado, who does most of the design, has...

    01.01.09

  18. How they make it

    Putting It Together

    With a design in place, the block is trimmed down to size, planed, sanded, and edge-cleaned. Planks are cut with precision, to ensure the waterfall pattern aligns exactly, and pieces are glued and...

    01.01.09

  19. The Trabecula Bench
    How they make it

    The Trabecula Bench

    Freedom of Creation—In recent decades, computer-aided design (CAD) has transcended the screen, thanks to the advent of automatic fabrication, a process wherein three-dimensional objects take...

    written by: Virginia Gardiner
    photos by: Jens Passoth
    03.31.09

  20. How they make it

    Drawing

    Kyttänen’s designs travel straight from his imagination to the computer. “Hardly anything happens on paper anymore,” he says, “because most of the files are so complex that it’s practically...

    01.01.09

  21. How they make it

    Slicing

    The design files are sent to EOS GmbH, a Munich-based factory with six different types of laser-sintering machines. Before they begin, a slicing software divides the Trabecula into some 6,000 cross...

    01.01.09

  22. Sintering
    How they make it

    Sintering

    “Sintering” is not an everyday word for most people—it means using laser energy to melt and fuse particles. It’s traditionally applied to metal, but nowadays it works very well on certain varieties...

    01.01.09

  23. Unpacking
    How they make it

    Unpacking

    When the bucket has cooled, it’s time to assemble the pieces. Ahmadou Kaloga, an EOS applications support technician, usually does the unpacking. “It’s like an archeological dig,” says Kyttänen. “A...

    01.01.09

  24. Wrong Woods
    How they make it

    Wrong Woods

    Established & Sons—The Wrong Woods furniture series is a collaboration between designer Sebastian Wrong and artist Richard Woods for Established & Sons. Wrong creates the object,...

    written by: Virginia Gardiner
    photos by: Jeremy Murch
    01.25.09

  25. 01 Woodblocks
    How they make it

    01 Woodblocks

    Woods’s prints begin as marker drawings on acetate. “We have a set of patterns that have been reduced from wood grain,” he says, “and we use them as a library, and change them around. So it really...

    01.01.09

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