As digital fabrication meets high design, we find more and more examples of amazing furniture and household products (and even interior surfaces and architectural facades) that use 3-D modeling and laser sintering to produce precise, intricate patterns. With my eye now trained to spot this technique, I have recently come across several awesome examples in the realm of fashion. Specifically, a new shoe collection from United Nude and the jewelry of Nervous System.
United Nude of course has an architectural backstory, co-founded by Rem D. Koolhaas, nephew of the renowned architect by the same name. Most all of the company's collections are engineered more than your average women's footwear, including the original Möbius and the cantilevered Eamz line (which I have to confess to finding aesthetically unsettling). My favorite to date is the recently released Lo Res, part of "a new semi-automatic design method...[in which] an object is digitally scanned into a 3D computer model then re-generated into various resolutions." The result is a faceted, geometric, totally gorgeous pump, and a graceful salute to industrial design through footwear.
Nervous System was also founded by designers with multidisciplinary backgrounds, who bring their scientific and mathematical training (both from MIT) to the small and delicate scale of jewelry. This weekend while visiting the A+R Store in Venice, CA, I found Nervous System's new Cell Cycle series—a collection of rings and bracelets inspired by radiolarians (single-celled marine organisms). The skeletal forms are 3D-printed in nylon using a computerized algorithm, building layer on layer into a piece of jewelry that resembles perfectly symmetrical coral.