Home > Art, Design, Grab Bag, Interior > ‘The Idea of a Tree’

‘The Idea of a Tree’


Amid the slew of designers that try to propose how nature can fit into THEIR design, few allow Tierra Madre to do what she does best – visually manifest her OWN design.  Thomas Traxler‘s thesis project for the Design Academy Eindhoven (Netherlands) is one of those few, as he has built an apparatus that acts as a canvas for the earth’s right side of the brain.  Powered by solar cells, it spins multiple cotton threads through a mixture of dye, glue and epoxy resin, ultimately winding these threads around a pre-constructed cast of choice.  The variation of designs are based upon the intensity of the sun.  When our infamous star shines brighter, the threads spin faster and spend less time in the dye – producing a paler hue.  The opposite occurs on a cloudy day, which produces a stronger, deeper hue for the color of choice.  The effect mirrors the rings in a cross-section of a tree trunk, where biologists can confirm a rainy or dry season.  Depending on the cast, smaller projects can elapse in a day, whereas larger ones may take up to a few weeks.


I immediately begin to think about how this concept can be utilized in design across all mediums.  On the immediate, individual scale it gives a sense of further connection with your product, i.e. how it was made, how the design is translated and the satisfaction of using a renewable energy source.  For the future, this concept of localization can be choreographed into other realms of production and design based upon the area’s natural features.  Just like the localization of fashion according to a region’s climate, every city across the world can have its own unique design of products according to the weather.

In today’s world it’s not the most efficient means of production, but it is exciting to think that you can own something designed by the Sun.  Imagine in the near future you are browsing the aisles of a furniture store, say the one-way maze of an IKEA, and instead of lamp shades being categorized for sale as ‘FANSTA red’ or ‘SKIMRA orange’, you simply see ‘2/08/2013’ or ‘8/17/2011’…

Mischer’Traxler Website :: http://www.mischertraxler.com

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