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Kickstarting: A Ceiling Made Of Shifting Tiles

Kickstarting: A Ceiling Made Of Shifting Tiles

Once again, New York Design Week is just around the corner, and while it may strike dread into some (convention-center malaise and obligatory parties), it also bears the promise of a few inspiring projects, even if one has to search high and low to find them. Co.Design will aim to bring you the best of the lot, starting with a brilliant interactive installation featuring a tessellated ceiling that will appear to recoil from human presence.

Prior to Design Week, the Brooklyn-based studio the Principals will teach 20 students from the Art Institute of New York City how to network sensors, motors, and microcontrollers to assemble what they call the Cosmic Quilt, a reactive architectural environment. The project, designers say, demonstrates how physical spaces may behave in the future, when the kind of interactivity we have come to expect in our devices makes its way into the places we inhabit.

To gin up $8,000 in funding, they have launched a limited-edition design collection on Kickstarter. All three pieces–a coaster set ($25), fruit bowl ($75), and side table ($225)–are patched together from wood scraps using custom jigs. “The design of the furniture line came from a desire to use the pieces of wood in our shop that often get left over,” the Principals’ Drew Seskunas tells Co.Design. “We found a way of breaking down geometries to smaller templates that could be ‘quilted’ together into larger furniture pieces.”

The dual project encapsulates the studio’s ethos of embracing new technology (interaction design) while holding on to traditional craft (furniture-making). The Kickstarter campaign ends on May 12 (go here to pledge); the Cosmic Quilt will be open to the public from May 19–21.

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