While engaging in some banter, I was reminded of a blog entry I'd made two years ago in which I said: "Imagine the near future. I’m a toy maker with a rapid-manufacturing system (aka “fabber”) and I’m looking for new products to fab and sell. I don’t have my own designs and I don’t want to pay for any, so I play an online MMORPG..."
I wasn't thinking of Spore when I wrote that (Link below), but it certainly seems as if Spore - or rather, its creation tools - will be the catalyst for some of the changes I've been anticipating. It's starting to get the attention of the CAD community ... and the CAD developers as well.
Anyway, playing with the Creature Creator inspired me to create my own creatures and test whether or not there might be any barriers to "ripping" the 3D data. Unfortunately for those of us who work in 3D, our work is seemingly as vulnerable as everyone else's who is working digitally - from graphic artists to musicians.
Meanwhile, I've tried making "product"-things, but that's difficult since they tend to fidgit as you're playing Doctor Frankenstein ... attaching/moving/resizing body parts. Consequently, I'm looking forward to the other tools; especially for vehicles and buildings.
I stumbled across this band surfing around MySpace. There was something particular interesting about them but I couldn't put my finger on it; plenty of similar bands on social networking sites, but this one caught my eye (and ear). Having watched the above video somewhat repetitively, I'm beginning to see a variety of elements which have inspired me at one time or another.
First, the band is a self-proclaimed "cyberpunk" group. Being a big fan of the literature that spawned the sub-culture, I'm inclined to take an interest.
Second, there's a distinctly gothic visual quality to the group (they might be more accurately labeled "cybergoths"). I've previously listed the "gothloli" fashions of the Harajuku district as an inspiration, so no surprise I'd find this compelling.
Third, both visually and musically the guitarist reminds me of Nash the Slash (Wikipedia article); visually the head piece he wears reminds me of a character from the Japanese film "Casshern".
Fourth, the music itself is a form of industrial rock (with samples), so there are easy comparisons to bands like Front 242 and Frontline Assembly, especially since both have similar visual elements in their music videos (as expected).
Fifth, the singer's voice - or rather the Japanese language - reminds me of anime in general. I don't care for most Japanese music because of the vocals, but like Malice Mizer (Wikipedia article), this band does its own thing and sticks with what sounds right for them. Under other circumstances I'd not perceive a relationship between the above video and the intro scene for "Ghost in the Shell" (1995), but the appropriateness of the vocals in this soundscape is compelling.
Sixth, the old school theremin sound generator shown in the video.
Finally, it occurs to me that I'm not likely to ever see this band in concert. For all practical purposes, they're virtual to me. They may as well be the Japanese band putting on live performances in Second Life.
Of course fabric-based skins for vehicles isn't news. Fabric skins were once commonly used for aircraft. Dirigibles use them. And 3D "seamless" woven composites are beginning to find their way into the mix, even if they're often intentionally rigid.
Morphing skins isn't new either. The U.S. military has explored flexible wings for decades; dispensing with slats and slots and simply re-shaping the wing to modify the chord and thus the aerodynamic properties. I even suspect cars have had fabric skins, though none comes immediately to mind.
None of this is intended to take away from BMW's concept. They're introducing quite a few people to the idea and that's highly commendable.
Given what I know, however, it's something else that has me inspired: the combination of all these things - as BMW has done - in addition to some of the body armor technology of which I've read. Specifically, the ability of fabric weaves to stiffen on impact and so-called "liquid" body armor, both which are intriguing in their own way and have been very much on my mind for the last year or so. Given the long term project on which I'm working, exploring this further seems an excellent idea.
Doing a bit of research on Ms. Oxman, I came across a short video on Seedmagazine.com, and in it she discusses the kinds of physics and engineering concerns I'd hoped she'd addressed in her work. Unfortunately, other than simply addressing the topic, I haven't found anything else of note. However, reading about what has been done is inspiring me to re-energize my own efforts which happen to fall in the same general arena.
For those less mathematically inclined, the work shown and discussed is still compelling and it's well worth taking the time to read Sterling's piece, as he poses an interesting question regarding the future of design.
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