material world

November 21, 2010

nico and i recently took a fieldtrip to visit jake at the new materials resource center at the california college of the arts. jake is the overseer of this incredible collection of strange and wonderful materials, including samples of fabrics, plastics, woods, metals and materials you’ve never even seen or thought of before! the cca community, including students and alumni from all departments have access to the collection, but unfortunately it’s not a loaning library, so all ooh-ing and aah-ing must be done in jake’s presence. but with someone as excited and knowledgeable about the materials as he is, you can spend hours shuffling through colorful, squishy, rubbery, iridescent, samples learning all kinds of things about what stuff can and will be made of now and in the future.


jake’s favorite materials include….

ecocradle packing “foam,” which is essentially a fungus grown from agricultural waste. very eco-friendly! the sample even had bugs living in it…awesome!!! nico swears it gave him an allergic reaction.

gellycomb, a squishy grid substance that’s used in comfy things like mattresses and shoe-inserts.

and this woven metal conveyor belt material, produced by self described “heavy industrial weavers,” marathon belting. this shit is totally heavy duty.

my favorites included colorply multi-colored wood! you can vote for the name of the next colorway on their website!

ultratouch fluffy denim insulation, courtesy of levi’s! it’s 90% post-consumer denim and cotton, not itchy and gross and full of chemicals like fiberglass.

this awesomely intricate steel disc made by milgo/bufkin, which was cut with a water jet! check out an awesome video of the process (set to a soundtrack of ministry!!!) here.

and of course, neon synthetic hair. and also! this amazing avatar-style hair!

and this totally weird web of fibers:

BIG thanks to jake for showing us all of these cool materials and BONUS! this video of the eames making their infamous fiberglass chairs…by hand!!! that’s gotta be itchy and really bad for you!

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