Nature Force-2018 GOOD DESIGN® Award

While studying in the MS Surface Imaging program at Philadelphia University, Kaijie Chen explored unimaginable and bespoke in/exterior architecture products by integrating digital media, materials and technologies. Her interactive tile was part of “Neo Skin” series which contained 3 different collections: “Nature Force”, “Haptics” and “Living Skin”.

She observed that modern life has long forced people to work against natural forces. People live in concrete covered urban environments, eat exotic foods out of season. But change is in the air. Nature forces like magnetism that inspired her to not only use man-made techniques like 3d printing, but to combine technology with the creativity and power of nature itself.

"Nature Force” is designed as a modular interactive tile with a light-sensitive led panel. Using Spontaneous’ process to grow 3D structure (iron filling) organically inside of resin and produce one of a kind products every time a new object is made. This process allows her to meet uncertainty and surprise while creating bespoke products with limited control, and to look at inventively ways of the rule of materials. The iron fillings turn into shimmer as the surface is buffed into frost. While surface is wetted by certain condition, it becomes transparent and inside structure appears. Interactive led lights are stimulated by human interaction and induce a slight ripple then spread out to the top of the surface. Light traveled inside of the sculptured tile from different angles, resulting in enchanting and ever-changing light and shadow effects.

“Nature Force” is made as a building material for both vertical (wall tile) and horizontal (flooring) purposes. Especially while using as an exterior wall installation, “Nature Force” provides unexpected and poetic interact with passersby, creating a unique experience and feel.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Brooklyn, NY, US
Firm Role: Designer
Additional Credits: Photo courtesy to Moritz Bernoully. Renderings courtesy to Kaijie Chen.