June 17th, 2014

Meet the PP 5.3 Designers: Janos Stone

Janos Stone’s career path has taken him from the intensely physical to the cutting-edge of virtual. A sculptor by training, this inventor, educator, and artist focuses on bringing 3D design and 3D printing to all through easy-to-use mobile applications and STE(A)M education (a movement pioneered by his alma mater, RISD, where art and design is in the center of the science, technology, engineering, and math curriculum). Currently, Stone directs a research team at Northeastern University investigating ideas around data as 3D-printed objects; he also is a founder of Clā, a tablet-based 3D-design-to-3D-printing startup.

Created by Stone, the Mecube mobile app aims to demystify 3D Design, teaching all how to create solid objects using 3D printing.


Eclipse (2011), a 3D sculpture comprising inkjet prints on drywall,

June 12th, 2014

Meet the PP 5.3 Designers: Aminimal Studio

Sometimes the technology that created an object is as important as the object itself. That is the case with Aminimal Studio, which utilizes 3D printing techniques to create jewelry, lighting, and household objects inspired by urban chaos and natural phenomena. Founded in 2011 by the husband-and-wife team of John and Svetlana Briscella, the Brooklyn-based studio specializes in products like Inkimals: customized 3D toys created after a buyer downloads a 2D template, colors it in, and then uploads it back to the site. The duo’s Urban Gridded pendants and earrings, in contrast, sketch out the street grids of everywhere from San Francisco to Budapest to Tokyo in a series of delicate gold and silver lines. And their Field Test Lamps, which are created via stereolithographic printing, are based on the structures found in magnetic fields.

To create an Inkimal toy, customers download a 2D template, customize it, and then upload it to the site. Animal then use 3D printing to render it into a 3D object.

Look closely: That is Chicago’s street grid rendered in this Urban Gridded Pendant

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June 6th, 2014

RSVP NOW! PP. 5.3: Graphics & 3D Printing (6/17)

Come face-to-face with innovation Tuesday, June 17, as we host the third and final Product Placement of our spring 2014 season. The theme is Graphics and 3D Printing, with our four intrepid presenters being textile designer Aelfie Oudghiri, techno jewelers Aminimal, pop artist Brian Farrell, and sculptor/app inventor Janos Stone.

So come join us for design, drinks, and discussions — and to learn a thing or two. The presentations began at Rockwell Group‘s Union Square promptly at 7PM. Seating is limited, so RSVP at thisisproductplacement@gmail.com with the name and number in your party to ensure entry. We’ll also be profiling all of the speakers in the coming days, so stop back to check ‘em out.

May 13th, 2014

Meet the PP 5.2 designers: Andrea Ruggiero

In a world of specialists, there is something to be said about being a generalist. Someone who can see the whole picture and then create a solution that addresses all the facets. Andrea Ruggiero embodies this approach. Trained as a product designer, he refuses to stay in that lane, also developing visual identity systems, furniture, packaging, and environments. His award-winning multidisciplinary practice serves clients from start-ups to international brands, including Offecct, Umbra, and the City of New York. But that breadth is par for the course for the half-Italian, half-Hungarian designer. He was raised in Italy, China, and Austria, after all, and attended the Domus Academy in Milan and Parsons The New School of Design, the latter where he also teaches.

A multistool, Tempo combines a chair and table in one compact footprint


Mobi is a mobile workstation comprising a work surface and sound-absorbing partition that can be repositioned and moved as needed

May 13th, 2014

Meet the PP 5.2 Designers: Souda

Sometimes you just need to take matters into your own hands. Case in point is Souda, a design collective founded in September 2012 by three recent graduates from Parsons The New School for Design. Comprising Isaac Friedman-Heiman, Shaun Kasperbauer, and Luft Tanaka, the company designs and manufactures furniture, lighting, and home decor, combining in-house production with components produced by local machinists, woodworkers, and metal shops. (It’s a model similar to that pioneered by fellow New York City-based design outfits Rich Brilliant Willing, Lindsey Adelman, and Roll & Hill, all of which also specialize in small-batch production.) And while Souda has it own built-in cheering section (the company name roughly translates into “Oh, yeah!” in Japanese), the public has started to take notice. French fashion designer Isabel Marant commissioned a set of custom Kreten side tables for her London showroom, while the trio also designed a one-of-a-kind lighting solution for Maiden Lane eatery in New York’s East Village.

To make the Kreten side table, the designers pour fiberglass-reinforced concrete into rubberized fabric shapes. The weight of the concrete, in conjunction with the stretch of the fabric, gives each table a unique form.

Rather than relying on traditional plaster molds to form identical replicas of a design, Kawa pieces are individually slip-cast in reusable leather molds. The results are one-of-a-kind porcelain objects.

May 12th, 2014

Meet the PP 5.2 Designers: Marc Thorpe

Marc Thorpe is a polyglot, executing his vision through architecture, graphics, and interiors, as well as product, retail, and exhibit design. Considering Thorpe’s background, the mish-mash makes sense. He studied industrial and graphic design at the University of Maryland (where his dad was one of his professors) and then at Parsons the New School, where he received a masters in architecture. Thorpe’s client list bounces between multinationals such as L’Oreal and Mercedes-Benz and indie manufacturers like Moroso and Quinze & Milan. He prefers that eclecticism of size and scale. “We believe in a holistic design approach that engages the social components of space and form,” he says of his choice of work.

Thorpe will be speaking Wednesday at Product Placement 5.2: Make/Unmake.

The interior of the Classic Car Club Manhattan, a members-only clubhouse/showroom designed by Thorpe

Blur sofa for Moroso, whose gradient textile took three years to develop

May 10th, 2014

Meet the PP 5.2 Designers: Ian Stell

The objects Ian Stell makes tend to be palpably complex — and often follow open-ended programs. One of the Red Hook-based designer’s tables might have hundreds of pivots, for example. Or a chair might employ a structural system more common to large-scale architecture, or even be turned inside-out. Sitting between form and function, his furniture and textiles often require unexpected types of negotiation, a shift in behavior or perspective on the part of the user. Projects have included gallery shows at Matter in New York and the Mona Bismarck American Center in Paris; he also recently designed and fabricated custom furnishings for Brown University’s Grandoff Center of the Arts.

Newdrift bench (Look closely - it has a message!)


CMC rug

May 2nd, 2014

RSVP for PP 5.2: Make/Unmake-Unexpected Designs & Materials

Our first Product Placement of spring 2014 was such a hit that we decided to organize another ASAP. So join us Wednesday, May 14, at Rockwell Group’s Union Square office for a pre-ICFF extravaganza.

The theme is Make/Unmake: unexpected designs and materials. This time a five-pack of talent—rope sculptor Doug Johnston, materials maestro Andrea Ruggiero, alchemists Souda, optical illusionist Ian Stell, and product/installation designer Marc Thorpe—will speak about the inspirations behind one of their pieces, followed by an audience Q&A and social hour.

Presentations beginning promptly at 7PM. The event is free, but seating is limited. Please RSVP at thisisproductplacement@gmail.com with the name and number in your party.