Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fluidforms - tableware for the discerning prosumer.

This post is proud to have been syndicated to the Ponoko Blog.

Earth Bowls

Austrian design firm Fluidforms have created Earth bowls: fruit bowls generated from Google Earth topographical data which is translated into physical form by CNC routing laminated beech - a cool concept undoubtedly, but the clincher for me is in the web interface. They say:

Our website enables you to design according to your own preferences with but a few clicks of the mouse. Create your own unique forms, and bring to life your own individual Design.

They're clearly into the idea of user-level customisation in the same sense that are, giving the user just the right tools and amount of control to not get lost in the experience of defining their product's form (without altering the function). So have a go at designing your own Earth bowl here. In addition to that, one can also customise the form, colours and materials of their own salt/pepper seller, candlestick and pestle.

The interfaces are wonderfully straight forward and really shows how important the interactive, or service design aspect is to offering customisation at the point of sale. Here's me designing my Glasgow fruit bowl (I never summoned up the courage or funds to hit 'Add to cart'!), and a DRIFT salt/pepper seller below that.

Roy's Glasgow Earthbowl

Roy's Fluidforms Candlestick

Other interesting projects from Fluidforms are:

Customers design with their fists - Orginally an installation using a punchbag to alter the form of a lamp, the site has a Flash version of the same (far bottom).

Custoemrs design with their fistsRoy designing with his fists

Fingerprint sculptures - Using a fingerprint scan to create a unique 3D form.

Fingerprint Sculptures

Fluidforms appears to be the brainchild of consultancy firm Formatory which enigmatically offers 'prosumer solutions'.

UPDATE: I remembered what led me here! It was in fact Scott Johnston's own version of topographical CNC'd bowls. He just 'wrote some programs' to help get from a google map to a bowl. Showoff!

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