beneath the surface blog

  1. Design Inspiration: Sculpting the Wind

    Soothing and sometimes discordant sounds have recently floated along the Kattegat coast for the past month, a part of Aarhus, Denmark’s version of the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. Throughout the most of June, this outdoor sculpture exhibit took place along an almost three mile seaside stretch of the Jutland peninsula. With over sixty-five pieces, […]

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  2. Designing a Beautiful Sickness in LED Backlit Glass

    Make sure to wear surgical gloves and a hospital mask if you ever have the fortune to visit a Pieke Bergmans display. Her works have an infection that runs rampant through the crystal she hand blows. The disease twists and mutilates water carafes, vases, and crystal light “bulbs” of her Design Virus collection into shapes […]

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  3. On Our Desks: Chic Elevator Lantern Controls – Update From the Field

    Original blog post: Contact closures, relays, Cue servers, DMX decoder units, din rails… if you’re a conceptual designer, you’re probably not too interested in what those mean, but when implemented through a thoughtful electrical engineering process, these items can add a whole new element of fluctuation to your spaces. Imagine synchronizing the vertical movement of […]

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  4. Oobject.com Has a Peculiar Eye We Enjoy

    The folks at oobject.com like to find unique designs that proliferate our world which often go unseen. Be it crashed satellites, crazy Thomas Edison inventions, or just fascinating viewpoints of familiar places, they find photos and videos of objects both past and present that have a peculiar and interesting quality. We enjoy perusing the thousands […]

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  5. Concrete Materiality: Unexpected Transparency

    Apart from the works of Kahn and Hadid which celebrate the fluidity of concrete material, concrete ordinarily operates as a forgotten necessity. Sidewalks, bridges, and roadways depend on its durability and immense resistance to compression, but it usually receives little consideration for more artistic creations. Perhaps remembering the Brutalist movement, architects have almost abandoned concrete […]

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  6. On Our Desks: Urban Wallscape with Illuminated Graffiti

    Check out this backlit graffiti wall that GPI provided for Marlite’s GlobalShop Booth! The wall is designed to mimic an urban alleyway, with continuous LED backlighting highlighting the vibrant graffiti graphics.  Graphics were spray painted on optical acrylic panels.  Custom controls animate the panels individually, reinforcing the concept that each panel is a brick in […]

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  7. London’s Urban Physics Garden: Urbanites Growing Cures and Community

    While in London last week, our Director Thomas Lawrence was entranced by this inventive community garden nestled next to the Charles Dickens Free House pub/restaurant. The Urban Physics Garden brings neighbors and researchers together to use this previously neglected space for growing medicinal plants alongside the herbs and spices that one finds in traditional gardens. […]

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  8. Creating Continuous LED Backlighting: 4 Types of Light Seams to Consider

    Natural sunlight is a seamless light that provides enveloping spatial qualities, free from interruption. With designers increasingly turning to nature for design inspiration, recreating this smooth quality can be tricky with artificial lighting technology. How do you avoid choppy, spotty, discontinuous appearance within your artificial lighting sources? When translating your design from small samples to […]

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  9. 4 Things Traffic Cops Can Teach Us About Integration

    When you envision the city of Cleveland, the awful traffic ala NYC doesn’t usually come to mind, right? Driving home from work this week, torrential downpours streamed down from the suddenly gray sky, and power to the traffic lights was diminished. At Westlake’s largest intersection, this could have been pretty disastrous, but not with a […]

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  10. Light + Energy Innovations for MIT Anniversary Celebration

    This festival makes me yearn for a trip to the east coast. Starting tonight, Bostonians will have the opportunity to celebrate MIT’s FAST Light (Festival of Art + Science + Technology). Described as an evening of “kinetic illumination”, over 20 interactive installations will line the Charles River in Cambridge. Not surprising for such an innovative […]

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  11. Artistic Backlighting for Park Plaza Hotel Feature Walls

    While the exterior of building has been criticized with terms that approximate “foreign spaceship”, the interior of the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London employs deep textures and artistic expression. From carpet inscribed with poetry verses to high-end artwork, understated luxury abounds. But what really take center stage in this interior are the illuminated […]

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  12. On Our Desks: Chic Elevator Lantern Controls

    Contact closures, relays, Cue servers, DMX decoder units, din rails… if you’re a conceptual designer, you’re probably not too interested in what those mean, but when implemented through a thoughtful electrical engineering process, these items can add a whole new element of fluctuation to your spaces. Imagine synchronizing the vertical movement of an elevator with […]

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