I walked up to this booth, for Jackson, MS company Visual Reference Studio, and the "Swamp Lounge" on display had a sign on it saying "Please Touch Me." I thought that was kind of funny, so I touched it. Unfortunately, my hands were cold.
Had I been hot blooded that day, I would have left a hand-print:
The polyurethane fabric has a thermo-sensitive coating, so it records the heat with which it comes into contact. Here's the "Swamp Bench":
All their forms are derived from nature at this point (the other two lines are called "Duckweed" and "Cypress"), which I think is valuable to this work. It makes the pieces less about the use of interesting chemical technology, and more about how that technology responds to and interacts with natural processes. In that vein, it's really exquisite how the pieces respond to shifting sunlight from a nearby window:
I'm really excited about this, and I was sort of thinking out loud with the one designer, Erin Hayne, about the potential of light sensitive technology, how you could actually project an image onto the piece and it would remain. She nodded enthusiastically and added that her partner, Nuno Gonçalves Ferreira, was looking into pieces that would start out opaque and respond to the heat by turning transparent. I mused about inflatable furniture, but we both agreed that's not a very good idea. Too kitschy.
In any case, I think the possibilities this opens up are wonderful. They're also doing wall panels and pillows, by the way.
Visual Reference Studios
©2008, Ryan Witte