Design Feed

My first custom fabric order

my first custom fabric order

For a while, I have been wanting to produce fabric art that makes use of my photos, my artwork, and my kids' art. The other day, I happened across a site called Spoonflower that prints custom images on fabric. As a test, I have ordered a yard of the fabric above, created using a drawing of mine from 2001. I've also ordered a map that Peter drew as fabric. We'll see if it truly suits my purposes, but I am hopeful.

I have some very specific projects in mind if it does. The test fabric design comes from this drawing of mine:


My original intent had been to reproduce it as endpaper in a small press book.

I'm counting the days until my test yardage arrives.

A New Kind of Bridgebuilding: Stephen Wolfram on How We Might Design Better Bridges in the Future

In a short essay "The Space of All Possible Bridge Shapes," composed in response to the Minneapolis bridge collapse, Stephen Wolfram suggests design principles that could lead to stronger bridges:

. . . it's been known for a while that the best networks don't have that kind of simple structure. In fact, they almost seem in some ways quite random.

Well, what about bridges? I strongly suspect that there are much better truss structures for bridges than the classic ones from the 1800s--but they won't look so simple.

I suspect one can do quite well by using simple rules to generate the structure. But as we know from NKS, just because the rules to generate something are simple, it doesn't mean the thing itself will look simple at all.

Two students at our NKS Summer School (Rafal Kicinger and Tom Speller) have investigated creating practical truss structures this way--and the results seem very promising.

So what should the bridges of the future look like? Probably a lot less regular than today. Because I suspect the most robust structures will end up being ones with quite a lot of apparent randomness.