Keep seeing references to new(ish) wood products that use natural wood and an alternative process to pressure treating and produce a better performing material. This may be an option for outdoor structures or a water table experience where we’d like to clad a stainless or concrete basin with a more natural material or perhaps even build a table out of wood (was that Steve Langsdorf I just heard groaning?).
If the specs are true, this material is substantially better than pressure treated. Here’s two products that are getting a lot of press the last few years:
- Swelling and shrinkage reduced by 75% or more
- Lasting 50 years above ground, 25 years in ground/freshwater Class 1 durability, surpassing even teak
- Virtually rot proof
- 70 year minimum service life stated by TRADA
- swelling and shrinkage reduced by 40-60%
- outdoor life time warranty for 30 years
- no additional treatment needed beyond normal cleaning
- high resistance against fungi, rot and other wood destroying micro-organisms
Interesting light fixtures for creative / imaginative space -children’s gallery, maker, etc.
Came across this company recently. They rep themselves as an AV hardware company that specializes in elements for interpretative environments.
Saw their headphones in use at the Blues museum in St. Louis and was impressed with the beefy armored cable and heavy duty swivel point connection (see photos). They also sell interesting solutions like weather proof, solar powered interp audio stations for outdoor use (think zoos, natural trails). They are in England, but if the quality is high, might be worth dealing with an overseas supplier to obtain hardware elements that would require considerable R&D if we produced internally. And since their solar and hand crank options should be completely self-contain (i.e. self-powered) shouldn’t be issues with different electrical standards. Not the prettiest stuff, but I could see us finding ways to incorporate the hardware into our own structure / scenic envelops with good results. They also sell full service kiosk design & fab (content & hardware) through their Blackbox website.
Visitor Powered Outdoor Audio Stations (the hand crank is a novel approach)
Armor Cable Headphones
Came across some new seating suppliers for playrooms and children’s museum recently:
Freek – soft / durable urethane seating
This product uses urethane foam for production with the addition of a durable top-coat. The OTS options are interesting but more intriguing is they will create any custom shape or color.
Norvanivel – commercial grade fabric covered seating
These guys are in Australia but have distributors here in the US.
Ten Jam – plastic & soft foam seating
They offer soft foam seating and hard plastic version, including outdoor commercial grade furniture.
I thought this was an interesting illustration of how to make even the most mundane movement an interactive experience. Something as simple as opening a drawer becomes a fun and transformative action. I love little details like that when I’m visiting a museum or looking at a website where clicking on a random spot triggers something unexpected. I feel like it adds to the sense of wonder of an exhibit or space when you never really know what to expect!
We’re looking to use this company for some decorative elements on the CMOM Muslim Culture project. They can cut any pattern, up to 4′ x 8′ in size, in plywood or MDF. A .75″ thick 4′ x 8′ painted panel is about $1000. Smaller panels are far cheaper and they can do custom patterns based on our designs. The main benefit I see (other than cost) is the laser has no effective minimum radius like a CNC router bit would, so you can obtain very precise angles and cuts. Can imagine this production technique being a useful for all manner of backlit applications, screens, and decorative elements – Sean
Courtesy of Allen
Great pieces of inspiration right here in our own neck of the woods! Click picture for all!