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Aluminum

Dynamic details

By Lisa Rummler

June 2010- "Pushing aesthetic boundaries." "Transforming architectural and interior spaces." "Achieving extraordinary visual and dimensional effects in a wide range of mediums."

These are just some of phrases Material ConneXion, New York, has used to describe Metal Architectural Surfaces from art, design and engineering firm Quin Media Arts & Sciences Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia.

The lightweight sheet metal, which is die-cut and CNC-machined, is one of 11 runners-up for the Medium Award for Material of the Year 2009.

"[It] is recognized for its ability to create extraordinary, large-scale textural and 3-D visual effects on exterior rain-screen cladding that can change based on lighting conditions and the viewer's perception," according to a press release from Material ConneXion. "The innovation exhibits a remarkable pairing of form and function by eliminating the need for paint or printed graphics."

In Bloomberg Businessweek, Andrew H. Dent, vice president of library and materials research at Material ConneXion, said Metal Architectural Surfaces uses small, angled discs on its surface, in combination with light, to display surface graphics.

"Sheet metal (aluminum, steel, copper, titanium) is processed using CNC machining to create the representation of textures, patterns and images with a unique 3-D appearance," he said. "The 'optical tiles,' or discs, control the way the light reflects off the surface, resulting in an image that behaves in a dynamic fashion, changing as the viewer moves and as lighting conditions vary.

"The disc size can be varied to create large- or small-format graphics, and the sheet is perforated in the CNC process to decrease weight and allow for airflow."

The material has multiple uses beyond exterior architectural cladding, which is one of its most common applications to date, Dent also said. These include interiors, product design, signage and packaging.

In an article for the website of Contract magazine, Dent said Metal Architectural Surfaces can be post-processed with spray painting.

"And there are no scale restrictions because the sheet metal can be processed in pieces and then assembled later to create a large-scale image or design," he said. "Graphic surfaces without the standard use of paints offer a more subtle and textural way of seeing a surface. This process, originally created for molded parts, now can be used for aluminum panels that can be used for interior and exterior surfaces, as well as lighting." FFJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources

  • Quin Media Arts & Sciences Inc.
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    phone: 877/255-9929
    fax: 604/255-9383
    www.qmaas.com

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