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Nickie Huang

New York, NY, United States

Member since May 17, 2007


  • A Spring in Your Step

    Environment, Fashion Design

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    San Francisco design collective LIFT borrows the plant-life phenomenon phytoremediation, the process by which plants can decontaminate their surroundings, and regurgitates it in the form of the friendly Johnny Applesandal. Plant seeds are embedded in the soles, and normal usage allows the seeds to be released as the underside of the shoe wears thin, leaving a trail of greenery to counteract the debilitated urban environment.

    Although the Johnny Applesandal may bear too close a resemblance to its eco-darling ancestor, the Birkenstock (hewn almost entirely from cork, a highly regenerative natural material), surely this concept can provide a launchpad for future footwear, as well as a socially-conscious justification for any shoe fetish.

  • Material Watch: Corrugated Cardboard

    Environment, Environmental Design

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    Corrugated cardboard, the Plain Jane of industrial packaging materials, is elevated to high art through the work of Slovenian sculptor Tobias Putrih and the New York-based architecture firm Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis. Durable, recyclable, and cheap, this underloved material is celebrated for its structural possibilities in Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis’ Ini Ani coffee shop, as the lowly “java jacket” is transformed into a sturdy and attractive wall treatment. Putrih, however, explores the surprisingly ephemeral and light-transmitting qualities of the material in tall, organic sculptures composed of stacked laser-cut cardboard sheets currently on view at the Max Protetch Gallery in New York City.

  • In the spirit of teaching a person to fish as a means of self-sufficiency, http://www.kiva.org enables anyone with a PayPal account to lend funding to aspiring entrepreneurs in developing nations. With a minimum of a $25 contribution, individual lenders can cruise the website for potential candidates and learn about their location, proposed business agenda, and repayment time frame. With Kiva.org, helping out is no longer an act of faceless charity; because the means of support is a loan as opposed to a donation, finances of both the lenders and the borrowers are bound together in a culture of mutual accountability.

    article on Kiva.org in GOOD Magazine: http://www.goodmagazine.com/section/Portraits/DIYVentureCapitalists

  • Fashion + Function

    Arts & Culture, Fashion Design

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    New York fashion designer Yeohlee Teng approaches the human body as an architect might approach a new site: meticulously, with a mathematical precision and an emphasis on economy and material, this 2004 National Design Award winner treats all built work as an inseparable complement to the body landscape.

    Teng pioneered an early collaboration with Nano-Tex http://www.nano-tex.com/index.html, a high-tech textile manufacturer, and the resulting innovations have given rise to linen that doesn’t wrinkle and silk that can be doused in water, illustrating Teng’s philosophy that everyday usability over preciousness should be a basic tenet of good design.

    Teng often draws on architectural forms and mathematical structures in her work, and under her direction, a mobius strip can become a cocoon-like shawl, an evening gown can appropriate the construction of a suspension bridge, and one rectangular piece of fabric can be cut and reconfigured to construct an entire garment, such that there are no scraps or waste.

  • guerilla peacefare

    Peace, Audio/Visual Design

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    London's resident delinquent may terrorize authorities with his graphic renderings of cops making out and Mona Lisa with an uzi, but Banksy's work often suggests a more constructive image than the persistently anti-establishment artist would like to admit. If all street art is symptomatic of the absence of a forum for public dissent, Banksy's series of paintings on the West Bank Barrier transports this sentiment to a place where this issue is most pronounced. Trompe l'oeil images of an idyllic Eden penetrate the controversial wall between Israel and Palestine, perhaps the only way to break down the barrier without physical demolition.

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design