Multifunctional construction kit
My interest in product design is closely related to my artistic practice and stems originally from a question on the status and methods of distribution of objects and artworks.
As an installation artist and sculptor, I have a particular interest in dematerialization and meditative objects that offer sensory experiences. I often create pieces that are as immaterial as possible, by using ephemeral, unstable or light materials such as liquids, smoke, polystyrene, lighting systems, and sound. I also make intricate drawings based on repetition and space occupation.
In my recent projects, I wanted to build gigantic structures that would bring a sense of density out of fragility, like blown-up, 3-D doodles.
I settled on drinking straws as a building material, because they are mostly filled with air.
In order to hold those straws together, I came up with JIX, a custom connector that I started marketing earlier this year. By creating a mass-produceable product, I was able to implement a particular hand-crafted artistic vision.
I also wanted to extend the project to other people, like the principle for an ever expanding sculpture project, and liked the idea that the connectors I used for my own creations could also be purchased easily and used by everyone else.
JIX soon became a very versatile building system and a great way to create spectacular art, interior design, set design projects, furniture, as well as a fun educational toy.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
JIX is a construction kit comprised of small modular elements that are specifically designed to allow standard drinking straws to be connected together, in order to create a wide variety of constructions. The JIX connectors come in flat grids which easily snap apart, intersect, and lock into place. They can be used as single elements or they can be snapped together to create 3-D star shapes, which allow for more complex structures. With JIX you can build everything from ambitious room-sized structures to intricate table-top sculptures, all using JIX connectors and drinking straws.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
JIX is a construction kit which consists of small modular elements (the JIX connectors) that are specifically designed to allow standard drinking straws to be connected together in order to create a wide variety of constructions. JIX come in flat grids which easily snap apart, intersect, and lock into place. They can be used as single elements or they can be snapped together to create 3-D star shapes, which allow for more complex structures. All you have to do is add straws and start building.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The JIX project started in 2009 and was completed in november 2012 in New York. It has been presented in several galleries, museums and trade shows, including NY NOW, accent on design, where it received the blogger’s choice award in January 2013, Wanted design, the children’s museum of the arts, both in New York City, Parker’s Box Gallery in Brooklyn, Centre Clark in Montreal, Canada.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Toy, Games and Hobby Products Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The early prototypes of the connectors were formally very complex. We had to simplify the process in a way that would make sense in terms of mass production. We came up with the idea of designing two flat shapes that could intersect to form a 3-D star shape. This design allowed for the connectors to be attached to one another, in the shape of a grid, which reduced the production costs drastically and almost eliminated the need for packaging. JIX is made of recyclable post industrial plastic.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
One JIX package is comprised of 5 grids, each with 25 elements (125 elements in total).
Dimensions of a JIX pack: 185 mm X 185 mm X 30 mm.
Dimensions of each JIX connector: 31 mm X 23 mm X 6 mm.
JIX, Patrick Martinez, Straw sculpture, design , Art, linx, construction kit, build with straws, drinking straws,
Excerpt. Please see attached PDF document for Details.
...In the early stage of development of JIX, my business partner and I strived to find the right connector shape and were specifically focusing on structures that would authorize space-filling tessellation, which present the advantage of allowing infinite, regular arrangements.
We built structures that were derived from regular polyhedra until we finally discovered that...
This is an excerpt. The original text is longer than 500 characters. Please see attached PDF document for Details.
...I also started experimenting with the connectors and the straws and soon discovered that by cutting, bending, or interlacing the straws, the formal possibilities were endless and that I could make highly organized geometric structures as well as free-form tangles.
The main problem with the early prototypes of the connectors was that they were formally very complex. It would have been very costly to produce them on an industrial level, since this would have required making several molds. We then came up with the idea of designing...
TEAM MEMBERS (3) :
Designer: Patrick Martinez, Technical support: Thomas Gerhardt and
Image #1: Photographer Thomas Gerhardt, JIX product image, 2013.
Image #2: Photographer Patrick Martinez, JIX hut, 2012.
Image #3: Photographer Patrick Martinez, JIX installation, LFNY Gala, 2013.
Images #4: Photographer Etienne Frossard, JIX installation, CMA, 2013.
Images #5: Photographer Etienne Frossard, JIX booth, NY NOW, Accent on design, 2013.