Thursday, September 23, 2010

Canadian Urban Sprawls Under a Cup

Inspired by one of our past project - lost waxing: 'Map of Winnipeg' - made by Heather. We decided to take it one step further and design some laser cut coasters of Canadian city urban sprawl. The 3 cities (for now) we picked to prototype were the three Canadian cities that meant the most to us; Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Toronto (where all 3 NDC members currently live). The highways were represented in the thicker lines, major roads are the thin lines, and the rivers and lakes are etched out in Grey.

For our prototype, we used the fast and easy Ponoko as our manufacturer. The material we choose was a 5.0mm double core Maple veneer (Maple eh?). You can see from the pictures below how precise laser cutting can be, there are sections where it is as thin as a hairline. We learned that when the lines were too close together, it actually burns the back side of the wood, and makes the wood 'smells like burning'.

freshly laser cut pieces before taking it apart

Back side of the coasters, burnt.

The devil is in the detail (not literally...)

Urban Sprawl of Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg

Ah! It's too pretty to be a coaster

For the next batch, we'll definitely play with the line weight. We really enjoy the look of close hairline neighborhoods, so we might put more details in neighborhoods we like, and less on others. We had the idea of playing with the elevation as well! This is definitely the beginning of a series of other cities, any suggestions?

- Jess