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Technologielaan 15, 3001 Leuven, Belgium • T +32 16 39 66 11 • F +32 16 39 66 00 • •

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“Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers� Leonardo Pisano Fibonacci, Pisa 1170 - 1270

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collection launch AT moss (NY) 16/5/2009

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.MGX by Materialise recently celebrated its fifth birthday and at that time, recognised a transition in its international market: the growing recognition of digital eminence and creation; the dissolution of interdisciplinary borders; the formation of a cross-market between art and design; and the development of an economic awareness that is engaged with social and environmental change. This transition reflects both micro and macro elements. Elements which envelop this year’s collection theme: “e-volution”.

Social Digital Evolution In this age, we can no longer ignore our digital entanglement and our everyday dependence on technology. The simplest aspects of life, from commuting, working and purchasing food, to communicating with friends and travelling, will all become hindered with the slightest electrical breakdown. As the human population continues to grow, our lives will grow to depend even further on computer communication systems, their availability and the new digital elite. It was not so long ago that computers entered our society.

However, now that

they have, their influence has reached a level of totality; along with them, we have evolved in our everyday behaviour, both integrating them into the most mundane of tasks while continuing to push the boundaries of what is digitally feasible. .MGX was born out of this technological environment. And as we operate daily and strive forward in the fields of design and art – two aesthetically focused areas - we are forced to question the evolution of beauty in this new age.

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Aesthetics and Darwin Aesthetics, as defined by Immanuel Kant (1790), is a sensory, emotional and intellectual judgment of beauty. Viewer interpretations of beauty possess two concepts: aesthetics and taste. Aesthetics is the philosophical notion of beauty, whereas taste is a result of education, social culture, and an awareness of elite class values. According to Kant, beauty is objective and universal, and thus, certain things are beautiful to everyone. Beauty, we have been told, is “in the eye of the beholder”. This is an aphorism which suggests that everyone or every product, no matter what they look like, has the potential to be seen as beautiful. Unfortunately, scientific research confirms Kant’s theory, and shows the opposite to be true. Most people have a very clear idea about what is and what is not beautiful; the human brain, (of both men and women), can evaluate beauty in fewer than 150 milliseconds, and to an extent of universal agreement. Research findings suggest that we are all born with, and carry an innate “beauty sense”.

In search of the rule of aesthetic success, and the symmetry of beauty, Sir Francis Galton (cousin and collaborator of Charles Darwin), found that the single face which emerges from the combined images of several faces is almost always aesthetically pleasing. Why should a combination of many faces create beauty rather than just chaotic ugliness? (“Hallucinating Beauty “, Dr. Frank Tallis).

In the context of evolutionary theory, facial symmetry is the best and most reliable indicator of health. Thus, our ‘beauty sense’ is really a genetic radar. William Shenstone wrote in his book “The Works, Verse and Prose”: ”A perfectly healthful form , is a perfectly beautiful form, health is beauty, and the most perfect health is the most perfect beauty”.

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Masterminding Beauty Intuitively, we would expect that beauty in a statistic deviation, would be found on the right extent, outside the center of a normal bell curve. The notion that top models are the best expression of the average and most balanced symmetry could seem too mundane. However, Galton’s experiment supports the idea that statistic deviation parameters applied to beauty, act with a regression towards the mean. This radical finding substantiates the possibility that beauty can be formulated, and defined in a mathematical order, with the mean perhaps illustrating the original intent of the genetic information, and acting as the closest correct expression of the balanced human code?

Beauty has always been viewed as something mysterious and intangible; a semi-divine property not amenable to scientific investigation. Yet the mathematical tools that determine beauty are gradually being understood. We may eventually be able to capture the essence of beauty in an algorithm.

The new .MGX by Materialise collection refers to these topics. At .MGX, with 3D additive layered fabrication on an all digital platform, we are able


to create something out of nothing. We operate in an all digital driven industry, by transforming data files (or as we like to call them “product DNA’s”) into material tangible goods - to the extent that we can shape the mathematical structures that computers and creative minds can compose. Our 3D digital printing techniques allow for unlimited possibilities. With the advantages that can be attained today by computational tools, we encapsulate a certain ambition when we try to reveal the cognitive capacity of aesthetics. All that we compose in 3D software is based on algorithmic values. Form follows function (and in our case, this dictum refers to the mathematical function). Knowing today’s psychology, Fibonacci’s research, and that of many others who followed him, our aim is to compose the formula that would hold the essence of our time and beauty to its max.

When digital mathematics and 3D graphics are able to match and resonate with our human organic rhythm and innate aesthetic proportions, magic appears.

Naomi Kaempfer Creative Director and Head of the .MGX by Materialise division March, 2009

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With their metalized nickel coated surfaces, these three vases appear as tornadoes and whirlpools in constant motion. Produced using stereolithography and selective laser sintering, they possess the ability to create and reflect the atmospherics of a place, both absorbing and transmitting light.


SL + Metal Coating


Epoxy + Nickel


Black + Silver

Dimensions: Fugu: 40 x 50 x 27,5cm

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Roi: 16 x 16 x 55,5 cm

Ubu: 32,5 x 44 x 14,5 cm

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designed by Hani Rashid

Hani Rashid co-founded the award-winning, New York-based practice Asymptote Architecture with Lise Anne Couture in 1989. Asymptote has consistently been at the forefront of technological innovation in the field of architecture and design and garnered praise for visionary building designs, master plans, digital environments and art installations, as well as exhibition and product design.

In 2000, Hani co-represented the United States at the 7th Venice Architecture Biennale, and in 2004 he was awarded the Chair to the Cátedra Luis Barragán in Monterrey, Mexico. In that same year, Hani and Lise Anne were chosen as the design architects for the 9th Venice Architecture Biennale and awarded the prestigious Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in recognition of exceptional contributions to the progress and merging of art and architecture.

Asymptote’s work has been widely published and is included in various private and public collections including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Frac Centre in Orleans, France.



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The supporting bone-like structure of the Wye.MGX coffee table represents the negative space of the gyroid. Its name stems from the description used by mathematicians of its Y-shaped junctions. Strong,









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designed by batsheba grossman

Bathsheba Grossman was born in 1966 in the USA. She received a degree in mathematics from Yale (1988), and then changed course to study art at the University of Pennsylvania (1993). She studied sculptural principles and metalworking with Erwin Hauer and Robert Engman, two mathematical sculptors who were both trained by Josef Albers. After several years’ of making bronze sculptures by traditional methods, Bathsheba switched in 1998 to CAD/CAM and began designing sculptures digitally for production by 3D printing. Since then she has been using many different technologies, including: lost-wax casting, electroforming, stereolithography, ZCorp printing, and most recently, Prometal direct steel printing.

Bathsheba is also the founder of Protoshape, a 3D printing service bureau, and a designer of artwork for subsurface laser etching in glass. In that medium she has created a line of scientific images based on astronomy, molecular biology and mathematics, and a service for imaging protein structures that is used by most major pharmaceutical companies and many research centers.



SL + Metal Coating + Glass


Epoxy + PU + Nickel


Silver (brushed nickel)

Dimensions: Bone Structure: 45 x 45 x 45 cm

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Based on an earlier prototype called the “Fractal-T�, the Fractal. MGX is a fully functional coffee table which derived from studies into the fractal growth patterns of trees. Reinforcing the growing bond between nature and mathematical formulas, the table is comprised of treelike stems which grow into smaller branches until they get very dense towards the top.

Manufactured as a

single piece using stereolithography and epoxy resin, the Fractal. MGX has helped to expand the boundaries of rapid manufacturing.

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designed by Platform Studio — wertel, oberfell, bär

Gernot Oberfell and Jan Wertel both studied Industrial Design in Stuttgart at the State Academy of Arts, a school which is based on the Ulmer Schule and Bauhaus models. After graduating, they worked for several years in Ross Lovegrove’s Studio X, designing for international clients including: Artemide, Yamagiwa, Louis Poulsen, Moroso, Serralunga, Sony, VitrA/Turkey, Issey Miyake, and Tag Heuer. In 2007, they founded their own studio – Platform – producing work ranging from furniture, lighting and industrial products, to experimental research pieces.

Gernot and Jan share a strong interest in new technologies and processes and very early in their careers, discovered the possibilities of computer aided design and the idea that software is not just an everyday tool, but through experimentation, is also a source of inspiration and a vehicle for discovering new and exciting form languages.






Epoxy + PU


Black, Havana Brown


98 x 58 x 42 cm

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designed by Luc Merx

Interested in the borders between architecture, design and art, architect Luc Merx founded his practice, Gagat International, in Rotterdam in 1999. In 2003, a grant from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB) provided him with the opportunity to study the parallels between late baroque architecture in Southern Germany and the influence of computers on modern architecture. “Rococo relevance�.

This resulted in the design and research project

In 2007, he designed his first piece for .MGX, entitled

Damned.MGX, based on this theme.

Luc has taught at several schools, including the Universities of Technology in both Eindhoven and Darmstadt, and is currently a professor at the University of Technology in Kaiserslautern as well as head of the Maastricht Building Academy.



Attached to a wall like a second skin, Stucco.MGX contains a number of functional elements such as lighting, pictures, mirrors or shelves and melds them into a holistic space.

Each component part of this wall

system works individually or as part of a larger group, and transforms the white emptiness of surrounding walls into a maximised density of form, colour and material.

Stucco.MGX is dominated by different modes of figuration; together with the narrative of the pictures, there is also the associative language of the ornaments. And while this layered and perforated relief resembles



certain shapes, and does not imitate them precisely, they are integral



parts of the new skin. The changeover between virtuality and reality is


Amber, Terra cotta, Red, Bordeaux,


Havana Brown, Black

Models Available: Wall Lamp

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Lamp: Energy saving bulb E27 - 8W


48,5 x 30 x 17 cm

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The Julia.MGX is a light object which took its inspiration from organic forms. Catching the viewer’s eye with glimpses of animal and fantasy shapes, the Julia.MGX looks different from every angle, and shows what surprising, imaginative and original forms can be brought about when art and technology are merged.

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Peter Jansen was born in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, in 1956.

The son of

an inventor, he developed a unique way of looking at the world. After studying mathematics, physics and philosophy and working in education, he returned to his original interest in art, and taught himself to work with metal and wood. Beginning in 1992, he began making sculptures in bronze and then in 2005 discovered computer design which sent his creativity in an entirely new direction.

Peter is among a select group of artists in the Netherlands who uses highly specialized software as a medium to create virtual objects and then transposes them, via rapid prototyping, to solid, three-dimensional sculptures.


mathematical point clouds of dots, Peter creates new virtual worlds in which he explores the interrelation of movement and space – a new approach to a subject which he has already examined. The shapes that result from this new approach are sculptures that fit well in urban public spaces, office buildings and other interior areas, as well as in the open air.





Epoxy + PA


Black & White

Models available:

Chandelier lamp: Energy saving bulb E27


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108 x 40 x 68 cm

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The Tulip.MGX takes its shape from intriguing organic forms – forms that are so far unknown and yet seem so familiar.

Rather than centering on a translation from






designed by Peter Jansen

object is a translation of the strange


SL or SL

attractors and mathematical formulas


Epoxy or PA

used in chaos theory.


Amber, Terra cotta, Red, Bordeaux,

Havana Brown, Black, White

Models Available: Table model A: 40 cm (shade size 11,5 x 11,5 x 13 cm)

Table model B: 47 cm (shade 11,5 x 11,5 x 13 cm)

Table model C: 57 cm (shade 11,5 x 11,5 x 13 cm)

Lamp: halogen G9, 40W - dimmable

Patterns Available: Woven / Perforated

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The Russula.MGX light object takes its name and shape from a mushroom – one of nature’s most fascinating creations; fast growing and delicate, with both architectural and structural qualities, it reveals the most beautiful intricacies when sliced. Bringing this form to the contemporary world through 3D design allowed for the creation of a shade with a complex structure inside and great simplicity outside. With light that is both smooth and evenly distributed, and a slender supporting structure, the Russula.MGX seems to float and hover in space.

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designed by Arik Levy

Arik Levy was born in Tel-Aviv and in 1991 graduated with distinction in Industrial Design from Art Center Europe in Switzerland. Soon after, he took part in a prospective design project and participated in design exhibitions in Japan. Upon returning to Europe, he introduced his innovative ideas, concepts, and installations. Arik is currently the Creative Director and Partner of LDesign in Paris, and has participated in many exhibitions and manifestations in museums, alternative spaces, galleries and fairs showing his concepts, design pieces and art work. Arik works both as a scientist and a poet. His well-established repertoire of innovation,



simplicity and experimentation permit him to create novelties and translate concepts



into experience both in the art and design worlds. He is best known for his many


Havana Brown

awards, outstanding design museum pieces, and his professional designs for clients

Models Available: Table lamp: 36cm

including: Vitra, Visplay, Ligne Roset, Desalto, ic-berlin, Balleri Italia, Gaia&Gino,

(shade size 25 x 25 x 12 cm)

Cinna, Dietiker, Magis, Seralunga, David design, Ansorg, Belux, La Fayette, LorĂŠal,

Lamp: halogen G4, 20W - dimmable

and Lampert.


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designed by batsheba grossman Technique:

Objet + Gold Plating


Acrylate + 24 Carat Gold



Models available: Necklace Dimensions:

4 x 3,2 cm

Splitting three times before rejoining itself, the Noom.MGX jewelry piece echoes a mathematical object called a wild sphere, and has duality as its theme. Where each of the tendrils meets, there is a twist:

the halves reverse their symmetry, so that although one is

notched and the other polished, they join together smoothly.

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The Shaman.MGX jewelry object was inspired by multiple designed by Arik Levy

worlds and spaces. It is one skin – an inside and outside – and


SL + Metal Coating

was born in liquid like a baby in a womb. The Shaman.MGX


Epoxy + Nickel

is a vessel where one can place small physical, emotional and


Shiny Silver (Necklace: Silver)

spiritual mementoes. It can be carried, like a micro-universe,

Models Available: Type A: 2,5 x 2,5 x 4,8 cm

Type B: 3 x 1,5 x 5,2 cm

Type C: 2,7 x 1,8 x 3,7 cm

Type D: 2,7 x 1,4 x 3,7 cm

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around the neck.

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Based on an earlier light object of the same name, the Gyroid.MGX is known for its helix horizons, which can be seen when looking straight into one of its holes. In nature, the gyroid is found when two immiscible fluids are forced to occupy the same space. These fluids interpenetrate but do not dissolve together. The same is true for the Gyroid.MGX which divides the 3D space it occupies into two regions. These regions are identical, interlocking, and yet remain completely distinct from each other.

designed by Bathsheba Grossman Technique:






Models Available: Table lamp — lamp: halogen max 20W - dimmable Dimensions:

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14 x 14 x 14,7 cm

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designed by Bathsheba Grossman & Jiri Evenhuis Jiri Evenhuis was born in 1973 in Amsterdam and



graduated from the Amsterdam Gerrit Rietveld Academy



in 2000 as an industrial designer. In the late 90’s, he



invented a patent pending 3D printable fabric, which

Models Available: Floor lamp: 147 cm

has been further developed at Freedom of Creation with

(shade = 20 x 20 x 26,4cm)

Janne Kyttanen as well as at Electro Optical Systems in

Lamp: halogen max 20W - dimmable

Germany and at Loughsborough University in the United Kingdom.

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collaboration with RENAULT


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collaboration with Kol/Mac The design of this chair takes its cues from Asian root furniture where “found” natural tree roots are skillfully adapted into furniture — each one unique, beautiful and functional.

Thus the root chair project re­presents a large family of related chair forms rather than a single design. Each chair is digitally “grown” with variable parameters that adapt to each customer’s desires and conditions.

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Key Staff Members on Project:

Design Principal: Sulan Kolatan William Mac Donald

Designers: Robert Cervellione Benjamin Martinson Francis Bitonti

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“Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers� Leonardo Pisano Fibonacci, Pisa 1170 - 1270

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collection launch AT moss (NY) 16/5/2009

23/03/09 09:15

Technologielaan 15, 3001 Leuven, Belgium • T +32 16 39 66 11 • F +32 16 39 66 00 • •

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.MGX E-volution  

"Beauty has always been viewed as something mysterious and intangible; a semi-divine property not amenable to scientific investigation. Yet...