Design Wire January 2021

Los Angeles–based design studio ZIMARTY has created an architectural face mask that meets CDC guidelines called the ZMASK. The design was inspired by origami, and the designers studied paper folding techniques to find the right geometry. A 3D-folded structure rests around the mouth and allows more room to talk and breathe. The shape helps reduce irritation, and a protective lining prevents makeup smudges and stains. Because no two faces are alike, the ear loops and nose clip are adjustable. Zimarty employed a lightweight, biodegradable, washable paper material that folds easily and can be sterilized by hand washing with soap and hanging to dry.

Ground broke in early November on a new cancer center in Lewiston. The 52,000-square-foot facility, which is located in a county with one of the highest cancer rates in Maine, will have radiation oncology, medical oncology, and surgical oncology all under one roof. Other services provided will include therapy, diagnostics, financial and nurse navigators, and space for two new linear accelerators used in advanced radiation treatment. Current cancer service buildings are spread across the CENTRAL MAINE MEDICAL CENTER’s (CMMC) campus, and this will be the first time in 10 years that a new building is being added, replacing older buildings that no longer support advances in technology. The $38 million center will be constructed on High Street next to CMMC’s main entrance and is expected to be completed by 2022.

XIULIN RUAN, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, has created the world’s whitest white. The color has an acrylic base, so it acts like a regular paint, but it’s mixed with calcium carbonate pigment, which is found in shells, limestone, and chalk. After being ground down to a minute size, calcium carbonate creates a paint whiter than any white that has existed before. The paint can reflect 95.5 percent of light, keeping surfaces covered in it extremely cool. With proper application, Ruan believes this paint has the ability to curb the effects of global warming, even suggesting that bare land could be painted to help control global temperatures.

Maine College of Art graduate KELSEY HALEY has launched a line of textiles. Called KELS HALEY TEXTILES, the “spirited designs come alive with color, yet are forgiving enough to encourage pattern mixing,” a press release states. Haley draws her inspiration from her surroundings, experiences, and personal history, such as following in the footsteps of her creative grandmothers, who opened her eyes to the world of colorful textiles. Each design is hand-painted or sketched by Haley and printed in small batches on 100 percent Belgian linen.

A new multi-use development is coming to Westbrook. Combining apartments, a vertical greenhouse farm, and parking, the 300,000-square-foot facility proposed by TBD LLC will break ground in 2021. “The project establishes a compelling business model for food production, jobs, housing, and infrastructure in an urban core that our firm is expanding to other communities throughout New England,” says TDB president Greg Day. The $60 million project will have 50 middle-market rate apartments on two floors above the four-story garage, and a four-story, 70,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse, which is expected to generate one million pounds of fresh produce each year that will be sold to the local community. VERTICAL HARVEST will be operating the greenhouse and will target underserved populations and those experiencing food insecurity.

Did you know that, by blowing out birthday candles you can increase the amount of germs you’re spreading by 1,400 percent? TOP IT’s CAKE SHIELD came up with the perfect solution: a clear protective case that keeps the cake’s design front and center but protects it from germs at every angle. Invented by doctors, the shield comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and fits almost any candle. So, you can still make wishes, even in a pandemic.


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