Lo Res Project

June 2010
Lo Res is short for low resolution, with resolution meaning the amount of information per area. Most commonly used to describe two-dimensional information like images or a computer screen. The description is then for instance in dots per inch (DPI). For the United Nude Lo Res project we are looking at three-dimensional (3D) resolutions. Each object can be described by a series of 3D points and when connecting these points describing the shape of an object, triangles appear. When there are many points (speaking of a high 3D resolution) the triangles are so small that they make the shape appear smooth. Lowering the 3D resolution (meaning less points and therefore bigger triangles), the object becomes more fragmented changing its character in the process, we call this Lo Res.

Lo Res began nearly two years ago when a new product designer Iddo Zimmerman joined United Nude’s design team. I saw his technical design qualities as well as his precise eye and we had just purchased a 3D laser scanner for the design studio and Iddo needed a project to start on. The scanner functions dictated the Lo Res design concept. The 3D scanner screamed at us “Look what I can do!” and almost as simple as an exercise from a software tutorial we started the process. The first object we scanned and used the design technique on was a shoe, and the results were very good and so we got more people involved and decided to test this design technique on more objects.

The Lo Res design method is a great way to celebrate and recycle existing design and can be used to create from scratch. The technique can be used as a tool for quickly generating a lot of options. Although many designers may feel less pride in a technique that is semi-automated, in the end it’s the design that counts.

We’ve used the Lo Res method to scan mostly generic objects. For each scanned object we created nine different resolutions, from smooth to very abstract. The chosen version is then used as a base for the Lo Res design.

Some of the objects we’ve re-designed include: a Lamborghini Countach, a Verner Pantone chair and a series of generic vodka glasses with a matching Absolut vodka bottle case.

The Lo Res design method is now being developed along with a leading 3D software company to create an application that will allow other designers to create their own Lo Res semi-automated design. The Lo Res Project is truly a semi-automatic design revolution....

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