Blaine Brownell Selected as 2014 College of Design Innovation Lab Resident Fellow, University of Minnesota


Blaine Brownell Selects Materials for the Danish Design Center


Blaine Brownell Featured in Architalx Voices of Design Exhibition, Portland Museum of Art


“Emergent Green” Exhibition Opening @ University of Minnesota


Blaine Brownell and Students Interviewed by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson in Architectural Lighting

PET Wall

PET Wall, Transstudio

A “breathing” luminous curtain made of repurposed consumer beverage containers

Light is essential to the realization of architecture, yet in the process of design and construction it is commonly an afterthought. Not only is the source of light important for the quality of illumination within a space, but also the materials used to capture, filter, and redirect the light.

The PET Wall is a self-supporting, luminous curtain comprised by repurposed polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and integrated light-emitting diode (LED) nets. The lightweight structure makes use of a widely disposed post-consumer product due to its advantageous structural and light-filtering properties. Like head lamp or light fixture lenses, the particular thermoformed geometries of these transparent bottles convey and disperse illumination efficiently while obscuring glare. The result is a thickened surface comprised by modular, tactile light nodes with various possibilities for programmability and interaction. [...]

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Second Spaces


Installations composed of repurposed ubiquitous consumer objects achieve strength using weak materials.

Like the PET Wall, the PET Orb is another potential manifestation of the PET-based light curtain, in this case a segmented partial dome. Constructed over temporary formwork, the PET Orb showcases the inherent structural integrity of stacked PET bottles arrayed in a honeycomb pattern and held in place via EVA hot glue. Floor-mounted acrylic mirror panels convey the effect of a completed sphere, inside of which the inhabitant might appear to float. LED lights incorporated within the bottles cause the PET orb to glow from within, and customized controls allow the illumination to softly rise and fall in intensity, as if the orb were alive and breathing.


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