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Eyal Burstein Presents Bloom

A company born on the internet, developed following a magic encounter between “the handmade” and the mathematics of design.

by Porzia Bergamasco

Bloom Blanket is a design project for the home wanting to explore the relationship between memory, origami art, and mathematics. For now there is only the blanket (Bloom Blanket, name of the project) and a picnic towel. When you explain it like that, sounds easy. The story is a bit more complex and almost miraculous. Bianca Cheng Costanzo, a computer engineer and MIT graduate who worked at Apple, and Eyal Burstein, conceptual product designer, met by a chance encounter and crowdfounded on Kickstarter - $ 204.335, 1.454 percent more than targeted, in just 30 days – their project and first product: the handmade tridimensional cashmere and Italian wool plaid. The first of a series of 40 was produced in Prato, near Florence, in a fabric that maintains the architectural structure of interlocking tetrahedrons. To meet the big request (947 people sustained the project) they had to manufacture and sew in Zary, Poland, at a family owned factory.


Origami effect - Courtesy of Bloom 2015
Bloom Blanket - Courtesy of Bloom 2015

Step back. Memory is at the heart of the project, also something Bianca lost in a biking accident that put her into a coma followed by a very long physical therapy. She tells her entire story on the website where we learn she was born to a Chinese immigrant family in Sao Paolo. As a young girl she moved to Rome to live with her dad and later to California, where she spent most of her life as a young adult. “Regaining knowledge of things large and small provided a moment of profound exploration and re-discovery. Bianca relearned to walk. Re-learned complex programming paradigms. And soon she found herself recreating origami art as she used to make with her mother as a child. These folds gradually became more intricate, more mathematically inclined, and more inspired by the tessellations of Ron Resch – overlapping, connecting, twisting together, and repeating. From here, Bloom Blanket was born”. We asked her associate, Eyal Burstein, to tell us the rest.

Bianca and Eyal in Qatar - Courtesy of Bloom 2015
Detail of Bloom Blanket - Courtesy of Bloom 2015

ARTEMEST: Where did you meet?

EYAL BURNSTEIN: Bianca and I first met in Doha Qatar, in 2010. It was on a trip sponsored by W Hotels as part of the Designers Of The Future Award given to me by Design Miami (the global forum and marketplace for design occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami and Basel every year). We kept in touch and randomly met again 4 years later in Berlin. Bianca mentioned her Kickstarter project and I instantly realized that this was the future of design. We then decided to open a company together.

A: What is your idea?

EB: The idea behind Bloom is to create inspiring, innovative products for everyday use. Bianca has designed both of our existing products and we are collaborating on a third object together. There are also new collaborations in the pipeline with other designers.

A: Where is your company based?

EB: Our company is very much spread out. We produce wherever is appropriate to and communicate with each other digitally. I live in Berlin and Bianca is a bit of a nomad, moving from place to place.

Bloom Blanket stitching - Courtesy of Bloom 2015
The architecture - Courtesy of Bloom 2015

A: Origami, Miura, complex folds, complex mathematical paradigms, 3D structures of Ron Resch and craft processes: is it possible to combine it all? And how?

EB: Bianca is a software engineer and we both enjoy being inspired by algorithms found in nature. Mathematics underpins these process and we use these as starting points. We are not recreating these ideas in our products but rather find ways of including their essence. It is more a window in to such ideas. Our third product is much more ambitious in this respect with moving parts but still using very simple materials.

A: Your products include the use of traditional processes, where are they made?

EB: Our process is a normal design process. Bianca starts with sketches and then she moves on to prototyping at home. I then take over and ask potential producers to make a sample for us and then produce. We use very simple materials, which generally means that more traditional processes are used. All of our blankets are hand-made.

White Bloom - Courtesy of Bloom 2015
Origami Inspiration - Courtesy of Bloom 2015

A: Your products include the use of traditional processes, where are they made?

EB: Our process is a normal design process. Bianca starts with sketches and then she moves on to prototyping at home. I then take over and ask potential producers to make a sample for us and then produce. We use very simple materials, which generally means that more traditional processes are used. All of our blankets are hand-made.

A: Why is craftsmanship so important in your products?

EB: Neither Bianca or I are particularly nostalgic when it comes to craft. We are very much a modern company and are happy to move between different materials and manufacturing. We have an appreciation of craft and enjoy searching for and working with experts in different fields.

​About the author Porzia Bergamasco is journalist and consultant. She curated the Milano Design Film Festival and Salone Satellite Award, she specializes in design and architecture.

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