Episode 013 - Francis Bitonti

Francis Bitonti

Brian visits Francis Bitonti's studio to chat design. We discuss 3D printing, fashion, custom Nike shoes, McDonald's, gold Francis Bitonti 3D Print, Dita's Gown, and why Francis only wears black.

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Show Notes:

  1.  Francis Bitonti Studio (They have a manifesto! Why don’t more studios have manifestos?)

  2. For a mere $8,999.99 you can own a solid gold Francis

  3. Don’t call Francis Frank, call Frank Francis

  4. Francis is known for dressing in all black

  5. Is black a color?

  6. The color black results from the absence or complete absorption of light

  7. Francis wears so much black he actually makes a room darker

  8. Check out Francis’s sweet custom all-black NIKEiDs

    1. IMG_9770.JPGIMG_9771.JPGIMG_9772.JPG

  9. Francis’s studio is in the Northeast corner of Clinton Hill, just shy of the Brooklyn Navy Yard to the North and Bed-Stuy to the East

  10. The Korean Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, is a strip of land that has served as a buffer zone between North and South Korea since the Korean Armistice Agreement in 1953. It is considered to be the most heavily fortified border in the world

  11. The weekend brunch crowd is a disgusting group of humans that ruin everyone’s life every Sunday and are largely responsible for Julian Casablancas’s exodus from NYC

  12. How to make proper nouns ending with “s” possessive

  13. Just how gentrified is NYC getting?

  14. Billionaires don't actually live in NYC

  15. Brian and Francis are not the first people to think of putting NYC under glass

  16. Bensonhurst is a large, traditionally Italian but now multi-ethnic neighborhood in South Brooklyn. It’s known historically (and currently) for organized crime and TV/film appearances (Welcome Back Kotter took place in Bensonhurst, and Saturday Night Fever and The French Connection both have famous scenes along 86th Street) and is now one of the largest immigrant communities in the US with the second-most foreign born immigrants in an NYC neighborhood (the first is Washington Heights)

  17. There have long been broken promises of expanded NYC water taxi service to places like Bay Ridge and Coney Island

  18. The arrival of a Brooklyn Industries sounds the death knell for its host neighborhood (8)

  19. How many Shake Shacks are in Delta’s new T4 at JFK?


  21. Francis loves him some Big Mac

  22. McDonald’s ran a promotion in the early eighties where you got a free Big Mac for reciting this jingle

  23. The McDouble is “the most bountiful food in human history

  24. The difference between the McDonald’s cheeseburger, McDouble, and double cheeseburger, respectively:

    1. 1 beef object 1 cheese object

    2. 2 beef objects 1 cheese object

    3. 2 beef objects 2 cheese objects

  25. Francis worked for Acconci Studio for three years and worked on a number of projects, many of which remain unbuilt

  26. Vito Acconci once did this

  27. One of Francis’s earliest designs (FAD Studio era) was a $50,000 3D-printed bike rack for the NYC DOT

  28. David Byrne eventually won the DOT competition - some of his racks are still around including those at BAM

  29. Essentially the only large 3D printing companies still in existence after the mass buyouts are 3D Systems, Stratasys, and, arguably, ExOne

  30. Here are 7 bikes in a steel cage ball

  31. Slicing software sucks

  32. How to smooth your desktop FDM 3D prints

  33. Bondo is the greatest thing ever

  34. Brian CNC-machined Francis’s Schistose (R600) Mirror for City Tech’s inaugural Intersections Symposium. The design was based on a cellular automaton algorithm - R600 stands for “Rule 600”

  35. The Long Island accent is about to become extinct

  36. Francis’s dress for Dita von Teese in collaboration with Michael Schmidt Studios and Shapeways

  37. The dress boasted over 13,000 black Swarovski crystals

  38. The University of Michigan’s Taubman College now has a STOLL CNC knitting machine, first popularized in architectural education by CITA’s work with Cad Cam Knitting (2010) and continued at Smartgeometry 2011

  39. Throw away your old-timey garment measuring tapes

  40. Remember digital designers - shoes are not your feet. Clothing is not your skin.

  41. Unless of course it puts the lotion in the basket

  42. Francis’s Cloud Collection is coming soon in ceramic

  43. Mistakes were made

  44. Distributed manufacturing doesn’t require an economy of scale, allowing for affordable mass customization. Examples of distributed manufacturing aggregators include 3D HUBS and MACHINEMADE

  45. Distributed manufacturing companies can only be named in caps lock

  46. Variable material printing

  47. Current methods of 3D printing are limited from being truly multi-material due to deposit scale. Many researchers are looking to solve this problem using molecular 3D printing

  48. Gene Simmons agrees with Francis: Rock is dead

  49. Music is moving away from genres” says terrible company Spotify’s terrible CEO Daniel Ek about the terrible technology of streaming music

  50. Francis likes Jay Z’s TIDAL which has been doing super well since the podcast was recorded

  51. Please think twice before you push your Spotify to your Uber aka assaulting your driver with your highly subjective musical taste

  52. Facebook is well positioned to take over the AI industry

  53. Brian and Francis are starting a sub-podcast within Designalyze called “Talkin’ ‘Bout Tweets”


Lightning round:

  1. What book(s) are you reading right now?

  2. What music are you listening to right now?

    • Steady diet of hip hop

  3. What’s your favorite sci-fi film?

  4. What’s your favorite retro-game?

  5. Describe your productivity ritual.

    • Wake at 7

    • Tackle first round of email

    • Go to gym

    • Brooklyn Roasting Company (aka Notorious BRC)

    • Start work by 10

    • Design for 3 hours a day at most, deal with email the rest of the time

  6. What social media platforms do you use?

  7. What’s something that you think is a critical issue in technology that’s currently being overlooked?

    • Potential for AI in design

    • Artificial processing of 3d geometry

  8. What’s something that recently blew your mind?

    • Neri Oxman’s Silk Pavilion

    • Skylar Tibbits’s Self-Assembly Lab

    • Want to see more work with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency - it’s the only scarce data

    • Those fancy Pop Tart things they sell at Notorious BRC

  9. Student advice

    • Don't do this unless you're compelled to do this 

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Zach Downey

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