Kayne Hor­sham

THE FOR­MER COS­TUME DE­SIGNER WHO PATENTED A CHAINMAIL FOR DRESS­ING UP BUILD­INGS

Azure - - SPOTLIGHT - WORDS _Ja­clyn Ter­signi

Kayne Hor­sham’s ob­ses­sion with chain mail goes back more than two decades, to when he was work­ing as an art di­rec­tor for the Lord of the Rings film tril­ogy and tasked with cre­at­ing ar­mour that didn’t ren­der the ac­tors im­mo­bile un­der its weight. Hor­sham’s so­lu­tion was to use hand-as­sem­bled, sil­ver-coated plas­tic rings – 80,000 of them per shirt. Dubbed “Kayne’s mail” by ac­tor Viggo Mortensen, each shirt took six weeks to pro­duce. Af­ter film­ing, Hor­sham car­ried on re­fin­ing and im­prov­ing the ma­te­rial, and, in the course of fig­ur­ing out ap­pli­ca­tion pos­si­bil­i­ties be­yond Mid­dle-earth cos­tumes, in­vented a liq­uid-state pro­duc­tion process. He came up with Space­maile, a chain-mail­like poly­car­bon­ate mesh cur­tain for in­te­ri­ors. It’s made us­ing in­jec­tion mould­ing to pro­duce solid, in­ter­link­ing rings with no joints or seams. Shown at Salone del Mo­bile in 2008, it was met with en­thu­si­asm by in­dus­try ex­perts – a re­sponse that helped crys­tal­lize the po­ten­tial of Hor­sham’s ma­te­rial for ar­chi­tec­tural ap­pli­ca­tion. Some of that po­ten­tial was dis­cov­ered by hap­pen­stance. Dur­ing an in­te­rior in­stal­la­tion of Space­maile on win­dows, Hor­sham no­ticed a con­sid­er­able tem­per­a­ture drop in the room and re­al­ized that his ma­te­rial had sig­nif­i­cant prom­ise as an ar­chi­tec­tural fa­cade. The com­pany next launched Kayne­maile Ar­mour, a seam­less mesh ex­te­rior screen. This is where the ma­te­rial re­ally gets to flex its tech­ni­cal muscle. As a sec­ond skin, the non-ox­i­diz­ing poly­car­bon­ate mesh re­mains sta­ble in tem­per­a­tures rang­ing from -40°C to 120°C and com­bats so­lar gain, re­duc­ing heat on build­ing en­velopes by up to 60 per cent. One square me­tre of the ma­te­rial weighs just three kilo­grams. Hor­sham and his team are now work­ing with the likes of Gensler, MGM Re­sorts and Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity. Yet Hor­sham is still find­ing new ways to use his dis­cov­ery, even be­yond ar­chi­tec­ture. In tri­als, the mesh is cur­rently prov­ing to be an ef­fec­tive tool for oil spill re­cov­ery. De­tails re­main con­fi­den­tial for now. kayne­maile.com

ABOVE AND RIGHT: The in­jec­tion-moulded poly­car­bon­ate mesh can be man­u­fac­tured in bold colours to el­e­vate the aes­thet­ics of ex­te­ri­ors and in­te­ri­ors alike.

BE­LOW: Kayne­maile Ar­mour was in­stalled to help pro­vide shade and bring vis­ual in­ter­est to a pedes­trian bridge at the Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land.

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