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Lord of the mesh rings: Kaynemaile slays competition for global architecture prize

Need to orc-proof your building? A new type of chainmail that's just won a major international award can help.

Kayne Horsham is the inventor of Kaynemaile, a revolutionary polycarbonate architectural mesh for building exteriors and interiors that has won the Best Architectural Product at the NYCxDesign Awards at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

In 2007 Horsham patented a technology that creates interlocked seamless mesh rings without any joins or gaps. He began experimenting with the mesh while working as an artistic director of Creatures, Armor and Weapons at Weta Workshop – working closely with Sir Peter Jackson for four years on the costumes for The Lord of the Rings.

Part of Kaynemaile’s secret is that it’s made from the same material that’s used to manufacture F16 fighter jet cockpits, helmets for astronauts, and airplane windows. Stronger and lighter than glass, it also reacts well when bright lights are shined against it.

The Kaynemaile mesh is based on a traditional European chainmail assembly, but is produced via the world’s first liquid state assembling process, able to form a 3D impact-absorbing structure made up of solid rings with no joins or seams. Oh, and it’s also 100 percent recyclable – pretty handy if someone wearing it is somehow slain by a horde of angry orcs.

But Kaynemaile has far more uses than something to wear when going off to do battle with the forces of darkness. It can also be used for an array of structures, including large-scale building and carpark wraps, shading for poor weather like rain, airport security screens, hotel ceilings, university walkways, office partitions, lighting fixtures, and kinetic art installations. In fact, Kaynemaile has been installed worldwide by building owners, developers, transit authorities, corporate headquarters, and shopping centres.

Kaynemaile is currently exhibiting in the centre of New York’s Times Square with a 4.25 metre high, 40 square metre walk-though “touch and see” installation called #WaveNewYork. The one million interlocking rings forming the installation were created using Kaynemaile’s liquid state manufacturing process sat its Petone, Wellington design studio and factory.

“We’re honoured to be in the heart of New York bringing the freedom and joy embodied in our design to over a million New Yorkers and visitors from throughout America and the world in Times Square,” says Horsham. “New York and New Zealand are global centres of innovation and leaders in design. The NYCxDesign Award for Best Architectural Product perfectly supports our US market entry.”

#WaveNewYork was designed by Horsham and American artist Ned Kahn. “#WaveNewYork by Kaynemaile is a highly visible and vibrant focus of the Times Square Design Pavilion,” says Ilene Shaw, director and curator of NYCxDesign. “The material is beautiful, the installation design is playful and interactive, and the concept has pure innovation at its core. It’s an honor to have Kaynemaile at Design Pavilion 2017.”