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Material Efficiency in Furniture

Sometimes, a project comes along that blurs the distinction between image and reality. This is always a treat for culturally minded designers, as it gets everybody thinking. Here are two great cases in point. This is real life furniture that looks like a sketch.

First up, the Nodo series of brightly coloured wiry furniture. It’s a creation by Mexican designers Pentágono. Their pieces, from lamps to lounge tables, are made from fibre glass, which is hand woven for strength. The material is used sparingly: there’s just enough to create a stolid object that can stay standing.

Bright colours are offset with black for a high-contrast, contemporary look. The pieces come in yellow, red and black. There’s also a ‘dark’ variant, which uses glow-in-the-dark pigment to light up under a UV lamp.

A similar design stems from a very different idea, for Korean designer Jin-il Park. Starting with scratchy sketches, the designer turned these 2D images into 3D reality. The challenge in shaping the drawings into chairs, tables and so on is achieved using wire mesh. This is hammered into shape and welded together in multiple strands for strength. The completed piece is coated with protective agent to make sure it’s long-lasting.

In both cases, a powerful design idea is turned into a physical object through the simplest possible means. While this process is not as simple as it seems: thorough investigation of material led to the designers deciding how to shape this furniture.

Information and images via the designers: Pentagono Studio and Jin-il Park.