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Neo-nomadic furniture constructed using only tension

With the project Tense, Swiss design studio Panter&Tourron created five types of neo-nomadic furniture that are easily transportable, tool-free and use tension as the sole construction system.

The main purpose of furniture is to make our spaces functional and fulfil our basic needs, but there is also a psychological need to identify ourselves with the spaces we live in.

Panter&Tourron’s collection was designed in response to the current tendency to relocate frequently as well as to offer a solution to the inaccessibility of valuable furniture. The flatpack furniture, made from various lightweight materials, can be assembled and disassembled with no additional tools, and uses tension as a sole construction system.

“Tension brings us back to some of humanity’s first construction systems: stretching animal skins on wooden or bone frames to create temporary shelters,” the designers say. “With the transition to a more permanent way of living, tensile construction was replaced by more durable designs and built in compression, being slowly relegated only to nomadic constructions such as tents and temporary structures.”

The collection consists of a lounge chair, a low table, a room divider, a wall lamp and a suspended lamp.

The chair consists of two flexible parts that are drawn together in tension in an all-round zip system. It is made of a flexible plywood sheet and bonded mesh spacer fabric, which is largely used in the automotive and medical industry as it offers absorption and comfort like foam, but the look and feel of scuba fabrics.

The low table is made of two triangular powder coated aluminium elements and a foot consisting of two sheets folded into a round shape. These elements are held together by a silicone strap.

The room divider comes in two sizes. They consist of a powder coated aluminium frame and 3D knitted fabric.

The wall light consists of a circle made of mirror-coated polymer band, which forms a ring around a powder coated aluminium strip and a LED strip aimed at the wall to diffuse the light.

The suspended lamp was inspired by an instant camping tent. It consists of two pieces of press folded Tyvek fabric that are kept in tension by carbon rods. The use of a plissé fabric adds complexity and materiality to the lamp even when it’s turned off.

In addition to easy to assemble and disassemble, the furniture is also designed to be easy to produce, avoiding heavy machinery or moulding. Flexible fabrication techniques have been used where possible, as they can be sourced locally and scaled globally by connecting digital artisans and small-scale manufactures.

Photos: Jagoda Wisniewska

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