2016 VMODERN Furniture Design Competition
Luis Alberto Menéndez Sánchez
Filament Chair is a contemporary design based on creating complex three-dimensional geometries from a two-dimensional designed pattern. As a general strategy, the design is made up of several components, so the chair is created by twelve components that essentially are the same. However, they have different size and complexity according to their location, these changes respond to aesthetics and ergonomics needs. Therefore, the design of the component was crucial to ensure that it can be easily joined to create a large-scale project.
Kirigami and Origami were applied during the development of the component. These methods in combination with digital simulations and computational design tools were used during the design process. In essence, these techniques transform a two-dimensional surface into a three-dimensional object through a series of folds. These folds create a 3D volume with surprising strength and kinetic properties. The component design started with a huge geometrical exploration that was done with physical and digital models. After several experiments, the result was a pattern with good structural features and interesting aesthetics characteristics.
The design strategy goes further than make simple folds on a surface. Specific patterns and cuts that were carefully designed on the surface of the component create several filaments that can be folded and manipulated in order to add complexity to the component. These filaments become the main part of the design because thanks to their versatility, they can be pulled and connected with other filaments to create a soft surface that a chair needs.
The component has a triangular design in 2d, and it forms a tetrahedron when it is folded. It was designed to increase the number of union points; instead of having three, it has six joints because the vertices of the component have a bifurcation. Besides, the filaments are the main points of connection because each filament can be connected with the filaments of the closest component.
The components are made up of three levels of structural hierarchy. The main structure works as a tripod, the secondary structure brings stability in the base, and the filament layer adds complexity and stability to the overall shape. The main structure is thicker than the others due to the fact that its purpose is to hold the vertical load. This is the principal connection point of the whole structure. The secondary structure is less thick than the main structure and is located on the edges. This layer closes the triangle on the base and makes the component more stable. The third layer is made of several pieces that create the filaments. It is located between the primary and the secondary structure. Its main purpose is to work as an ornament and is the most aesthetical part of the component; however, it is also the part that has the most connection points in order to stabilize the whole design. As a result, the component is highly complex and have multiple ways of connection.
Filament chair is created by joining twelve components together. According to their function, the components have different sizes and features. There are six components that form the base and six that form the backrest. This design shows how the combination of ancient arts and contemporary design tools bring a new aesthetic language and opens an interesting panorama for the contemporary design.