2016 VMODERN Furniture Design Competition
Functionally gradient materials have produced new possibilities in terms of design. A form can be read as continuous, while its material properties shift in nature throughout. In this example, the kytos chair creates a continuous hollow form that varies in material to fulfill structural needs. Utilizing additive manufacturing technology, this design pushes the boundaries of the machine to seamlessly transition from a standard PLA plastic filament to a flexible rubber substitute. This transition maintains the object’s continuity, while varying its function to support needs for both structure and comfort. As weight is applied to kytos the double curvature and open faces act as supports, allowing the chair to flex on its central axis while maintaining the rigid structure of its ends.
Additive manufacturing allows for decentralization of production. The future of additive manufacturing opens possibilities of users accessing this design simply by pressing the “print” button. This concept returns value to the intellectual property itself, rather than the physical object. In this future economic system, design is inherently valued and must be held at the forefront.
The open face form of kytos allows for stacking and grouping of this element to create social clusters. This opportunity for stacking comes from the nature of the parametric form generator, which transforms a panelized box system into subdivided surfaces with open faces maintaining the boundaries of the original box form. This three-dimensional spatial boundary allows for optimal compatibility with the additive technologies.
Computer generated patterns texture the continuous surface, bringing light and reflection onto the otherwise simple form. This light penetrates through into the hollow form, creating a cloud-like glowing effect. The texture adapts to the surface curvature, opening and closing with the increase in the derivative of curvature.