Barstool 01 – the design process
The creation process behind this object combines three essentially different processes into one fluent sequence: digital sculpting, 3D printing and bronze casting. Furthermore it is the chronological and cultural distance of the digital techniques and the ancient casting techniques. It is the combination of the contrasts that create this functional sculpture.
The inverted tension method
This method of construction is based on the work of Antoni Gaudí in architectural scale. His use of catenary arches and vaults can be seen in many applications in his buildings ranging from the entrance to Palau Güell to the vaulted attic at the Pedrera. The catenary curve is achieved by suspending flexible materials between points and letting gravity and the properties of the material itself determine the shape of the curve. It has allowed Gaudí to generate curvaceous geometry that can hold enormous weight and be very stable. His inverted string & weight models were a major inspiration for this design.
One of many 3D simulations of the catenary curve principle that form the basis for the design of Barstool 01.
Inverting the gravity-generated curvature reveals perfectly balanced arches. Barstool 01 is composed of a layered series of such forms.
This is the simplest expression of that is going on within the logic of this design. In the later stages the catenary principle is used on straight lines of various lenghts connected by joints instead of working with fully flexible strings.
Organic skin sculpting
The previous phase has generated the angles and proportions for this design. The second ingredient is the addition of a digitally sculpted skin that covers the logical Gaudí-inspired skeleton. I always had the vision to keep it organic and somehow connected to the essence of art nouveau and its love for natural forms. The digital skeleton gets covered with a regular mesh that is then sculpted symmetrically creating the final organic design. Another set of simulations and tests lead to the decision about the hollow inside space in an attempt to make the object more efficient and reasonably mobile as it gets cast into bronze.
Materializing the forms
The beauty of a fully digital workflow is that you can experience the models in print at various scales at any time in the process. Every confirmation that employs more senses than the screen is always welcome. Each model’s purpose was to confirm a certain aspect of the design.
The curves purposely evoke muscles, joints and skin texture including goosebumps.
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