What happens when a concept for an object sends two conflicting systems against each other and forces them to interact to create one result. That is what this bench is about – it is a surprisingly harmonious blend of two approaches to aesthetics, form and composition. Order and chaos.
The design process & production →
The brief for this custom one-off design intended for a private residence hallway was to do something monumental that is defined by the conflict of order and chaos in one object. While still being functional. While being possibly out of metal. I designed the bench to be a functional sculpture that features a regular perforation pattern on its surface but whose overall form is sculpted by hand using traditional blacksmith techniques.
The order of the repeating perforated pattern blended together with the chaos of the sculpted overall form.
A freeform star
This perforation pattern was my most enjoyable discovery during the design process. It is not an aesthetic choice, it is a constructional choice. Once the ratio of openings and connections is right this pattern allows a surface to take on any shape without crumpling. Technically you can hammer this perforated steel sheet onto a sphere with ease. It has so much inner compression and expansion that it adopts flawlessly. I discovered it in Berlin’s legendary Modulor shop and subsequently in the model work of Konstantin Grcic for his Myto chair project. At the time I did not think much of it but hands-on it became an essential tool for this design.
X-shaped ribs reinforce the back wall.
The shadows are a projection of the perforation on the ground with varying focus.
The surface of Bench 01 is technologically as unique as its construction. It is created using a skillful interaction of a gas flame and a brass bristle brush. The result is a soft gold hairline lustre finish. To protect the bench and make it a clean safe surface it is coated with a thick clear powdercoat.
A special thank you to Jeana & Ralph Schmücking. Without you none of this would be possible.
Products & Objects
Creative direction, design, ideation, product development, 2D & 3D modelling, material technologies, prototyping
Development & production
Chabera Studio in collaboration with expert blacksmith and locksmith Vladimír Sailer and other technological companies and craftsmen, produced in Czechia
2010 – 2011