You've probably seen Phiippe Starck's Louis Ghost chair--it's an icon of post-modern design, a modern plastic chair whose form mimics a classic Louis XV chair. But Lionel Theodore Dean, founder of FutureFactories, wasn't content to leave it alone--instead, he asked himself, How could you decorate such an iconic piece, to give it a truly 21st century flare?
His answer: Holy Ghost, a custom-made, frilly plastic sleeve that fits over the back of Starck's original. But Dean didn't design it, per se: Instead, the process began when he created a "generative algorithm" that designs the product on its own, using both random inputs and precise rules to create a one-off decorative pattern that looks like interlocking sand dollars or jellyfish. Over time, the shape builds itself around a 3-D model of the Louis Ghost chair; when the design is done--that is, when the program stops running--it's automatically sent to a rapid-prototyping machine for manufacturing.
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