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Not So Heavy Metal: Three Experimental Designs

Good designers have a way of fashioning surprises from familiar materials. Here’s three new projects–all of which elevate metal into something wonderfully strange–that made us sit up.

Tim Parson’s zooms in on materials with a hyper-focused eye, whether it’s metal, glass, ceramics, or even wicker. For these bowls, he figured out a way to drip molten pewter onto a mold, creating a piece that looks as if it’s still runny. (Check out a video of the process here.)

tim parsons

This chair, by the Japanese masters at Nendo, doesn’t look like metal at all. In fact, it was meant to make show-off wood. They took each piece of the chair and then hollowed it out and filled it with a steel frame. What results is a piece that emphasizes the wood itself–by making it appear vanishingly thin. (If you’re hungry for more, there’s a show of Nendo’s recent work going up next week at the Museum of Art and Design in New York–the pieces range from chairs that look as if they’re fading into the air to paper lamps whose shades are hand-blown, like glass.)

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Brodie Neill often creates sinuous pieces using cutting-edge craft. He created the Reverb chair from a single sheet of nickle-plated aluminum. The sheet bends in on itself to create both the sittable area and the chair’s structural support–kind of reminds you of a functional Jeff Koons.

reverb

reverb

[Via Spotd, Design Boom, and The Contemporist, each of which has more info and pics]CK